I had a realization tonight. I am everyone’s friend but not their best. And I am okay with that. Or I used to be.
I’ve had bouts of loneliness these past couple of months. Loneliness that was triggered by a misunderstanding on my 30th birthday. It made me question things about certain friendships. Things that were only in the back of my head that I’ve been trying to ignore until tonight.
I’d like to think I am a good friend. While I’m not the type to be on messenger with you 24/7, I can honestly say if you text me at 2AM and need me somewhere, I will do my best to be there.
I don’t begrudge my friends for having lives of their own. I’ve never been the type to get jealous about friends having other set of friends. It never occurred to me to be jealous because when you’re past 20, having a job of your own and exploring possibilities, you’re bound to meet more people and make connections.
But it’s tough when you do so much for other people to always be given so little. I never thought so much about it. Be it material or just the gift of time, I see it as something substantial and learn to be thankful. Lately though, I am tired. Tired of being given thoughtless gifts. Tired of not being enough to spend one’s weekend off with even if it’s my 30th birthday. Tired of sending “want to have brunch?”, only to be sent another “maybe soon” at the end of the line. A maybe soon that translates to when I can remember you or when there’s no one else. Tired of something as little as my food choices not being considered (FYI: I am a selective eater) and I either have to come later or not at all because I am not a priority.
Am I asking for too much? I just want to be treated with enough respect. Enough to not feel like someone optional or a second fiddle.
These past few months, I tried waiting instead of approaching first. Being ignored makes you doubt yourself. Am I being annoying? Maybe they prefer not having me around? Questions that shatter my confidence and make me feel silly and so little. So I wait and wait.
I don’t think myself as needy. I can perfectly eat out and go to movies alone. I do have moments when I feel down like everyone else does. Moments, not in any way related to PMS, when I wish I had a friend nearby or even just someone to have a tub of ice cream with on a lunch break. Moments like right now. It does feel godawful to realize that even when you have a friend from 5 minutes away, you’re not enough. There’s someone better.
I have insecurities like everyone does. But I hate being insecure about other people. That’s never been me. So one can only imagine how these thoughts have been eating me up. I don’t want to be this type of person.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. It’s why I never thought to question these things up until now. I did my best to be enough and be content with what I was given. But accepting this treatment from other people, especially from some of closest of friends, made me think of how little I have treated myself just for things to stay all rosy. Maybe if I treat myself better, I will be treated better.
Being honest with myself and writing this post is a start.
“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince