As customary as the falling of snow, the drop in temperature and the erecting of festive things which seem to show up earlier every year, this time also presents a time for reflection. As I look back at what 2015 has given, I can’t miss what it has also taken away. Of the things I’ve lost this year, the most disheartening have been friendships.
In entrepreneurship, the heads tell you that everyone who starts out with you will not all make it to the Promised Land. I’m a bit of a loner by default so that fact wasn’t that scary to me. It’s when I began to notice the higher I climbed, those I hadn’t dreamed would leave my side had grown more faint. At times you just trudge through knowing that the road isn’t always easy while other times you sit in it and wonder who dropped the ball. Being a black woman business owner who also is a mother carries a bevy of guilt trips: being labeled selfish, taking on too much, the tired anecdotes of “you’re too busy for me” and “your fingers broke?”
It’s exhausting chasing and catching dreams not just due to the hustle but also dodging the hurdles of people who don’t want to go with you but also don’t want to be left behind. How is that balanced? Can it be?
Since taking on new ventures and meeting new faces, old faces have grown distant and, it seems, resentful. Could it be my life changing has little to do with yours? That love is still present even if my face and time aren't? The heart of it is…I’m just tired. Tired of needing to be at the beck and call of friends who have not purchased a book, shared a link, read a blog post, liked a photo, recommended services or requested a shoot without the free.99 tagline. I’ve worked so hard for this and I shouldn’t have to shirk it – set myself ablaze to keep warm those who want to drop every detail of their lives on me while their eyes glaze over when I talk about my things. My life has grown, my connections have grown, my name and brands have grown while my circle has gotten smaller. While some may never feel that pang of guilt, I feel it intensely. Yet, I won’t give back what God has given because I didn’t request permission from some to move forward. I’m one who knows when life changes: a new baby, new relationships, new career, new responsibilities, life and friendships change as well. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I just want the people in my life who still reside under that friend moniker to do that same. And if that can’t be, I wish you all the best without me. Not in anger or bitterness, but in the knowledge that we have hit our fork and now we must part. Wish me well, not bad mojo.
Joi "Unspeakable" Donaldson