A few days ago, someone told me that I was a bad friend because I never contact them. And this got me thinking. First, I believe the wrong you do to people will come back to you. So I try my best to be the kind of friend to others, I would like them to be to me. When I heard this I had to pump my breaks for a second and really ponder this.
A bunch of things sprang into my mind. When I had the other job, I had no time for anything or anyone. After a few years of dealing with people who had no manners, respect or anything else, I developed this dislike for people. I was bitter all the time and I was constantly wearing my headphones because I just didn’t want to have to deal with people around me. After about a year of missing out on things like friend’s bday parties, or outings, trips, things like that because I never knew when I would be getting time off so I would have to decline going, it just became easier to hide in the confines of my four walls and let the world go right on by. Not getting in touch with people became easy. It became my way of not knowing what I was missing out on. I stayed in that fog, head phones plugged in and cranked the same ten songs out of the thousands I own, blasting into my brain.
After I’ve had some time to think about it, I realize that it’s not that I don’t message this person, I just don’t do it every day–or for this matter–ever week either. I message them when I’m lying in bed and my mind runs across them. I’ll send a text and ask how they’re doing, how are things and then the conversation will be sporadic for the rest of the evening until they just stop all together. Then I go back to the book I’m writing or reading at the moment, get through a chapter or two then go to bed. I’ll wake up the next morning and the cycle continues. I have a few friends like this and sometimes I think you can message me too, you know?
The thing is, I always feel like I’m bothering people if I call them too much or text them too much or facetime them too much. I never one to be one of those people who you roll your eyes every time you look at your call display and see their names. I mean, we’re all adults, right? And we have tons of things in our lives and other people in our lives to keep us busy and going about our journey. I always feel weird if I keep texting someone and they give me like one word replies. That’s when I feel, okay. This person doesn’t want to deal with you. So I back off. Then I won’t message you or call again until the other person says something. I mean, a conversation is not had in single word bursts. It’s not had with emoticons and the like. A conversation is a structured sentences being exchanged between two or more people. So if you and I are having a conversation, and I’m the one doing all the talking, what’s the point?
I’m also being accused of not wanting to go out with people. That’s simply not true because there are things I would rather do with others but they aren’t interested in any of the stuff I like so I do them by myself. I go to my Kpop concerts by myself (or if my niece likes the band and wants to go I take her). I go to Doors Open now on my own. I hit up the LGBT Film festival on my own. I go to the Urban Film Festival on my own. I go see plays on my own (sometimes my mom and I have girls’ night and we go together). Book fairs, romance conventions, day trips, picnics over by the island to take pictures of random stuff–these are some of the things that make me happy and my friends, for the most part, aren’t interested in them.
When I do ask friends to go places, the majority of the time, the outing clashes with a previous plan or they’re busy or life just went ahead and become life. The other day a friend kept saying I never call her and that I never want to go out with her. Then, I was heading out to drinks with a friend, his wife and a couple of others and I invited her to come along. She went ghost. Am talking dark like Jack Bauer. Am talking M-I-friggin-A. Then I’m sure a in about a week or so, I’m going to get the obligatory text message going “you never text me. You never want to go out.”
I can’t seem to win no matter what I do.
So now this brings me to the questions I’ve been rolling around inside my head for the past few days. How much contact is too much? How much is not enough? I’m asking these now because I met a friend in high school – amaze-balls guy. After he left abruptly close to the end of high school, I lost track of him for a few years then found him again on facebook and it was as if we never lost track. He’s still a fantastic person, still worries about me, still encourages me when I say “life is crap, make it stop!” And for years, we’ve only managed to talk through facebook and whatsapp, a few times we talked on the phone–even then I find myself going dark on him. Like thinking “I’m messaging too much so I’ll leave him be.” He’ll message me later going “dude, wtf? Where have you been?” He’s back in Toronto now–which is freaking awesome and I’m happy he’s back.
The problem is, I find myself thinking – I should message and say hello. Then that creepy voice in the back of my head saying um–no! You messaged him last Friday!
I’m battling with the whole too much not enough dilemma of wanting to have a conversation with people but don’t want to be a bother. I mean, I don’t think they mind. My friends are always messaging me going “are you alive over there?”
I don’t want to be a horrible friend. No one deserves that. I don’t want to be one of them stalkers either who message a person fifty million times a day even though they never responds. This is why it is easier most times to put my big girl panties on and wander the city by myself–seek out new and delicious places to eat, dabbling in the art of spice buying, find quirky little bookstores like She Says Boom alone. That way there is no freaking out about if I’m doing the right thing. Worrying about if I’m annoying someone or becoming their very own Johnny.
Sometimes someone doesn’t message me and I think if they were interested they would’ve texted or something. So, if they show no interest why should I? I know, that may be my stubborn talking but it’s true. If someone makes no effort to be a part of your life, of my life, why then should we bother? It’s obvious you’re not at the level where they consider you important so making an effort on you would be wasted.
Sad, but true.
There is always a dilemma about one thing or another. To some people this may not seem like such a big deal but I think about these things. I think about being a person others can be around. Happiness doesn’t necessarily come from the presence of others but it certainly helps.