A few weeks ago, Tia Mowry tweeted:
Did you see it?
Of course, she immediately received tons of replies along the lines of, “We are in the middle of a global pandemic, get over yourself”. Someone even called her a narcissist. I would not have gone that far. But perhaps she didn’t take a moment to consider what her loved ones, friends, we’re going through. I’m not sure what she was thinking. She didn’t even reply to anyone regarding the tweet. In fact, she deleted it altogether.
Honestly, without giving it any thought, I kind of agreed with her. Ok maybe not agreed but I could see where she may have been coming from. The Rona has got some folks in their feelings with all of this extra time at home to sit and do nothing and even makeup scenarios and assumptions in their heads. I understand. Rona tried to get all up in my feelings for 3 weeks straight. But I can’t lie, I had been feeling rather lonely myself. And maybe in a lonely moment, Tia just happened to have her phone in her hand, didn’t think twice, and tweeted with her emotions like most of us do from time to time. Folks really went in on her. I sort of felt bad for her. But as I sat with it, I felt her. The sentiment resonated with me.
Adult friendships are hard to navigate anyway. What life has taught me… a personal crisis, or now a global crisis, can make it that much more difficult. Once we enter into the adult world, making friends is kind of taboo. We move to cities and towns away from where we attended college. We start dating, dating. We become engaged and then we walk down the aisle. All life changes that impact friendships. It can appear to all go downhill once precious bundles of joy show up, especially if you are the first in the crew to have babies.
After college, I stayed in the same area. I joined a church and added to my friend group, It was solid. Everything was all good until the folk started maturing and outgrowing others. Relationships happened and that didn’t sit well with the territorial ones. Next thing you know, weddings bells, break-ups, and moves, and strong differences in opinions dismantled the group. They say if you want to find out who your friends are, plan a wedding, have a baby, go through a divorce. Some of the most monumental milestones in one’s life, the times when you probably need friends the most, can reveal who is really there.
I have discovered that even amid crisis, one of the biggest, if not the biggest challenges of adult friendships is time. Everyone at this point has their own personal chaos. Their own kids, own families, own work schedules, and routines. Which makes adult friendships hard. Mix all of this with a case of a global pandemic and there is no wonder why Tia Mowry or anyone else may feel disconnected, lonely, or unseen even. I don’t think it’s wrong or selfish to desire active friends. It’s actually healthy to know what you want and what you need from your relationships. What’s important is to know who fits where. I have actually had to do this, recently, myself. I know I have the texting friends. I have the friends that are going to like every one of my posts on IG. I have the friends that I can have the intellectual conversations with and I am aware of the ones that I can’t have said conversations with. It can get tricky when the expectations of each of these friend groups are misplaced.
A few years ago, I received an email from a friend, friend. She’d moved away but had every desire to remain connected. She was vulnerable in her email; told us exactly what she needed from her friends. She spelled it out precisely. I was impressed. The gesture stuck with me. She was bold and courageous enough to know what she needed and asked for it. When I saw Tia’s tweet, I thought, “do her friends know what she’s in need of? Has she made that known?” I have done this myself; expecting things from people, needing them to show up in ways but they had absolutely no idea what I desired. Why? Because I never spoke up. I never just came flat out and said… “Look, I need to see y’alls faces sometimes. I need to hear your voices as opposed to text messages all the time”. So maybe the better thing to have done would have been to reach out to her friends instead of tweeting her feelings. Who really knows?
I value connections. In the space I’m in now, I know I need a physical embrace from someone other than my five-year-old sometimes. I want to hear the gut bursting laughs, instead of reading LMAO sometimes. But, I have a problem with saying what I need. I am getting better at expressing my desires and needs. I’m pushing past the fear of judgment and rejection. After all, we have not because we ask not. Right?