You Got a Friend in Me.

Friendship is so weird, y’all. Think about it. You don’t technically need them for survival, yet they’re a huge part of our every day lives. Essentially helping us survive. Day in and day out, our friends sign up to go to bat with us and for us to get us through each and every day. Your husband or your boyfriend (or significant other, whatever pertains to you, boo) is technically someone you sought out for “survival purposes”. You and your significant other live together, you work together to run your home, you feed each other, you protect each other and you know that you have each others backs in all situations. You don’t, in theory, have to suffer feeling alone which increases your quality of life. You may have even vowed those things to your S.O. I read an article once that said science shows it even adds years on your life to live in a happy relationship. Don’t worry, I read that in Facebook-land, so no need for fact checking. Wink. It’s a primal instinct, in my opinion, to want to find someone who is your partner in surviving this crazy thing we call “life”. But a friend? They just pop in one day, out of no where, and BOOM.

It’s like an extra person who just does things with you because they like you. You might have nothing or everything in common. You might talk every day, you might talk once a month. Regardless, that’s your person. It’s weird. Like, “hey, listen to me squabble about what my man did and then go back to your family afterwards and I will go back to mine, and we’ll do it again sayyy, next week? m’kay?.” What?! Maybe I’m just your classic over thinker, but I think about these random things a lot. Specifically friendship. Disclaimer: Please don’t get me wrong, I’m forever thankful, to all ends, for my sweet friends who are in my life. I just think the whole thing is so funny. Sometimes I’ll even ask my friends, “What do you get out of this?!” ha!!

Sigh.

Here’s the thing. I sorta know why it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around it. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from anxiety. Hello, newsflash: it’s 2020, everyone does! Especially if you have kids. I thought I had anxiety before having my little one? Whew. That was light work. This is the real deal, holy feel. Parents?? We are in the moments of our lives that make us or break us, and honey, I’m holding on by a prayer!! Parenthood is basically just learning to take things one day at a time, and then wishing you could go back to each of those days and re-live them because they’re just up and gone in a flash. One minute cursing that your kids can’t hurry up to put their own shoes on, and the next they’re throwing up baby gang signs at you and hurting your feelings because they can do it all by themselves. I do not remember signing up for this, y’all. Any way. Yes, anxiety. I got that….Yay, me. It’s this nasty mindset that everything awful happening to you, you deserve, and everything awesome happening to you, you don’t. You catch yourself happy? Anxiety says, “Hol’up, I’m here to party.” It’s having this detrimental nagging in the back of your mind telling you that the wonderful things, these things being friends, are just here for their own selfish motives. God forbid I actually believe these kind angels are here to actually love me. It’s just a notion that is tough for me to really hold on to, because again I’ll ask you: “What do you get out of this?!” Truly, though… what? I realize I probably, er, well, definitely suck as a friend. From the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning to the time my peepers shut in the evening, I’m the b-word.

Busy.

I’m lucky if I get in time with these people, and if I do? It’s because I scheduled it last month. Who wants to schedule in time with their friend? The kind hearted person who said, “Find you a friend who doesn’t check their schedules before agreeing to go out with you” obviously didn’t have much else going on. Mine have to with me. Sorry, yaw (quick plug: *waves at Nick* He knows why). Between my three kids (4 if you count adult children), THREE jobs, my volunteer work at my home church, my exercise classes, and being a clinical instructor for 3 colleges in the area? I’m pretty spent. Sprinkle in birthday parties, sporting events, cooking, vacations, hair appointments, holidays, the babysitter shuffle, family game nights, dentist appointments, grocery shopping, well visits, sick visits, oil changes, date nights, etc, etc, losing my mind, etc. After it’s all written down in my beautiful Erin Condren with my favorite Frixion Erasable pens? I got a couple free days available this month, and just a few more next month… “which day works best for you?” I’ll ask them …. and I can hear it in their long pauses. Disappointment. I can almost hear the thought crossing their minds, “this ain’t even worth it.” Or at least that’s what my anxiety tells me.

You want to know what is so amazing about my friends though??

{ sniffle }

They don’t give up on me.

That’s what today’s post is really about, honestly. Despite me being a more busy creature, and despite having to often tell my sweet friends, “no”? They still try. They still come back for me, even when I haven’t seen them in weeks. Sometimes months! They still invite me places, and look forward to being with me. It’s in those moments that I just feel so truly blessed. This wonderful soul took time out of their busy schedule (because, yes, my boss-a babe friends are busy too *insert flex*) and made something work with me. ME.

*looks around the room*

*points at myself*

*mouths it again* ME?!

So I just sit here and think to myself how weird friendship really is, but that I am so so so grateful for it.

Today’s post is an ode to my friends. A public “thank you.” I wanted to formally thank you for being by my side despite the crazy and despite the neediness. Whew, because I am pretty needy [it’s ok to laugh, I swear].

