Someone once told me that in the course of your life you become friends with 4 people. Out of those 4 people, only 3 of them are your good friends. Out of those 3, only 2 of them become your best friends. Out of those 2, only 1 of them you can honestly trust. That one person you can trust is yourself. Trust no one and no one will let you down. Of course the first time I heard that I thought it was complete horse shit. What does this person know about friendships? My friends are everything to me, what does this person know about friendship that I don’t already know. When you’re young, you believe that everyone is your friend. Everyone is just like you, understands all your problems. They’re the family that you choose that you’re not born into. They’re the only people in the world that will have your back when the rest of the world shuns you out.
What a pipe dream.
You wind up becoming friends with a diverse rotating wheel of characters. Some do withstand the testament of time, while others don’t become so lucky. The point of growing up is finding yourself. Finding yourself, discovering who you are and what you’re about. When you’re young, you would do anything for your friends. You would even sacrifice you’re own happiness if that meant you could keep the party going. Keep the motion of staying young forever and live in a time snapshot of all your golden accomplishments with your friends. What you don’t realize when you’re younger is that you grow up eventually. Some of your friends grow up, wise up, and build foundations of their owns. While others dim silently in their plastic red solo cup struggling to adjust to life after the after party. Everyone is different. Every has different aspirations in life. We’re all just one huge hustle after the next. We grow up and hang on to whatever dream we thought we had throughout youth. Most of the time the dreams we hold so close to ourselves are the friendships we base solely on these notions. We’re young, we’re going to live forever, and holding on to those 2am nights were strangers become the only people that understand your deepest darkest secrets.
Of course. I was one of those people.
In the course of my life, I had the privilege of being friends with a wide diversity of people. Obviously it’s no surprise that in my quest of reinvention that I had a tendency to befriend the wrong types of people. I understand that no one is perfect. Hell, I’ve written post after post of my imperfections. I just find a tendency to find the broken people. The people so done with life that they’d live in a constant state of euphoria and I find myself clinging to that notion. Maybe because I was broken, and finding comfort in the same people just gave me a sense of belonging. We were a set of misfit toys and nobody understood us. It’s funny to look back now because from the time I was 20 to the time I turned 28, it was the same type of people. The faces may have changed but they were all so similar. With their insecurities, their bad habits and all of their bad intentions. It’s funny how much I defended them. To the point that I honestly believed deep down somewhere we were all friends. The reality was I was just a broken chump and they saw that. They saw through my vulnerabilities and broken parts. Instead of being a group of a good friends, I became just another person they manipulated to get everything they wanted.
People have always asked me why I stay so guarded. Even opening up to my own “best” friends was hard. The moment I told my true vulnerabilities was the same moment that my “friends” used those things against me. They did. No matter how many times I heard “I would always have your back”, in every argument I was screamed at the very vulnerabilities I confided in them. It was the never ending cycle of taking their bullshit in because I was too tired to defend myself. Friendships were always one sided with one person always there for the taking, and the other always their metaphorical punching bag (and at times their own personal punching bag). I can be honest and say that at certain times I wasn’t the best person. I lied, cheated, schemed and even manipulated people to get my way. They say that karma happens when you least expect it. It always tends to come back to you with a familiar face of a friend. I couldn’t help myself. In the midst of my own social awkwardness and psychological bullshit, I was blinded to believe people were actually my friends. In 4 years I lost 15 of my allegedly close friends. 15 people that stated they would always be there for me. Always have my back. 10 of them were my good friends, 4 of them were my close friends, and 1 was my best friend. It’s amazing how things and people change in the course of a few years. I went from having countless people call me to complete silence on my phone. Somewhere inside I believed that those people were my friends. That those people that saw me for who I was actually gave a shit about me. Truth was I just their friend. I was there to pick up their broken pieces to lift them up out of a jam. I was the one with the wallet that would take care of everything. Once the party ended, and the money was gone, I was left with the sober reality of complete nothing. You learn a lot about yourself when you start drinking, but you learn more about people once you stop. Once I stopped wanting to make everything a party and living my life for people was the moment everyone became so vile and malicious. I started saying more “NO” than “Yes” and everyone made me out to be the bad guy. Because I stopped being a personal chauffer and stopped paying for things, I was the villain? Once I started asking for money back or wanting to do things by myself, I was the bad guy? Before I knew it the same people that “would take bullet for me” were creating lies about me. I was difficult. I was a snob. I was the person who was better than everyone.
It’s laughable now. Now that I can see through the bullshit it’s funny. These same people that couldn’t cross the street without holding someone’s hand. Those same people that still cry and complain about their personal relationships to anyone who would listen. The broken people who always believe their problems are bigger than everyone else’s instead of showing an ounce of compassion for another person. They were so vile to point out my flaws but never once realized that the one finger they so violently pointed at me, they had 3 more pointing at themselves. I was done the moment the rumors started and people started turning away. I was done the moment my texts were ignored and they were too chicken shit to tell me the real demise of our friendship. I was through the moment a chunk of my hair was removed from my head and the photo of my hair was posted on social media sites. Here I thought we were all united by our flaws but reality of it all was these friends were just bullies. We weren’t friends because that isn’t friendship. The same honesty they threw at me, they never liked to hear about themselves. I was constantly the villain and their were always the victims. Because I was so fucked up, I believed them. I was naïve to think the number of friends you have meant something. The number of friends I had were nothing more than another debt I had to pay off and pretend to smile through.
When you finally grow up and let go is when you realize the reality of it all. None of those people were my friends. Even the people I considered my best friends, our friendship was held on by some false illusion of a past that was never great to begin with. Its so easy to say words and convince a person to believe them. That’s the thing with people. Anyone can say words to you, and everyone is a great master manipulator. I just grew tired of words and would rather see actions. You can scream to the rooftops how sorry you are but I won’t believe you. You can tell a person how you can change but people never do. The best thing you can do is give a person a shot at a second chance and if nothing changes just let go. If they’re out of second chances, let them go. If you’re holding on to friendships because of the years you have known each other, that’s not a friendship. If the number of times you have been there for a person out numbers the times they have been there for you, LET THEM GO. The people who are worth it will always show you, and the people who are not always disappear. It sucks and it’s heartbreaking, sometimes friendship breakups hurt more than actual breakups. We all go through them. It hurts to miss them, it hurts to remember, but you grow because of them. They make you realize and appreciate the friendship that you do keep. They teach you that while your trust has been broken eventually you find people that will never hurt you like those people did. While those people weren’t the greatest friend to you, hopefully they find someone that they can be friends with. Learn from their mistakes.
Everyone needs their chance to grow. When you grow up, you truly realize who your friends are. They’re the people that stay behind you when the rest of the world shuts you out. That’s just another perk of growing up. You live, you learn and eventually you move on. Just have to always remember that the friendship you have within yourself is the only friendship you should always work on. Its through that friendship that you learn to trust others again.