Whenever I think about turning 25 I hear the intro to the last season of the Oprah show where Paul Simon sings twenty five, twenty five in this slow melancholy way. Oprah was on for 25 years and Tupac died at 25, the number 25 is pretty significant in the lives of my heroes. So I decided to this Oprah style. What I know for sure (at 25).
I am learning that there is no prize to be given for navigating life without anyone. For showing everybody that you don’t need them. There is no award given for never crying on someone else’s shoulder, for keeping in all the hurt. Because if there was…
But I also know there is no prize for having the most people in your life. You don’t get an award for putting up with people who add no value to your life. No one is going to congratulate you for keeping the same toxic person in your life since elementary school. 3,500 friends on Facebook mean absolutely nothing in the real world.
So I am trying to negotiate a space between self-imposed solitude and thinking everyone is my best friend.
My birthday yesterday, was quite different from my previous one in Haiti. I spent it in Arizona. I took myself to a movie (New Year’s Eve), had some Ethiopian take out, went rock climbing, went to another movie (50/50), ate french fries, downed a bottle of champagne and called it a day.
I have been called cocky on more than one occasion. I prefer the word confident. I am well aware of my strengths and I am very honest about my weaknesses. I try to be sincere in all that I do. I am good friend.
I am strong believer that people will treat you however you allow them to treat you. Many times the way other people treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself. When you set standards people will either rise to them or they won’t but you have to let you expectations be known. There is a huge difference between the work ethic of a child who knows their parents only accepts A- work out of them, versus the work ethic of a child who parent doesn’t set any goals for them. This is the same thing with any type of relationships; let people know your standards and expectations. What are your non-negotiables?
For me, the two things I must have in any close friendship, relationship or partnership are reliability and consistency. This does not mean I need you to talk to me every day, I just need your actions to be consistent. And when you say something I need to be able to believe it. This is what I NEED. And no matter how beautiful and smart you are. How amazingly cool and perfect you are…if you can’t give this to me I have no problems cutting you out of my life. And it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. There are several people that I have cut out of my life or no longer hold them in such a close space- that I love so dearly and would still do just about anything for them. But I love myself more and I can no longer allow them the same access to my life because they are not willing or able to give me what I need.
I spent my 24th year breaking down-physically, emotionally and spiritually (more on that later). My “inner-circle” has also been broken down. The states of my relationships have so drastically changed in a years’ time. I am looking forward to building up this coming year. Since I am quite vain I am starting with my body, I have my first Crossfit competition in January. It is all about that core strength aka my abs.
I think I have proven to everybody including myself that I am able to make it alone. I have traveled to foreign countries by myself. I have moved halfway across the country with no friends or family remotely close. I have spent both Christmas and my birthday alone. I go to movies alone. I eat alone. I live alone. Safe to say I can do just about anything by myself and not want or desire another person with me.
I know that for sure.
But what I don’t know is if I can survive with someone else. Could I travel with someone? Could I live with someone? Hell, can I be friends- real friends with someone (I am talking Oprah and Gayle style)? Will I ever allow myself to be able to depend on another human being? The thought of depending on someone else is more terrifying than being alone in the slums of Honduras at night.
I have a habit of saying “No one really matters anyway.” That comment is usually preceded by an expletive. I had friend who always got mad whenever I said it, she said the comment hurt her. Truth is people matter to me a lot and rather than face the disappointed of no mattering to someone as much as they matter to me, I force myself to believe that no one really matters in my world. I am always ready and expecting people to leave.
So let’s see what 25 has in store. Let it be monumental or unsubstantial. Let it be audacious or low-key. Just let it be.