It may be hard making good friends. Especially with busy schedules, kids or no kids. Maybe you’re someone who says, “I don’t need friends.” I’m just here to argue with you on the point. See, I know it’s weird and I know it can be messy and I know it may even seem unnecessary. I know I even just argued that they’re not necessary to our daily survival. The thing is?

I don’t know what I’d do without my friends.

I don’t know how I would have gotten through leaving an unhappy relationship without my friends. I don’t know how I would have survived heart breaks. So many heart breaks. I took one of my closest friends with me on one of my first dates with my now husband, what would I have done without her support? I told close friends about Theo before I told my family, they kept me sane when I was in a whirlwind! I ran to my friends when my relationship was struggling, and my best friend even helped me feel comfortable to seek out God in fixing that. If it wasn’t for my “bestie” suggesting me going to talk to her Father-in-law, who is now my Pastor at my church, I’m not sure my husband and I would even be here today! Especially standing together as Christians. I owe that to one of my very best friends! God used my friend to get me to look at Him. Cue the goosebumps! My sister, someone I would consider to be one of my best friends, helped me deliver my baby. She’s an L&D nurse so I was just fortunate that she has that skill set… but there are parts of me she’s seen that I know she can’t unsee. Yet, she still chooses to deal with me. Probably against her will sometimes, but she’s my sister and she’s stuck with me! * evil laugh * She’s done a whole heck of a lot more, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories of her and I. And don’t even get me started on the love & friendship I’ve got with my Momma. Yes, I’m 31 years old and I still call her “Momma?” If ya ain’t like it, go on an’ git. This saint of a woman picks up the phone for me even when she’s busy and crazy, and deals with my behind. I just know God’s polishing medals for her, in her mansion, that’s waiting for her in heaven. Trophies galore: “you survived motherhood with Katie as your daughter!” I could go on… and on… and on…. I could pick out a bojillion stories about all the blessings I have in my life. I am grateful, lucky, blessed, and perplexed. I don’t know what you crazy kids get out of it by picking me as your human, but thank you.

Now, let me get down to the nitty gritty nasty blah topic I feel this post should probably cover: “Bad friends.”
Eek. Yeah. I got those, too.


I mean, who doesn’t? Someone very wise once said, “Life’s too short for bad coffee, bad sex & bad friends” … let’s just hope you’re not trying to get into it with all three of those at the same time [ insert immature giggle ]. I don’t know though, y’all. I’m sure you’re just thinking, “well, simple, if they’re a bad friend then just don’t deal with them!!” Ugh. I like the simplicity of that thinking, but I don’t know. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, or something like that, but I like to think that I have always done my best to befriend the unfriendly and difficult. If you’re reading this and you have a specific example of when that wasn’t the case for you and I? I’m all ears. Truly! Reach out to me and let’s hash it out. I can only really think of a handful of people who I’ve decided to write off for my mental well being, but I still think of them and wonder how they’re doing. If I randomly saw them walking down the frozen food aisle at the Food Lion? I’d still smile in their direction …and keep it moving. But, like I said, only a handful of people. Honestly? Even if they reached out to me? I’d still hear them out. Ultimately, I don’t have room in my life for downright hatefulness, unapologetic rude behavior nor extra negativity. Who does? Can you blame any of us for taking steps away from people who drag us down?


: shoulder shrug :


