What About Your Friends?

For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses.

-Rebecca Traister’s book

Female friendships are a topic I’ve avoided writing about. I have so many thoughts around the subject and yet nothing I felt would add anything meaningful to this blog. It’s true that I become wholly self-aware and self-conscious around the topic. However I’m here, attacking my trigger.

Where do I begin? So let me say that the age of online friendships is a gift and a curse. I blame Facebook. With the click of a button, you “Friend” someone. Is that all it takes? A passive, mindless act? You may never personally message that person, write on that person’s wall, or even have to remember that person’s birthday (FB does it for you.) But you made a new friend. On the other hand, when I learned of my acceptance into Howard University, I took to Twitter. I couldn’t anticipate the people who extended themselves like @PeaceLuvNicole. We met within weeks, and that made the transition a bit easier. There are people who are eager about taking the relationship offline, and I love and appreciate that. I started becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I could meet some quality people by just initiating the gesture. Although I dealt with general anxiety from moving to a city where I knew 2 people and had no family, Twitter peoples helped through the process. 

Everyone is quick to “like” my minor triumphs and “heart” my Instagram photos — passive interaction has become the default setting, the status quo.

-Felicia Sullivan

I can make friends easier online. You learn a lot about someone based on what they post. It’s not the ideal way, but it’s easy, less risky and convenient. It’s passive. Trying to make friends in real life involves risk. Meeting strangers hoping and praying it leads to something can be disappointing.

Does she like me?

Does she think I’m talking too much?

Am I talking too much?

She’s so fashionable. I wish I could dress like that.

I’m 30 years old, why is this so difficult?

Truth is, I have a lot of standards because I invest a lot when I care for someone. To me, my standards are like the bare minimum of cultivating and sustaining a friendship.

  1. Thou must not be flaky. I’ve experienced a lot of people that will make plans one day, then inform me the day of that they can’t make it. REPEATEDLY.
  2. Thou must spend quality time. This is my love language, not negotiable. It’s the main reason why I make the effort to see friends that don’t live nearby. We connect when we are actually together.
  3. Thou must show REAL LIFE effort. Check-in with one another, attempt to go out and do stuff. You know, real basic and mutual.

I understand that different people need different things from friendships. I’ve always wanted a group of “girlfriends” that I could count on to do life together with. My history with friends has never amounted to that. It’s not to say it won’t happen, maybe it will take some adjusting of expectations.

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Some posts worth exploring:

What the Market Will Bear: The Long Game of Female Friendships

Sorry I’ve Been a Shitty Friend: A Multiple Choice Form Letter

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What About Your Friends?

Things I’m Passionate About: The Short List

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In no particular order:

10. The treatment and identification of children who speak dialects and other languages in the scope of special education.

9. The #BlackandMissing, including those young people forced into sex trafficking.

8. Writing a book/ Writing in General

7. Autism

6. Food and Cooking

5. Traveling off-the-beaten-path

4. Lack of diversity in providers of speech-language pathology services

3. Adoption

2. Family in the scope of mental health. My own commitment to self-care and self-awareness.

1. Books. But fiction is better. 🙂

And one more: cultivating and maintaining my friendships.

What are some things you are passionate about?

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Things I’m Passionate About: The Short List

Texts I Save (Post from 2012)

In the spirit of getting to know me better, and the follow-up to Voicemails I Don’t Delete, I give you a glimpse of messages I hold dearly.

I think everyone’s goal in life is to turn talent into profit. 😉 good morning. -Channing, friend

I have to tweet this! Any objections? – Nicole, friend

…good morning!! Your tickets for Chicago are for sure…! Done. CR too short notice..!! Also send me a copy of your birth certificate to add you at work… You will pay 35% anywhere you want to go..!! -Roberto, father

I miss u and i hope everything is ok with u. Remember they are debt collector and their are train to scear u n lie to yo 90% of what they say to u is a lie. -Maura, sister

I mean getting exactly what you want out of life. It’s a play on the theme of the book, and something I sincerely hope you experience. -someone I love

Do I have to ask to see you or should I patiently wait your invite… -someone I used to love

Hey Tracey! Google this book– Become a million dollar scholar. -Maryam, friend

Well play it out and see how it goes. The trick is not to imagine things further than what you can see with your own two eyes. Keep things in proper perspective. -Xavier, a former friend

A text addict,

She 

Texts I Save (Post from 2012)

Graduation ReCap: I’m a Master!

It’s still a bit surreal, the thought that I’m done with school and won’t see my classmates in the same room for a while. After 2 years of having classes together, it’s a routine that was as natural as taking a shower. We all came from different parts of the country, and  some people are going home, while others have decided to stay in the DMV (District, Maryland and Virginia) area.

