Trapped in Friendship
Cheers to being halfway done with Junior year at the Illustrious Howard University. "In this essay, I will discuss…friendship". In all seriousness, what is a friend? I want to start this blog off with a simple definition. Oxford says, "a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations." However, I'd like to add that a true friend is a friend even when it may not be convenient.
Alex play, "Lean on me" by Bill Withers.
I've spent what seems like my entire undergrad feeling people out and observing them to see if they were worth my time. Coming from Syracuse, I already had a preconceived notion that people don't have my best interest at heart -- based on past experiences of course. But how was I supposed to change that? Trust people for free? Hell Nah, they have to earn that just like they do respect 'round here. At first, I talked to everyone and decided to be a social butterfly. That was fun, but I felt fake after a while. Everyone didn’t seem to bring the same energy I was giving off. It felt like some people were giving back negativity. Have you ever heard that when you have sex, that person becomes a part of you? That’s how I feel when I interact with people.
Freshman year I didn’t understand how to place people in boundaries yet, so I was taking in a lot of energy. I also craved friends because I didn’t know anyone, so you can see my issue. My friends back home didn't understand my life here and I didn’t have anyone else to relate with. I eventually created a group of friends here who were solid. I was still skeptical of sharing myself with them but it was really fun enjoying their company. It was great until… 3/5 of them proved me right. You know, that people don't deserve to know me and be trusted. When I was finally so worn out I didn't want to talk to anyone unless I had to. I didn’t like people hugging me because I wasn't sure what type of energy they would hand to me, but I said I was talking about friendship in this essay, so let's skip a couple of scenes.
Junior year opened my eyes. I stuck to people who weren't good for my growth. It seemed that they could show me their colors multiple times and because I was comfortable I was blind to the fact that they didn't rock with me. Maybe they were keeping their friends close and their enemies closer? I prayed more, read the Qur'an more and truly started my spiritual journey. It showed me more about myself as a person. I'm growing more and more each day. When I went to South Africa I got a crystal, Citrine. The Citrine crystal stone is linked as a manifesting stone, dispelling negativity while giving optimism and mental clarity-- the Vitamin-D of the soul. When I returned back to America I prayed that Allah re-direct me to who I'm supposed to be around, remove people that don't need to be around me, while pointing me in the direction I'm supposed to be going. I hoped that wasn't too much. Allah asked me if I was ready and when I said yes, the next day I had a dream. This dream literally wrote out in stone what I needed to feel because when Allah gave me signs I looked at it and said: "good thing I can't read." It made me feel people's words and actions towards me. Not giving me an opportunity to be blind to these actions or avoid how they made me feel. It forced me to realize….my "friends" were no good for me. They didn't deserve to be my friend. They didn't deserve to know me that way and that’s okay. However, when Allah did that he also opened up a door.
This doorway was almost magical. It had so many familiar faces at the forefront, but as I walked in I seen more and more people I knew. It was people I met freshman year. Allah told me that these were the people I was supposed to be around this entire time. At first, I was stumped because why now? I haven’t spoken to some of them since Freshman year, but one thing about God is his timing is never late. I began to see the people from the doorway in odd places. I could think about them and later that day see them randomly in the library. It seemed like it was always a coincidence. Yet my God is a purposeful God. We started rekindling our relationship and it wasn't just about school. To me, that's the most important part. Substance. Meaningful and insightful communication. Yes, we have a foundation, a commonality of what brought us together, but how are we building from that? For example, we know each other from the School of Business, but are we only going to talk about classes or will I get to know who you are as a person and you get to know me as a person?
All in all, don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and let God lead the way. God brought some amazing people into my life and I'd like to thank you all for staying ten toes with me. You know, not everyone is 100% and just because they're 100 to someone else doesn’t mean they will be to you. Thank you all for making my Howard experience more memorable and meaningful one day at a time. It's also important to remember that people come with boundaries. Some people are only supposed to be around you when it's time to have fun, or it's org. night, so don't let that trick you into being trapped into a friendship that's not worthy of your time.
Shout out to some of my amazing friends: Evan Robbins, Matthew Rickman, Téa Johnson, Idalis Sosa, Je'Cynthia Nonar, Oneekah Hall, Anthony Williams-Birden, Mahalia Edwards, Nia Gilliam, Eathyn Edwards, Taylor Ellison, Omega Nugent, Lynee Phillips, Darice Upchurch, Jordynne Tucker, Chenzia Hall, Mya Wells, Nigel Wimberly, and Jordan Toombs.
*Note: if I didn't name you, don't be offended. Friends lie on a spectrum and while there are some friends that are near and dear to my heart who aren’t listed; these individuals truly made an impact on my life this year… and this blog all along was about new friendships.
- Signing off,