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.

Signature

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

Advertisements
What About Your Friends?

Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

Clear-your-mind-640x156.png

I’ve been trying to continually read and be intentional during this time off. I began reading The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success (thanks to Cliff for sharing the link) by Deepak Chopra. I usually don’t stick with books like these for long, something about the new terminology, the synthesizing and then figuring out how to apply the suggestions to my life can be become a bit much. To be honest, I like things in plain language when it comes to self-help. But there were some things that spoke to me as soon as I started trying to decipher the wisdom in this book. The first Spiritual Law it touches on is the Law of Pure Potentiality and the difference between self-referral and object-referral.

To quote the book, to experience the pure “Self” or self-referral basically means that you refer to your own soul/spirit (not your ego) for a point of reference, as opposed to being affected by things around you. In object-referral, you guessed it (you’s smart!), you are not referring to Self, but are affected by objects; people, experiences, situations (a.k.a things you cannot control.) In self-referral you experience your true being (void of fear, full of respect and humility) and in object-referral you feel an intense need to control or to have “power” over those things that drive the ego. Cool. Makes sense. But how exactly do we operate in the Power of Self daily? I’m glad you asked.

The first tip the book gives is…tapping into creativity through consciousness. What does this look like? Daily practicing of “silence, meditation and non-judgment.” Oh, sounds easy enough, right?

Silence. Withdrawing from speech and basically letting your mind run miles until eventually it quiets down. And it will.

How am I trying to apply these principles?

I already mentioned that I’m on a self-imposed Twitter break. This past week, I noticed myself just scrolling for scrolling’s sake and posting things just because a thought came to me. But what am I really talking about? Is it worth posting? Do I have to post everything I think about? Although I do prefer Twitter because I don’t spend hours on it, how much time am I really “not wasting” if I’m opening the app every 10 minutes because I’m wondering if I got a a new notification, or for FOMO(fear of missing out)? I don’t like the feeling of being addicted to the screen, or being out with friends and having to record everything we do. But what happens after I take 30 days off Twitter? I get right back on and build back up to the same habits that lead me here in the first place. Something has to change.

Besides the social media silence, I have experienced silence at home this past week. I’ve had minimal TV intake. By nature, I’m not a big TV watcher, I tend to prefer doing more creative things when I’m motivated. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed and I need to do something that doesn’t require much effort, so I turn on the TV. I actually finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix last night and I was disturbed by some of the scenes. What happened to the time when events were inferred and not necessarily filmed? I’m reminded that everything everyone is watching might trigger certain things for me, and I should be more prudent before I consume. Same goes for the things we are subject to “auto-play” on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

The book goes on to point out what silence brings out of us.

What happens when you go into this experience of silence? Initially your internal dialogue becomes even more turbulent. You feel an intense need to say things. I’ve known people who go absolutely crazy the first day or two when they commit themselves to an extended period of silence. A sense of urgency and anxiety suddenly comes over them. But as they stay with the experience, their internal dialogue begins to quieten. And soon the silence becomes profound. This is because after a while the mind gives up; it realizes there is no point in going around and around if you the Self, the spirit, the choice-maker are not going to speak, period. Then, as the internal dialogue quietens, you begin to experience the stillness of the field of pure potentiality.

Silence is powerful. We lead very distracted lives. Can we control that? I believe so. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible, if we are intentional.

-She

Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

Life be Life-ing

“Now I use the word happiness very loosely because happiness is not a place where you can live. It is more like a space we cross through periodically, sometimes more frequently or for longer duration than other times…”

It’s October 7th and I’m sitting on my couch debating on whether I want to cook dinner or pop something ready-made in the oven. My blog has been unfamiliar to me for awhile. Radio silence in August and September. Those are very busy times for school-based therapists. Not only is work gearing up speed, but life also be life-ing. You know what I mean. Life continues to be life- victories, upsetting moments, change of weather, change of mood, we loose daylight, changes, changes, changes. Some more drastic than others.

Fall and spring are two of my favorite seasons, in spite of being born in the summer. Fall reminds me that there’s no place like having a home to call your own. It is about getting cozy on the couch, drinking chai tea latte and baking pumpkin spice cake. It’s a season to prepare for the cold winter, because as we know, winter is coming. Fall is also about taking advantage of what’s left of the year before we usher in resolutions, new intentions, and the realization that “damn! Time flies.”

I’m in another transition time. It’s been stirring for a little while. It’s not comfortable and can be scary to think about, but it’s something I want. There’s more places for me to see in this lifetime, more to do, and the DMV area has been real. I’ve had highs of highs and lows of lows here. I got my Master’s degree, a professional license, life-long mentors, and an experience at an HBCU. I fell in love in all its glory and pain. I got my own apartment. I bought my first 2 cars (not simultaneously, yet.) I have a retirement plan. I’ve developed a love for painting and art. I’ve come to appreciate what this move meant to me, and how it has propelled me into what I consider to be an “adult.” Not only am I proving to myself that I can take care of myself financially, but I’m dedicated to working on my mental health by staying consistently in therapy. That’s my life right now.

Adulting and life-ing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. But today I’m thankful for the support I have around me, those I love and that love me, my career, my passion and my drive. There’s nowhere to go but forward.

-She

Life be Life-ing

Hello There: What’s Rocking My World

Thankful For.jpg

What I’m thankful for:

  • Life
  • Forgiveness
  • A heated home
  • People who care
  • People who show they care
  • My mother
  • Love
  • Grace
  • Sweaters
  • Healing
  • High boots
  • Sleeping through the night
  • Having insurance
  • Sunsets
  • Music, when I don’t have the words
  • A space to call my own
  • My thighs
  • Fall television.
  • You, for partaking in my thoughts.

What are you thankful for this month?

-She

Hello There: What’s Rocking My World

Fear

Charlie Brown

I’m not writing the way I want to be, recently.

I am not free. I remember this feeling from when I was younger. I was 16 or 17 years old and I attended church at least 3 times a week (there’s Bible Study, choir rehearsal, church services.) Sunday services were at least 5 hours spent in church in one day alone. I attended an A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) church where praise was lively and boisterous. My family didn’t grow up going to church. Well, my grandmother (the matriarch of my household) was a God-fearing woman but as the years went on, she stopped forcing her children and grandchildren to subscribe to her faith. When I attended the A.M.E church, I used to have a fear that my mother would see me vigorously praising in church and that she would drag me by the hair out of the building. Because our family wasn’t raised like that.

I used to have that thought a lot when I was in a church service. It was a youth church, so the adults would sit towards the rear of the church…and I would imagine when and how  I would be “yanked” out of the church. That fear never came true.

Fear is a common and popular sermon topic, it’s something I’m too familiar with– whether the threat was real or not. I always enjoy a good quote about battling “fears,” a good acronym, a helpful reminder on how faith should trump fear. Clever, but there is no step by step guide on how to conquer fears. Everyone’s road is unique.

Three decades on this Earth, and fear remains a personal battle. It’s fueled by doubt, the feelings of unworthiness, the unknown future. This is a big, bad, scary world. Sometimes, it’s easier to succumb to the thoughts. Some days are easier than others.

I’m in a mental prison…trying to free myself stone by stone.

-She

Fear

My Current Thoughts: As Expressed Through…

Twitter. Which seems to be like the only thing I have patience for.

9 days until graduation…so 9 tweets seem appropriate. +1 for good luck.

#1:

#2:

#3:

#4:

#5:

#6:

#7:

#9:

#10:

What’s currently on your mind?

Follow me!

@TracitaLinda

My Current Thoughts: As Expressed Through…