Let me preface this whole thing by saying my Birthday is September 6th. And until Friday I had no plans to do anything for my birthday, because I was tired from adulting and I assumed everyone else would be tired from their Adulting, too.
So for the first 8 months of this year, I’ve spent many of my days evaluating friendships and the role they play in my life.
See, until I was about 7 years old I had to ask for my dad's permission, before I made any new friends. The only friends I had according to him, were my brother and the host of cousins we visited every month or so in New York.
There was also that time in elementary school, when I went in for one of my regular student /counselor check-ins and I got into a debate with the counselor. I saw myself as an awkward yet cool elementary outcast, and she saw me as a superstar kid magnet that everyone wanted to be friends with. That unfortunately, was the first time I ever felt like a real jerk, because as SOON as we got back to the classroom these kids started yelling my name and asking me to come play with them. Assholes -__-
There was also that time I had lunch with an industry girl crush who’s literally the dopest person I’ve ever heard speak or seen in life. You’d think that when she said “Let’s be friends” I’d jump out of my seat and cartwheel into a calendar of let’s meet ups over dinners and lunches. But nope not me! Oh no! It took me a while to process that someone so cool could a) want to be my friend and b) actually say hey lets be FRIENDS! WITH ME! IN PUBLIC AND SHIT!!! OMG. But by the time i finished over analyzing the shit, it was 2 years later (today) and I think I’ve only reached out once. I suck. I know… Anyway…
This all brings me back to Friday evening. It was the best night ever and I only remember clips of it. But from what I remember, there were a whole bunch of people, in my apartment, that I didn’t invite and they came out to celebrate my birthday (a week and a half early) because they like me. Like… They really really like me… I mean, I walked into my apartment, and somebody had pizza, a red solo cup filled with college grade liquor, an already rolled up “cigar”, A DJ playing 90s(ish*) music, 90s clothes, and ALMOST ALL the people that I’ve ever enjoyed being around, ever.
The next morning I was like Dorothy waking up from OZ, except OZ was more like a scene out of In Living Color, spoofing Juice the movie, in South Central with some Boyz from the Hood, who happened to also be educated with lots of Higher Learning. It was great… It was everything I ever wanted. All the folks were there. People had traveled from DC, Philly, Harrisburg and even the Bronx & Long Island, which not for nothing, It takes REAL commitment to say yes. Im going to leave those places and party in a hot ass brownstone in Brooklyn.
Friday night solidified what friendship meant for me. See a year ago I told 2 of my closest friends I wanted a 90s pajama jam party. Think House Party 1 & 2. It’s something I’ve always wanted. But honestly, I didn’t see them having time or energy to do one for me. Shit! One got married earlier this year and the other started a new job and dammit IM TIRED! As far as I was concerned If I didn’t plan my own celebrations, I would have no celebrations. This is why I’ve always planned my own parties/ gatherings/ kick backs and stoop q’s myself. Because, in my mind who has time to stop and wait for me. Apparently, in this moment a whole bunch of people. Not that I’ll take advantage but it’s nice to know, it’s possible.
See friendships go beyond playing nicely in sandboxes. Friendship has become a source of comfort and stability. In a world of 24 hour social updates, soul sucking work environments, dating and relationship hazing experiments and rush hour traffic. I rely on my friends to keep me grounded, give me hope, high five me when Im great and challenge me to do better when Im wrong. Not to mention bail me out of jail if they’re not already sitting next to me in the holding cell.
So allow me to re-introduce myself. My Birthday is September 6th. And until Friday I had no plans to do anything for my birthday, because I was tired from adulting and I assumed everyone else would be tired from their Adulting, too. But Instead what had happened was… The people I won’t forget, gave me a night I can’t remember.
You are #mylifeofkai #mylifeofkaiturns29