Friendship: Why wasn't I invited?
In the blogging community, FOMO is a real thing. This topic is especially poignant given that it's NYFW. And for what it's worth, I've attended several times and I am totally okay with not being there this year. It's not all glitz and glam...it's a lot of schlepping, sweating, missed cabs, foot pain and hunger. Would I go again? For sure. Am I okay with missing a few? Most definitely! But, I digress...
At the beginning of the year I polled my IG community on topics that they wanted me to dive deeper into. The most popular content buckets were career, friendship and family. I've covered a lot thus far but I'm a little light on friendship so here we are today...tackling that beast. In fact, a dear friend text me after that poll and specifically asked me to write about friendship, invites and FOMO. It's a hard topic, I won't lie. I started writing this post on January 23 for perspective.
On a personal level, no different than any other blogger out there, I get a lot of invites, too. And, I'm grateful. They range from restaurant openings to boutique events to panel discussions to cocktail hours. Honestly, it's really nice to be invited although I will tell you that I am a lot more selective these days. I suppose on a deeper level I am weighing the following options:
- What will I get out of this by attending?
- Is it worth paying a babysitter for? Is my husband out of town?
- Will it be the same old crowd?
- How intimate is it? Will I be able to make real connections?
Yes, some nights I need a real night out and they serve that purpose quite well but often times I am jockeying the above and carefully measuring my precious time. 40 is a life changing year, guys.
Okay, so you've got the invitations and now your friends, associates and fellow girl squads are planning a dinner except you didn't get an invite and you're standing there like an idiot. Ever happen?
This year, more than ever, I have learned to find my tribe. And that tribe really showed up in the most unexpected places. Some were mere mutual acquaintances a year ago and now they are on my speed text and a complete breath of fresh air. Some were there but the bond grew closer. Several are not bloggers AT ALL and thank god for that and some were stifled due to other friendships that cast a cloud over the relationship. Some are better-than-ever reunions that happily fell back into my life.
Bottom line, friendships are a living, breathing organism and they change. They evolve. And, I've learned to be okay with that; most often I have to because I have no control. BUT, and this is a big one, do I have moments of insecurity or nostalgia? 100% yes. And these are the questions I ask myself:
- If the invite was extended, would I really have gone?
- Would these people be there if I had an emergency?
- What are these friendships based on? Personal gain? Blogging? Or realness?
- If it wasn't on Instagram, would I really even care?
- Who am I taking time away from to spend time with these people?
- How do these people make me feel when I am with them and after?
I think #6 is the most important. I've spent a good part of my life spending time with people that made me feel like I wasn't worthy and that is a tough pill to swallow. Friendships can be just as abusive as dating or spouses...it is a relationship, after all.
So what's the solution? Girls, the solution is easy. You know the people who make you feel good and the effort is minimal. Stop trying so hard and just BE WITH THEM...whoever those people are. Make an effort to organize small dinners, start a new group, meet for coffee - invest in them and stop trying to be that square peg fitting in a round hole.
An individual once told me, " You know Jo, not everyone is going to like you. You're not going to get every invite." At the time, I thought, "What a bitchy thing to say to someone." I mean, at the core, I think every parent has taught their children that lesson so thanks for the reminder. But then I thought about it further and years later I realized one thing from that statement. I should thank that individual because they were right - you're not my people. You make me feel crummy.
I'll leave you with this...stop trying to be the square peg. Be the star, be inclusive and start your own tribe because dammit ladies, life is just too dang short! Happy Freakin' Friday!