Chapter 22: "Checking Up" on Your Friends
One of the biggest things to come out of this year was the trend "checking on your friends". You're going to see why I call it a trend in about a minute or so, but it seems to me that whenever there is a movie/show/song/ where mental health is being addressed or, God forbid, someone commits suicide, all of the sudden, everyone rehashes the phrase "make sure you check on your friends". But I used the word "trend" for a reason. I looked up the word and one of the definitions said "the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time". This didn't concern me until I saw a picture depicting 2018's "Meme Calendar" and began thinking where I was when each meme was at its prime. The "Unpopular Opinion: ______ Edition" period of 2018 is where these thoughts came into fruition. If you're not on Twitter, you're probably unfamiliar with this. But there was a point in the year where everyone stated their opinions about certain topics that were unorthodox compared to everyone else's. This wasn't necessarily a meme, but it was a trend that opened up many necessary conversations, including one about mental health. I remember one of the tweets loosely going like "Unpopular Opinion: Mental Health Edition - Everyone acts as if they care about mental health because it's trendy to act like you care about things. Someone kills themselves & all of the sudden everyone wants to 'check up on their friends' for a few days." That was in, perhaps, May & I never forgot that. It's true. This is the part where I call YOU out.
I know it's very trendy to say that you have no friends, but when was the last time you hit up your friends checking up on them? (holiday and birthday messages don't count) This could be the friends you see everyday, only during set times in the year, during the school year, etc. When was the last time you had a conversation with them about how everything was going? Even just a "how do you do"?
The reason why I'm writing a chapter on this is because I've been struggling with being on the receiving end of this trend. I don't have a problem with the holiday/birthday messages on its own, but the problem arises when I notice that (A) I'm only getting a notification from someone on those days and they are ghost on every other day or (B) I'm only getting a notification from someone if it is convenient for them. I've alway been described by those closest to me as "too nice for my own good" or "a doormat" because I don't have that much of a backbone to really stand up for myself and let people know that I won't accept their BS. I hate confrontation, which is why I don't call this garbage out. I let God handle it. But sometimes, I don't get how people don't grasp that sometimes, it's hurtful. I would stray away from reaching out to certain people because I have prior knowledge of who they are by their presence in my life. If they've shown that they are worth it, I would make the call/text. If not, I'd play the long game like they do, at least until the holidays come. But do you know how much that sucks? There are times where I'm not okay and I would not know who to talk to and it's weird if I just talk to someone that hasn't hit me back in like five months. Like, I know you're not mad at me and I know you're busy with life, but damn. It shouldn't be a THICK five months of little to NO engagement. Like, did you die or not? Did you get engaged or didn't you (OH MY GOSH the worst is when they are in relationships and forget that they have other friends, but that's another topic for another day on another blog)? I need to know these things!
But then again, I have to take some steps back and realize that the phone works both ways. There are certainly a select few people that only get a text from me whenever it's a holiday or if I'd want to make them read one of these chapters. I'll admit it. There are too many times where I would play the "I have no friends" card because my high school friends and college friends want to act up, but I would fail to even acknowledge the friends I only see during Marist events or summer camps and elementary school friends that stuck by me. But, it's weird to hit people up just to say "what's up". It's going to sound like I need a favor or whatever...see, this is one of my issues: OVERTHINKING. When I post this chapter, I am hitting up a bunch of people I don't normally talk to and I AM GETTING MY UPDATES! Y'ALL ARE FEELING THIS LOVE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!
(Actually because I brought this up, I just want to mention that I have been getting better at just checking up on people. I have most of my friends on snapchat, so I would just take time out to send out mass "you're doing great sweetie, i believe in you, i love you, just wanted to check in and see if you didn't die yet, God bless, lol bye" messages through there. I'm telling you, it helps people out. Seeing my friends' reactions are so cute, so you should SO do it! Okay, back to the chapter.)
I've touched on conversation becoming taboo in some of my earliest chapters, but I just want to reiterate this. We all have the tendency to focus so much on what we have to do that we never give anything else our energy, including those that matter to us. I'm not telling you to hit up people everyday and pine for a conversation. You should definitely give people time to miss you and vice versa. However, you can't forget that you have friends. You can't just only hit them up on holidays or when you find it convenient. I believe that part of growing up is realizing the importance of being present. Being present BOTH physically and emotionally in any way you can is what keeps friendships alive. It shows people that distance and time is not going to keep you from being there for them. What is the point of having friends if you're going to neglect them/forget that they're there?
So, yeah. That's how I feel about this "trend" of "checking up on your friends". When y'all ready to not make this a trend anymore, give me a call.
Sincerely Yours Sometimes,
PS: SONG OF THE WEEK: KYLE featuring Alessia Cara - Babies
(Every time I post, I will include a song that may or may not correlate with the topic I write about. This is me thanking you for reading my posts by gifting you with good music.)