I Am an Awful Friend

I am so sorry that I feel as though I am an awful friend right now. Sometimes you get so embroiled in a project that it consumes all your resources, every waking moment. I started this project that I’ve put off for over ten years, and those of you who know me well, know it’s about time.

And then, not long after I decided to go forward with this project, the world gets shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hugely unfortunate for the whole world.

This has affected us all in different ways. Many of us are finding ourselves celled-in and this is causing huge problems around our nation. Problems that may be far worse than the effects of the coronavirus itself, as we’re all trying to find ways to survive, and no one would blame you for going a little stir crazy.

Thanks to technology, we have access to others, so we’re not totally cut off.

While this pandemic has offered my friends a little free time, for me, it actually resulted in eating up some of my former hours that I would usually sleep to keep the project moving forward during the shut-down.

There are so many things that need to be done, some I am unable to do during these times, which have made the things that I can do far more complicated and time-consuming… Not a problem. For those that know me well, you know that when I get my teeth into something good, I do whatever it takes to get ‘er done. So, I’m pushing forward. Much more in force than power at the moment.

That is to say, I’m feeling like I am pushing forward in my flesh, when I’d rather relax and let things unfold naturally. But I’ve reasoned that if I want to be ready to rock when the fog of this pandemic lifts, I need to man-up now, even if it’s more difficult.

I am still making room in my schedule for my clients, whose needs have also grown exponentially, as you might imagine, which as you know has always been a priority for me, as well.

Here am I, eating my own cooking again. I preach “when the going gets tough,” and, “how are you gonna get where you wanna be, if you’re not moving?”

I feel like I cannot let this coronavirus-thing take me out.

At the same time, all my friends are reaching out to me. I get that. But I’m so overwhelmed right now, trying to stay on track, I really don’t have time to commiserate or cavort with friends right now, and I know you guys need me right now.

This breaks my heart, that I feel like I cannot be with all of you right now. You know I love you, and I miss you as much as you’re missing me (maybe more).

On this surface, this might appear to be rude or insensitive, and I want you to know, more than anything that this is not the case. I am just so overwhelmed with all the pressure of this, right now, that I do not have the bandwidth to actively connect with you, whom I care deeply about.

I want you to know that I love you now more than ever, and just knowing that you are there, cheering me on, at a time when we should be able to spend more time together, helps me get through the day.

I know it might seem like I am an awful friend, right now, but believe me, I don’t care about you any less, and I love our love and friendship, and cherish it more now than ever, and I apologize for not “being there” for you during this crisis.

Please forgive me if I appear to be an awful friend, right now, I am doing the best I can with what I have, and bless you for your understanding and encouragement. We will celebrate when this cloud is lifted.

Sending my love to you.

-David M Masters

Who Are Your Real Friends?

You’re a friendly person. You’ve made some friends. Then one day you wake to discover that there are friends and there are “friends.” So, who are your real friends?

Friends may look and feel similar on the surface, you feel good around them and have fun. When things get lean or rough, or maybe you need a little more support than usual, that’s when you find out who are your real friends.

Real friends have your back no matter what, unlike friends who may not be so genuine who make themselves scarce when times get rough. They are supportive of you, even when you suggest that you might like to try a bit of coloring outside the lines. If you want to explore or experience something new, they may or may not agree, or come along, but they will always support your right to do so and be excited to hear your stories about how it went, without judgment.

Over time friends get increased access to all the different sides of you. As they get to know you and all idiosyncrasies, real friends see these as interesting or “cute” sides of yourself, even that whacky unpredictable side of you that very few people know. They see these as individualities which make you a “cool” person, and they feel a sense of honor for getting to know you more intimately.

Unlike your shallower friends, those who are your real friends accept you just the way you are, however and whenever that might be. You don’t have to get dressed-up or fix yourself up to do a live video chat with your real friends. And they know that it goes both ways. You can meet at a coffee shop in your sweats like it’s “no thing.” It doesn’t matter because you share more than a superficial surface connection.

All your friends want you to make time for them, and you do a pretty good job, but what about when you would like them to come along with you, or meet you to share some quality time? Where are they? Your real friends will make time for you, even if it’s outside their normal schedule because real friends actually care about you, just as much as you care about them.

When you really need someone talk to, to share your heart with, your real friends will be there supporting you even in your toughest of times. If you’re sad, they might feel just as sad as you do but will try to be the strength you need when times get hard. They do not impose their views or advice, nor tell you what to do about whatever it is that’s troubling you. They let you express yourself fully, without judgment, empathetically supporting you along the way, reassuring you that things will be okay.

When all the other friends have faded away, your real friends will still be there. Even after long periods of time of not being in each other’s presence, when you get together again, it’s not like one day has passed and you pick up right where you left off.

And when you step on the wayside, lose your balance and falter, if they are not there to catch you when you fall, they will be there to help you pick up the pieces. Even if you’ve done something that has inadvertently caused harm to your friends, your real friends will not hold a grudge and they will forgive you because they are compassionate and know that they make mistakes, too, sometimes.

Above all your real friends value your confidence. They trust you and you trust them. You can tell your most intimate secrets to a real friend, and they will not tell your tales behind your back. Real friends protect you and respect you’re entrusting them with these sensitive details.

Who are your real friends? They’re the ones who’ve got you, no matter what.

A real friend has the potential to become your best friend.

The other friends, who might not be so genuine, will show their true colors soon enough. Hopefully, you don’t have to learn about them through friend betrayal.

Try not to judge them, for they are only doing the best they can with what they have. Maybe they will learn how to be better friends later in life. Who knows?