Updated: Apr 8, 2020
“Cry baby cry wipe your weeping eyes” was the definition of my birthday week (Aug. 19-25th), I was a crying mess. My birthday is a moment where I do self-evaluation and set new goals I want to accomplish within the next year instead of waiting for New Years. Despite the tears my 23rd birthday was everything from attending the On The Run II tour, going to Trap N Paint, eating at two new restaurants and finally going to the strip club (Onyx was lit). You’re probably wonder what the tears were about and honestly it was because of change. Let me explain.
For me change is difficult especially since I have anxiety. The slightest change such as somebody canceling plans can grind my gears. Some of the changes I was experiencing or anticipating were resigning & starting a new job, a shift in my friendships, and announcing the start of my book career. All these changes felt overwhelming. First, leaving my job and starting anew was bittersweet. I was happy to start a better paying job that related to my undergrad degree, however I was going to miss some of my co-workers and the kids. Second, my feelings towards my friends were shifting. My childhood best friend got into relationship and I felt like she wouldn’t have time for me. One of my other best friends is going through some things. I had some unsaid feelings towards one friend, another friend moved away, and my guy best friend and his wife recently had my godson. Lastly, I wasn’t going to see one of my favorite people (former coworker) every day since I got a new job. Basically, I felt like my circle of friends created lives that didn’t include me or left very little time for me. Third, I was beyond excited to release my book cover but the number of shares and views the cover received sent me into panic mode. Over 1,000+ views made me feel like, “Damn, this book has to be fire, or the beginning of your writing career will be a joke.” Most of these changes were positive but it felt like too many things were changing at once.
The day after my birthday I had a lightbulb moment and I called my momma crying. I explained my feelings and finally admitted I needed people, I needed my friends. I have a history of pushing people away including my friends even if something is wrong. However, I had a breakthrough where I wanted to start talking, being needy, etc. but my crew had busy lives now and nobody was going to keep asking or waiting on the moment I decided to let them be a good friend to me. You’re probably wondering what my purpose was for having friends if I felt like I didn’t need them. Honestly, I loved and cared about my friends but the thought of needing or relying on somebody scared me. Therefore, I use to feel like if you walked out of my life today I could careless because I didn’t need you anyways. My friends and other people I selectively care about knows how I am, I love you but if I had to live without you being in my life I would be fine. I probably sound heartless, but that's how I am.
Back to the conversation with my momma, she started laughing at me instantly pissing me off because nothing about needing people felt funny to me. My mom said “Erica I told you you’re going to need people in your life. You can’t live in this world by yourself. Tell your friends how you feel, they’ll be there for you. Your friends care about you and wish you would talk to them or acted like you need them.” My momma words comforted me for the moment…
The following day I’m hanging out at the hotel with my girls but those same feelings of being alone and having no friends heavily weighed on me. The crazy thing is I’m a great friend to people they can count on me for whatever, but I rarely feel the same way about them. In my defense I have some justified situations and personal characteristics such as being a private person to explain my feelings about friends but that’s another post for another time. I was texting somebody and started spilling out my feelings which lead to me crying in the hotel bathroom. My girls were in the room watching TV, but I refused to cry and be vulnerable in front of them. I cleared my face, returning to the sofa I was laying on, and tried to get out of my feelings. Out of the blue I blurted out “Esha, Tee, can y’all promise me no matter what we’re going to make an effort to remain friends?” My girls gave me a strange look and said, “Yes girl, of course.” One of them went on to ask me “Why did you ask us that? What’s going on?”. I remained silent for a minute trying to blink back tears until my bestie pulled me in for a hug and I busted out crying. Seeing me cry let alone doing the boohoo cry was a shocker to my crew and myself. Outside of my momma hardly anybody has seen me cry because I hate crying in front of others and I view tears as a sign of weakness. I explained to them how much I need them as well as talked about the anxiousness I felt about the new job and releasing my first book. In true friend fashion they comforted me and assured me as life goes on things were going to change but that doesn’t mean I was going to lose any friends.
Pouring out my feelings and depending on my circle felt weird but a weight was lifted off me the minute I had somebody’s shoulder to cry on. Adjusting to change and allowing myself to depend on people is an ongoing challenge. I’m an introvert + a private person meaning talking about my life and feelings is an issue for me and I don’t know if that will ever change. I can’t promise I’m not going to have a meltdown the next time a significant change occurs. I can’t promise I’m going to be an open book one day. I can’t promise I won’t backslide to feeling like I don’t need people and I don’t need to talk. All I can do is make a conscious effort to try to work on these flaws.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting on us” - Joseph Campbell