Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friendship…Quality or Quantity???

I have received a ton of feedback from every angle since I started this blog. People have reached out to me through email, Facebook, Twitter, text and some have just rolled up and started talking. The reality is outside of my job, I’m pretty much a recluse aka hermit. In college my roommates called me the tree sloth because I was completely content to sit up on my top bunk for days and never come down. I would cast a basket over the edge and they would fill it with supplies like Twinkies, remote controls and cd’s. I was forced to be very independent at a young age. I got picked on and bullied at school in the early years because I was poor and dirty and wore second generation hand me downs. They were passed from my uncle, to my brother and then me.  I really only wore 2 shirts that were my own. One was a bitchin’ cream Bee Gee’s t-shirt and the other one had a bulldog on the front and on the back it said “Built like a Mack Truck”.  That Mack Truck shirt is still my favorite shirt of all time. I've been searching EBAY for years to find another one. So if you find one, hook a sista up!  My brother who was 2 years ahead of me and had mental issues and rode the short bus. He would usually start a fight at the bus stop on the first day of school and because I was his sister…I was usually guilty by association. I learned quickly to make myself as small as possible. By the time I had reached high school, things got much better financially for my family. Money was no longer an issue. I would say we were upper middle class at that point. I think the damage had already been done however. My social anxiety was here to stay. I have always been quiet and tucked into the furthest back corner of any room. To this day, I have to sit in a certain seat in any public place or I feel horribly uncomfortable.  My back has to be to the wall and I prefer to face the door. I’m a total freak about it…not really sure what I’m afraid of….perhaps a zombie apocalypse. Don’t want ‘em to sneak up on me and start snacking on my brain.  My goal every day is to acknowledge people as I walk past them and try to make eye contact. I am painfully shy, so it is a struggle. People tell me all the time that they thought I was a total bitch before they knew me. Don’t get me wrong…I can be a total raging bitch when provoked, but generally speaking, I’m pretty laid back. The fact that I am heavily tattooed and look angry when I’m not smiling doesn't seem to help much. My point is, I’m very careful and selective with the people I allow into my world. My tough bitchy exterior is there to protect and hide the fact that I am highly sensitive and fragile. (shhhhh…Don’t tell anybody, I have a reputation to protect) This blog is slowly revealing my true identity and some people are seeing me a little differently. Some like what they see…some don’t. The best part about it is, I too am seeing them differently. I’m finding that I have more things in common with people than I could have ever imagined. It has opened up a dialogue with people I have never met and people I have known for years. It’s been quite an eye opening experience. It has got me thinking a lot about friendship.

What is most important to you, the quality of your friendships or the quantity? I am all about quality. I’d rather have three quality friends that I would happily take a bullet for and know that they would do the same for me, than 100 friends that wouldn't.  My friends must be loyal, trustworthy and non-judgmental and that is exactly what they will get in return.  I have a one strike policy. If you break my heart, you are cut. There are no second chances. I have a really hard time with forgiveness. I wish I didn’t, but I do. Now I’m not talking about small piddly shit. I’m talking about a lie or betrayal.

Am I the perfect friend? HELL NO! My biggest flaw is that I don’t reach out to my friends. I go to work and workout and come home. That is my life in a nutshell. As a trainer, I get a new client every 30 min. I consider most of my clients my friends and put my heart and soul into every session with them. Being a trainer isn't just about making people pick stuff up and put it down and counting to 10. If you really care about your clients, it’s a highly emotional job. Some days I am more of a therapist than a trainer and some days they are my therapist. I’m beat physically and emotionally at the end of every day. All I can think about is my couch and food when I get off work. My true friends are always on my mind, but the fact that I’m a cave dweller and tired all the time keeps me from reaching out to them. This is something I’m really trying to get better at. Most of my friends at this point know this about me and accept it. I may not speak to or see them all the time, but when I do, they get my undivided attention. You will never see me out to dinner with my friends with my phone in my hand unless I am showing them a picture. There is nothing more annoying and just rude than staring at the top of someone’s head watching them text or check Facebook the entire time you are with them. I’d rather spend 20 quality minutes with them and then leave than 2 hrs with someone that is only kinda there with you. One of my favorite people in the whole world lives in New York. I maybe speak to her twice a year. We both are busy with our lives and understand that about each other.  The moment we get together, we pick up right where we left off without skipping a beat. I love her for that. Friendships should be somewhat low maintenance. Friends should not be jealous of your other friends or you relationship. If you tell them you are madly in love with somebody, they should by no means, try to make out with you or that person. If my old lady and my best friend went down in a plane crash in Alaska, I want to feel confident that they could take their clothes off and press their bodies together to stay warm and my girlfriend would have no fear of getting the old reach around from my best friend…even IF they were drunk. True friends don’t smile in your face and then throw you under the bus behind your back. I can’t tell you how many times I've been in a pack of women that sit around and shit talk whoever isn't there and their children. The next time we’d go out, the same women are shit talking the people that were there last time to the people that weren't.  (Say that 3 times fast) It’s disgusting! I can honestly say that if I have the desire to talk about you behind your back…you ain’t my friend and we ain’t gonna hang out. I’m not going to talk to you at all. I can’t seem to find the time to hang out with the friends I adore. I’m certainly not going to waste my time on the ones I don’t. Real friends give you their honest opinion when asked, but don’t judge you for your decisions. They may not agree with you, but they should love you unconditionally no matter how you choose to live your life. One of my best friend’s tells me her honest opinion all the time knowing it may not be what I want to hear. Sometimes I listen to her, sometimes I don’t. She still loves and supports me either way and I cherish that. The list above are all reasons I have walked away from friendships in the past. I attempted some second chances, but the friendship was never the same.

It’s ok to be picky with your friendships. Choose wisely. Don’t be afraid to say no if you sense something feels strange. Trust your gut and you intuition…it is almost always right. If you are dreading hanging out with someone…they are not your friend and you are not theirs. You aren't doing them of yourself any favors. You will not be able to be your true authentic self and will probably spend the majority of your time with them texting somebody else or surfing Facebook. Instead, spend that time with people you truly love and cherish. The person with the most friends doesn't win in the end. The person with the best ones does.