It took me a minute to figure out what the word friend meant. I thought it was the people that I talked to or even hung out with everyday, the people that I went to The Abbey with, the people I got high with - The people that ultimately perpetuated and enabled my destructive behavior. Not to place the blame on them because I had to go through those things to understand the real meaning of the word and get an understanding of self-control and boundaries. Friends are the people that grow with you and don’t judge you. They don’t turn their backs on you especially when the chips are down, when you don’t go to the places you used to go or do the things that you used to do and when you want to do something out of the norm.
I’ve had a lot of friendships, better yet interactions with people, or what I like to call dress rehearsals. They taught me how to appreciate my true, lifetime friends. Over the past few years, in retrospect, I think people were fascinated with the fact that I was quasi-popular, I wrote books and I knew and hung out with famous people. And like that VH-1 show, I question "Where are they now?"
One thing is for sure I take friendship very seriously. I can remember when I was growing up; I was teased for several reasons. And I would always tell myself, never mistreat people the way that I had been mistreated growing up. I never wanted people to feel the way I felt as a kid, the same feelings that I held on to up until college. I haven’t always done the right things by my friends – and I had to learn and be taught what a good friend is. I credit Lalah and Raquel for teaching me about what a true friend is. It was then I was able to correct some of my errors with my friends but and fortunately, we’ve remained close even if we did go a few months or years without talking.
I always think about when I published my first novel 6 years ago. And I remember my so called friends, laughing at me, saying I was lying or just talking, I wasn’t going to write a book and if I did, what would I write a book about. I wrote my book, then I wrote two more and about to release another one…you’d be surprised how those same people treat me now.
When I first decided that I needed to move to – I told a few people, whom I had known for YEARS. In my mind I didn’t think that I would need to conceal information from them, because they had always been supportive of me. You would be surprised at how many people asked me, why I was moving out of state, what about my family, what about this, what about that? If I really thought about other people more than I have, where would I end up?
Friends challenge your growth. They tell you things that are honest that you don’t want to hear. They motivate, inspire, they make you uncomfortable when you are TOO comfortable. They support you no matter what. And they are there when things are all bad. Friends NEVER say or do anything that HOLD YOU BACK OR HOLD YOU UP.
Before I moved from Los Angeles, I had a string of bad luck. I lost several jobs, my car got repoed and it seemed as though I was cursed! All of my friends scattered like roaches. That is when I started to see who my real friends where. The ones that listened, the ones that didn’t judge, the ones that didn’t go behind my back, the ones that were right there and did things without even asking, without wanting anything in return.
I’ve learned a lot in the past 90 days. When I first moved from Los Angeles, I gave myself 90 days to get everything in motion, find a job, place to live, etc. Trust and believe that shit wasn’t easy. There were days where I was ready to pack up and go back to my dismal life and return to my comfort zone, because things were not working in my favor or better yet, the way I wanted them to go, when I wanted them to go. I had truly stepped put on faith. I didn’t know how, why if or when if my move was going to work. And right as I threw my hands up, I literally got off the floor and walked into a fantastic opportunity. (Don’t ever give up)
I was talking to my friend from college earlier today. I always enjoy talking to her, she is one of the few people, I don’t have to explain anything to – because she gets it. She got it from jump. Every time I talk to her, I feel so revitalized and inspired. The way you should always feel when you hang up the phone with someone.
I’ve been through a lot with people. But I’m grateful that I’m able to recognize true friendship and value that.
I want to say thanks to a few people for making a tremendous impact over the last few months and
making my transition to my new home a lot easier. These are the people who a lot of your guys didn’t see, the people that were behind the scenes, the people that held me together to make everything look “perfect” on the outside…the people that made whatever I was going through look easy, especially when my world crumbled. There are always people like this…and a lot of the times they never get credit that they deserve. I want to thank the following people for their unyielding, selfless, grounding friendship and loyalty.
Christian – For all that you’ve done. When I didn’t have a car, you didn’t even ask if I needed to go anywhere or do anything, you just came thru and did it. Not very many people would do that. You made sure that I didn’t stay depressed; you talked a bunch of shit, made me laugh and helped me keep a balanced perspective even when I didn’t think it was possible. And to think we almost got into that bar fight! I appreciate all of the drunken nights on the town…lmao! I can’t wait till we do it again…I can drink because of you…lol
Star – For always listening and having an encouraging word! You reminded me how I’m always doing for others and not enough for me…I appreciate you supporting all of my ventures and keeping it real! I’ll never forget what you said to me at my book release party a few years back. Thank you for making yourself available and checking in on me and just being there! It means a lot.
Karen – You provided the blueprint for me! I thank you for giving me a mold to follow and sharing your notes with me. I appreciate it. You came thru for me this week and it brought me to tears. You are a beautiful spirit and I thank you for all you’ve done over the last 10 years. We can relate to each other with eye contact! And that is priceless…thank you for keeping my diet in order and sharing all of your veggie secrets with me! Can’t wait till we hit the bars again! We just need to find the right people to bar hop with…lol
Kristina – You have made this transition seem seamless to the naked eye. If it were not for you, I would have been back in L.A. a long time ago. Words cannot express my gratitude for all that you’ve done…you’ve keep my operation going, before it was even started. I know I say thank you all the time, but what else can I say to someone who has bent over backwards for me?
Don – Thank you for opening the gates and giving me the space to start my new life. Thank you for dealing with my spazzing, that has to be a lot for someone to see a grown ass man lay on the floor and throw a tantrum like he’s two…my bad!!! It was a crazy week…but thank you for understanding and not judging. You’ve been teaching me a whole lot and you’ve definitely sharpened my ability to deal with people. Thank you bro!
Brandi Moore – I’ve always said you make the best, life long friends in college. You have been a pre-cursor to my writing career! I always tell people how you gave me my VERY FIRST writing job. Thank you for that…you were the one who said to me, “You can be on page 7 one day and the front page the next.” I don’t even have to explain anything to you. Thank you for being 1 of 2 people to see me at my very worst…that’s scary now that I think about it! We share a special connection! I can’t wait to see you.
Kyle – I don’t think I would have been able to finish my book without talking to you…You always seemed to pop out of no where right when I was having a block. You’ve definitely inspired this new project more than I’d like to admit…lol, but I hope you enjoy it. You definitely have made an impact just by being yourself and I appreciate that very much! Get back safe! There is work to be done…
And last but not least…My uncle DuWayne – thank you for pushing me and supporting me all this way. You’ve been a father and a big brother to me and if it weren’t for you listening, supporting, giving advice and giving unselfishly I would still be stuck in park! You’ve been such a blessing to me and I can’t wait till I can pay you back some kind of way for all you’ve done.
Be blessed! Respect, protect and nourish your friendships, for they are like plants. Without proper water and sunlight, they will die of malnourishment.