Why A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
The unfolding of this year has been a nightmare. As you slowly but surely become unrecognizable to yourself, the symptoms of depression become that much more cumbersome to manage, as you swiftly assume the role of victimhood to justify why shit is bad beyond belief.
Some of it is uncontrollable. Life is a journey that makes no promises about how you will be spared the worst case scenario.
We are taught that working hard and being consistently ambitious leads to the rewards that we reap if we’ve earned that privilege.
But then I look at the tragedies that befall those who followed that rulebook and exceeded the highest expectations, and I wonder why we try so hard to succeed, if the end result is our scheduled demise, way before our time.
When the new year was upon us, my beating heart didn’t ecstatically respond to the blessing of greeting a new decade.
All I could summon was the palatable fear of what lies ahead, and why there’s no joy in getting older, and realizing that your parents will most likely not survive the next 10 years.
But the worst has to be the ongoing displacement.
Not too long ago, I knew exactly who I was and why that meant something. There was a tangible meaning to my existence that kept me awake, inspired and most of all alive.
Creativity that bursts from every facet of your being is heaven on earth. I was enthralled with what I could do when I was stuck in a corporate job, that threatened the evidence of what I could be, if only those avenues were unclogged.
Being a writer who was desperate to write for the thrill of manifesting natural instincts introduced me to prospects that fulfilled those commands.
While balancing the 9 to 5 beat, I was able to develop my own outlet, while taking requests from editors who entrusted me with the responsibility to do what I do best.
Those were the best days!
I was blissfully ignorant of the reality of online journalism, and naively believed that I was toiling towards the goal of being able to shed the heavy weights, that prevented the freedom of being able to indulge in the DNA of functionality.
I’ve done it all!
When it was clear that time was of the essence, I made the decision to move to Los Angeles, the land of TV and film, and the instant fame that happens when you’re looking.
I met a friend who isn’t a friend anymore, and we both collaborated on the projects that are good enough for exposure, but die a premature death.
In the midst of incoherency is the friend who loves you more than you love yourself.
You both met when shit was so good.
The decade when bad times could be managed with happy hours after thankless days of work, and expanded to the shores of South Beach, when annual visits provide the reboot that lasts long enough to make life livable.
She knows what you’re like at your best and worst, and receives them all the same
When we met, I was completely comfortable in the dual role of corporate slave for the benefit of an Upper East Side haven, that was mere blocks away from her building.
I was in that phase of formidability in the presence of anything and anyone that would even begin to fuck with my tolerance for battles that are created to prove me wrong.
Our bonding came from the euphoria of being champions in the ring of fire.
She isn’t a college graduate but she worked hard for the entrance into the palatial pillars of a foremost financial institution. I had the credentials, and for the first three years, there was the glimpse of validation that faded when it was clear that our government holds all the cards.
The point is that a friend in need is absolutely a friend indeed.
Like I said, life has been cruelly reflective of poor choices and what happens when we buy the deception of how we can win when the odds are wickedly stacked against us.
You greet every morning with the death wish that symbolizes why there won’t be a way out of the overgrown weeds, that come with elongated traps.
I was the unapologetic hustler, who owned her shit, and performed accordingly.
And now, I have no idea what my name is, and if I heard the roll call, the automatic response would be to hide underneath an imaginary covering.
But my dear friend isn’t having it!
Her job is to shame me for daring to recline in the armchair that promises to suffocate my ability to override the controls of my discontent.
She set me straight in a matter of minutes.
It’s hard to fight back, but why would I choose to pathetically run away from the blood-drenched location that thrives off of my resigned altitude.
Depression is always my companion, but when things are as bad it gets, my thoughts embark on a road trip that leads to ghastly detours.
When I reached out to my friend, I honestly considered it the recorded map of where I intended to go, despite the preconceived notions of such a final conclusion.
But she mercilessly thwarted what she didn’t even know to be true.
Yes, life is hard. And being a member of an age bracket that limits attractiveness is any market can reduce you to bits.
You will never be that girl at a time when winning was reachable. You will never embody the environment that easily succumbs to the overwhelming consensus that nobody will dare to refute.
My exhaustion is her strength and she gave it to me good.
She cares about me. I never took that for granted, but when it’s in your face without filter, you can’t help but be grateful for the accessibility that means the difference between life and death.
I woke up ready to draft my eulogy.
When I reached out to my friend, she gave me permission to allow the future to show me why I need to be here in the first place.
I guess my hope is that we all have that person, who will hear us out, and not condemn the words that freely fall — come what may.
It’s not the solution, but it saves.
And in those hours of duress, that’s the dealbreaker.