A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.
A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn’t mind driving you on stupid errands, who will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you.
A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you’re being stupid, but who doesn’t make you feel stupid.
A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, or wait in boring lobbies. You don’t even think about who’s talking or who’s listening in a conversation with a friend.
A friend is someone for whom you’re willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it doesn’t matter if you share interests or traits. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like.
I just tried adding my former friends Bill Stokes and Ron Ostreim on Linkedin.
When I realized something.
Since around 2011, they’ve more or less quit talking to me. What I went through – was hell for me, and at a time I needed friends the most – whether it was these two, or former lovers like Kena Patrel and Jackie Killeen, they completely and totally left my life.
Sure. I went a little crazy for a couple years there, and sent a plethora of emails attempting to find a way to express myself because, being frank, I never had before.
So I understand them all backing off.
But the continued abandonment.
Blocking on Facebook.
And the total lack of attempt to chat with a guy (me) they knew and I THINK they referred to me as a friend – who has adjusted, has settled down mentally and psychologically – and has found a new norm…
Back when I attended ASU, I joined a fraternity, and many people referred to it as ‘Pay for Friendship’. Sure, to some degree, but for me, it was more pay for a common place to party with people who I knew enjoyed partying like I did. It wasn’t pay for friendship. It was pay for a communal place to party.
But Bill and Ron.
Bill, when he found himself without a job in Reno, I got him a highly lucrative contract in Phoenix at Intel. When he needed help flying his plane back from Reno to Phoenix, I was there with him and took over the plane when he got deathly ill.
When he lost that contract, by then I had already opened up my own company with a few partners and hired him when he was out of work.
When he was going through a rough divorce, I had him stay at my place with me and my wife to help him overcome his loneliness.
And while sure, he let me flop at his house for a few months after I started waking up and realizing who I am (Q), but beyond that, never, not once did the guy really go out of his way to do anything for me. Sure, he’d invite me to a few parties and we’d go out for dinner with our significant others.
Did he ever really make our friendship anything more than a lopsided thing that – to this day, has seen me put in more effort, repeatedly, to keep it going and never – not once – has he expended any time, effort and energy into it himself?
Now to be clear, I am not keeping score.
But today, as I saw Ron ignore my request to be a professional contact on LINKEDIN, despite our decades long professional relationship which he clearly has a perspective on…
That’s when it hit me.
It’s been all me. And this self-poisoning behavior I have in repeated attempts to try to reintroduce friends who I deeply cared about, who I took responsibility for scaring them away as I discovered myself and who I really am – people who have never really made any attempts to be there for me when I needed it the most.
It’s been me. The whole time.
Sure, Ron helped me get a contract in Vegas. But it came after I won that contract, so he was only getting me a job I already had.
But Ron. Whether it was Intel, contract work Computer Wholesalers, an introduction to Jeff Hanlon and Shawn Plowman, sure, he did in all fairness ‘trade labor arrangements by getting me into highly toxic environments at nFocus and Encore…
But in all truth.
49 out of 50 times, inviting Ron to anything social never saw his attendance.
Other than lunches. Which were fun. Don’t get me wrong.
But truth be told. I consistently made excuses for him and his lack of self inclusion….
And since then. Over the last 8 years and lack of conversation despite my numerous efforts to try. Finding myself blocked by some on Facebook.
These aren’t friends.
These are toxic energy sieves who aren’t and probably never were concerned about me and my psychological health and state of mind as I’ve seen myself expend all the time and energy in maintaining when there’s never any attempt to reciprocate by them.
What have I been thinking?
Why have I wasted so much time and energy on people who have repeatedly demonstrated they’ve never really cared much to begin with and that my conditional inclusion in their lives came at a cost.
I don’t keep score with friends.
And while it takes me a while to really put things into perspective, this whole time I’ve been thinking I’m the bad guy here for the problems I went through when all I did was take a break from life to discover who I am – I didn’t cope all that well with it – and while I’ve forgiven myself, every one of my former so called friends abandoned me for this.
I’m not the bad guy here.
All of them.
I would say “to hell with these guys”
But I also can honestly say.
IF THEY changed their tune. And took a moment to forgive me and start fresh with a new me I am happier and healthier with, I would VERY QUICKLY re-establish that friendship with these people I still love.
But I’m writing this to throw it out to the cosmos to assert myself and to stop myself from wasting needles cycles on people who clearly don’t appreciate me for me.
I’m done trying.
The ball is in their court.
This includes but is not limited to Bill Stokes, Ron Ostreim, Jackie Killeen, Rachel Gooch, Jeff Kleinman, Lisa Milot, Kena Patel, and Joe and Amy Shay.
I love em all.
But fuck ’em.
For once in my life.
I’d like to see someone work to be my friend, since it’s almost always been the other way around.