Now what? Real adult life begins with job hunting.

The graduation festivities included hosting family from New York, Florida, Costa Rica and Los Angeles. It was lots of work, and I realized how my apartment was not really equipped for large numbers of people. For one, we don’t really have a “common area.” No table or chairs to sit and eat which meant that everyone kind of just found a chair and a piece of kitchen counter space and had their dinner. The common area thing was never an issue for me since I had most of my meals in my bedroom. And my roommate and I hardly see each other, let alone have time to eat together (I have offered her some food when we are cooking in the kitchen together). Besides that, to cut on costs and to prevent people from saying they couldn’t make graduation, I rented out the apartment across the hall so that people would have somewhere to stay without paying exorbitant hotel prices. That was an interesting set up, with air mattresses and temporary set ups for the couple of days people were in town. All in all, hosting is fun, and even better when you can accommodate folk in a good space with amenities.

It’s a bit sad to be at the end of the road. A week ago, I had 2 apartments full of people and now… I’m sitting in my room thinking about what kind of shenanigans I will get into this summer. And how I will afford them. The dust from celebrations has definitely settled. The bills are real.

I’m not too worried, though.

-She

Below are just some pics from the graduation and the weekend. Enjoy!

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I call this…The perfect blended family. My mom, me and my father’s girlfriend.
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“No caption necessary”
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1+1= Tracey
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My fave girl
Graduation ReCap: I’m a Master!

What about your Friends?

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

 

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Friends. The older I get, the harder it is to make and KEEP friends. 

Friendship is a very delicate affair. Remember how easy it was to make friends as a kid? 

You wanna play with [insert toy of your era here]?

It’s a topic I’ve already addressed on the surface. But if I dig deeper, I start to dig up lots of negative feelings. They are mostly insecurities about myself.

Am I too much sometimes?

What is it about me that pushes them away?

Why don’t they like me?

Is it something I said?

Am I too emotional, why do I care so much?

I’ve never been a girl with a large group of friends, I’ve gotten through life with usually one best friend at my side. But, as life would have it, usually that friendship is but for a season. And I’m learning that friends do come with expiration dates. When I meet new people that I look forward to becoming friends with, I find it awkward to build that friendship as an adult. I never want to come off as an eager freak. So I find it easier to have virtual friendships, the new way to meet folks. Except, it’s not the same.

Thinking,

She

What about your Friends?

Things She Loves

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Simple things that make me happy.

  • black & white photos
  • hand-written letters
  • handwriting
  • buying things in bulk (not food necessarily)
  • flawless curls
  • stationery
  • clever bathroom signs

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  • Feel-good music
  • When a  (wo)man walks past me, but their (good!) scent remains
  • Sleeping and/or napping
  • unexpected kindness
  • cereal and ice cream together
  • kind words
  • chicken wings (especially tips)
  • funky nail polish20130102_161120
  • Spring weather and all its newness
  • Admiring women’s high heels shoes, not necessarily buying them
  • Girl’s Night Out

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  • lists
  • banana pancakes
  • most warm cereals (not grits though)
  • compliments
  • candles
  • fresh linens
  • carefree fun

What are some simple things that make you happy?

 

Things She Loves

Thanks for Social Media

Call it ironic that myself and 2 other fellow Twitter buds projected we would move to a certain city this summer, and we all did. When I moved here, I had extended friends of family, and that’s about it. The only other folk I “knew” from the area were all from the internet.

People like Nicole, whose blog I stumbled upon from another blog, have extended themselves to help me become a bit more acclimated with my new home. I know she couldn’t resist meeting the person behind the words, and for that gesture, I’m thankful.

No we are not sisters just because we are both mixed!
(R-L) Nicole, me, Kisha, Kari

Social media acquaintances can become more meaningful when you offer to break barriers down, meaning step away from your device and meet someone face-to-face. Even if that’s not possible, have a phone conversation, invite them to messenger chats… anything that’s more meaningful and personally memorably. Be introduced to something unique about that person, like the way they express themselves verbally and their individual voice. Sometimes those connections from the blog universe become strengthened, sometimes they stay the same and sometimes you realize that this witty/intelligent/beautiful blog or Twitter persona is actually socially inept and you couldn’t see yourself really building a friendship.

At the end of the day, what good is having 200+ followers when you can’t distinguish one from the next?

This year, I’m thankful for social media, because without it, my transition might not have been as enjoyable.

Spending holidays away from home and family is hard. But it doesn’t have to be, if you are open-minded. I am thankful for another opportunity to meet another fellow blogger tomorrow, on Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day!

What are you thankful for this year, that was unexpected?

Please follow me @TracitaLinda. Don’t be afraid, I do talk back!

Thanks for Social Media