It was 8:58 am when I got up this morning. I know some people are like “so, what! I’ve been up since 6:45am,” so for those people I guess I should mention that I didn’t get off work last night until 2 am. And then didn’t close my eyes until about 4:15 am.
I don’t get a lot of sleep lately. The night before last I didn’t lie down until almost 8 am. I’d like to think that I was up so late because I had a deadline for the other blog I write for, but I am not sure that’s the whole truth. I think the reason for the recent insomnia has more to do with my birthday next week. Something about turning 29 has me single-mindedly focused on the life I have versus the life I want. Right now my present and my future are like two strangers in a bar seeing each other for the first time from across the room. It seems like “present life” is a little shy and hasn’t quite worked up the courage to formally introduce itself to “new life.” Right now, she is just kind of flirting with new life. You know, batting eyelashes and showing a little thigh, but no words have been exchanged.
So last night, while I was helping “present life” work on her social skills and courage, I was caught off guard by something I saw in the search bar of my computer. From what I could gather of the recent search history, it looked like my gf had been looking up more information on my previous addiction. I was moved to tears. I am sure that she has no clue that I saw it and she probably won’t know until she reads this. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of writing done because her covert research made me think…. about love. What it is…. and what it isn’t.
My girlfriend did what she did, because she wanted to understand me. To better be able to identify with my life experience. I am sure that she didn’t tell me about the research because she didn’t want to embarrass or alienate me. She did it because she loves me and she was willing to spend her free time and energy learning about me. To some it may seem like a small thing, but to me it speaks volumes to the love that we have and the love that I want to nurture in my other relationships.
In an effort to put this into some context, let’s take a look at Facebook.
I am a self proclaimed Facebook junkie, I was a late bloomer so when I finally got on the Facebook bandwagon, I was like a Nicki Minaj in a wig store! But with all that Facebooking there come a fare share of pet peeves. The greatest of these is the preoccupation everyone seems to have with haters.
I wish I could get in my hot tub time machine and warp back to whatever idiot came up with the term hater and kick them in the side of the head. Because ever since 1998, everybody has become so paranoid that everybody else is hating on them. I personally think it’s a little ridiculous that people think all other people have to do is spend time being jealous of their new shoes. I want to tell them, “get a life, you narcissistic, pompous asshole.” The reality is there are more people who don’t give a fuck about you than do…and that’s the real problem. You're real anger is not that you think people hate you...it that they don't love you enough.
I don’t know about you but in my house, I wasn’t even allowed to say the word hate without my mother correcting me. She told me hate was a strong word and that I shouldn’t use it unless I really meant it. Years later, I realized she was right. The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. If you think about it it takes just as much, if not more energy to hate something than it does to love it. But indifference on the other hand is the absence of caring altogether. And this is the topic of my post today, indifference. Or the absence of love.
People just don’t give as much of a fuck nowadays as they used too. As my birthday approaches, I am even more aware of the prevalence of indifference. Now, I feel like it’s all the more important to have lovers around me. People who not only love and support me but themselves. But it seems like the closer I get to living my best life, the smaller my circle gets.
Yet, I am sure that that on my birthday things will appear much different. Because on your birthday, everyone is ready to pop bottles and buy you shots, but is this really love? Where were these same people when you needed groceries, or good advice? Where were they when you needed help with your resume’ or someone to proofread your personal statement for grad school?
In an earlier post, I talked about how my gf and I love each other on purpose. I learned a long time ago that love is an action so if you love something…. it has to be on purpose. Let me be clear, I am not trying to imply that my friends don’t love me; I am merely stating that the level of indifference among young people is rising in general. And sadly, friendship has not escaped unscathed.
We say we do it because we are busy. But the truth is, we are just lazy. We have all become accustomed to lack luster lazy love. We live in a time where it’s suitable and common to have purely Facebook friendships. Think about it. On our friends’ birthdays, we post 3 words (Happy Birthday__________!) on their page. The exclamation point is supposed to imply that we are happy that they are alive. Some of us may even send a text message, but you get my point. When we find out that we have been blessed with a baby, we put the ultrasound picture in a status update. I have “friends” who are pregnant right now and I have been periodically checking their Facebook page to see if the baby has been born. I know I can’t expect a call…so I don’t even play myself lol.
Being in love makes it easier for me to identify what real love looks and feels like. I know now that love is something that you do, not just something that you say. The people and things that you love, you invest in. It’s an investment of time, energy and money. Sometimes it seems like our friends have a smaller and smaller role in our lives, as we get older. And it’s true that for many of us, the late 20s are a time to seek out and nurture romantic relationships. But that doesn’t mean you friends are obsolete. It just means that with less space in your life, the people you choose to have in it become more and more important.
My mother was only 42 years old when she passed away. And while I hope/pray and plan to live much much longer than that, in the back of my mind I do the math in my head every year. I think about all the people who never got the chance to tell her how much they loved her before she died. A lot of them didn’t get the chance.
Two days ago, my gf helped her best friend get ready to go the Peace Corp. The two were up all night, packing and washing and getting ready for her to go. They were so busy preparing for the trip that they didn’t have time to talk or cry or do any of the mushy stuff they both needed to do in order to truly deal with what was happening. It made me wonder how many times we have worked so hard to prepare for something physically and then when it came we were unprepared emotionally. The result of course was both of this lack of emotional preparation was both gf and her bff having a breakdown in the airport. Overwhelmed with all the things they wanted to say and couldn’t or didn’t for whatever reason. Believe me; I know it takes a lot to be a friend when you are busy being a wife, a mother, a professional, a dream-catcher, a rockstar, etc. But it’s necessary. We are all busy. My gf stayed up all night the other night, went to work the next day, but still found the energy to do research about me. To me, that's love. It's not just the thought...its the effort that makes the difference.
You never know how much time you have with people….so cherish the moments that you do. Reach out and touch the people that you love and not just on their birthdays or Christmas. You never know how long you have with people and you don’t want to be left holding a faded photograph, reading a Facebook profile, when you used to have a friend.
Who do you love?