Everyone else that I’d consider a “bad friend” are sprinkled in and around my daily life. You might be reading this and thinking, “well dang, is it me?! What does she even mean by a bad friend?” I think you have to take into consideration the entirety of a relationship rather than individual moments in that friendship before classifying it as a good or bad one, which ultimately would also mean that you can’t be a “bad” friend without having time in. “Time” isn’t a linear thing though, not in this case. Let me clarify: I feel like I have more “time” in with my best friend than I do with some of my longer friendships, just because she has been there for more day-to-day stuff. She’s seen more, heard more, dealt with more than most of my other friends. She definitely doesn’t qualify as a bad friend, for the record, but because she has more time in with me she has the qualifications to become one. Simply because it would matter to me if she did, because of our time together and how much she means to me. If you’re someone I rarely talk to, an acquaintance, what-have-you? Then you’re likely not someone I could consider as a bad friend because we don’t have enough history. I haven’t given you the opportunity to become a bad friend. You can’t hurt me if I don’t hold you close, not much differently than how it would feel if my husband hurt me. Listen, I don’t mean for any of this to sound like I’m running a mean girls club ….YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US... ok, sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m just dissecting how I come to these decisions and how I ultimately deal with it. The couple of people who I think are “bad friends” are actually not bad people. They haven’t stolen anything from me, except maybe my peace of mind from time to time. They haven’t been downright mean to my face, just behind my back (gasp). Sure, I held them close enough to allow a pain to come my way. I call those “lessons learned.” They are still in my life despite “bad” moments in our time-in with each other because I still care. Maybe because I still believe they, on some levels, still care about me too. You may be reading this and nodding your head because you too can think of someone you love, but still think of them as a “bad friend”. It’s really hard to say why we still deal with them, even if they’ve hurt us or made us feel used. It can become complicated. Matters of the heart are rarely black and white. Friendship, being the weird thing that it is, has more gray areas than not. You see, I feel like I have room to talk about “bad friends”, simply because I know that I am one. Whaaaaaat. Yeah, but I already touched on that above. My busy lifestyle makes it hard for me to be there for YOU every day and every time you need me. The little bit of down time I have, I’m selfish with. After a long day, all I really want to do is be with my family. I’m a bad friend, probably, in the eyes of even those I consider to be some of my closest, most bestest, awesomest friends! So, maybe that’s why I deal with people who I still know in my heart to be more selfish and more difficult to hang with, because I know I’m extended that same grace on a regular basis. Bad friends are just good friends who need love & grace. I mean, know your boundaries, know your self worth…. but, as a general rule of thumb, exercise kindness. Exercise love. Bad friends need friends, too. As a bad friend, I am thankful for my friends who came together for me and loved me when I wasn’t at my most lovable. I’m not talking about befriending people who are downright horrible and do awful things, I’m not messing around with that funny business either. What I really mean is that it’s ok if you’re a bad friend because you’re busy…. or because you need to take more than you give this time…. or because you need to have a selfish moment this time. I think it’s when it becomes a regular thing that you may find me backing out slowly, with love in my heart for ya, but still backing away. I have so many little people relying on me (between my babies, my classroom kiddos and my clients) that I have to really protect my peace. My family. MY SANITY. I think it’s ok to be a “bad friend” on occasion, just don’t unpack and live there. I promise, I’ll really try not to also. Every day is a new day, a new opportunity, to be the best possible version of yourself & really that’s all YOU can control.

So, Dear Good friend? Great friend? Best friend? Bad friend? Even my dear Past friend? This post is for you. Cheers dears. Moving on into the next days we’re blessed with together? I promise you that I’m here, whether that’s in person or in spirit. In reality or in prayer… always in my prayers, really. Thank you for laughing at my dumb jokes and weird faces. Thank you for pulling me out of dark places. Thank you for listening to me sing in the car or at that karaoke bar that one time. Thank you for feeding me when I was broke. Thank you for letting me take care of you in return. Thank you for your sage advice and thank you for loving me when I decided not to take it. Thank you for your patience when I leave your texts on read to just respond in a wave of multiple texts hours later. Thank you for saying sorry when you hurt my fragile feelings and thank you for teaching me to stand up for myself. Thank you for forgiving me when I stepped out of bounds. Thank you for having your pantry filled with chocolate just for me. Thank you for splitting ACP with me and drinking that extra margarita with me. Thank you for holding me while I cry in an empty room at work so I didn’t have to hold it together anymore in front of everyone. Thank you for being ready to burn down the town with me when I was angry. Thank you for getting in the car with me, we know that’s always a risk. Thank you for trusting me with your kiddos and thank you for watching mine when I needed you. Thank you for teaching me to pee outside so I didn’t have to hold it all weekend. Thank you for laughing at my rants and dancing on Snapchat. Thanks for confiding in me your deepest secrets. Thanks for holding on to mine, too. Thank you for making work during impossible shifts go by so much more quickly. Thank you for covering for me at work. Thank you for having my back. Thank you for taking my phone call when you had your hands full. Thanks for letting me sing R. Kelly to you, and subsequently dance up on you all silly like. Thank you for going to all 3,476 events I planned last year. Thank you for accepting me even though we may be totally different. Thank you for helping me color my grays away. Thank you for getting that matching tattoo with me. Thanks for claiming me in public when I was being cringe worthy. Thank you for talking to me again after some time passed, and I really didn’t deserve your time of day. Thank you for giving me a break when you could have been hard on me. Thank you for your shoulder, your ears, your heart. Thank you for being a kind soul. Thank you for letting me borrow your dress that I still haven’t managed to get back to you. Thank you for coming to my house to see me when I barely come to yours to see you. Thank you for dealing with my 12 year old humor. Thank you for loving my babies like your own. Thank you for loving me despite our differences in politics. Thank you for being willing to fight with me, for me. Thank you for praying with me. Thank you for kneeling at the alter with me. Thank you for showing me new things. Thank you for your efforts and your love and your loyalty.

Now excuse me while I go cry.

Forever yours, sweet sweet friend. With all my love,

2 thoughts on “You Got a Friend in Me.

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