NeLLXO Backstage: Fake Love

First and foremost, this post is not designed to put anyone on blast. I’m not trying to be catty in the slightest, and this isn’t about throwing anyone under the bus. In life, we all have decisions to make. Some decisions that we make are good, while others are bad. But at the end of the day, regardless of the decisions we make or how we feel about their outcomes, we have to stand by them. After all, they are our decisions to make, are they not? Though I realize that people make mistakes they regret everyday, the situation I’m about to discuss is hardly an isolated incident. I’m not the type of person to ever “air my dirty laundry”, but sometimes enough is enough. These words are coming from a place of hurt, a place of confusion, but more importantly, a place of honesty.

If you read this and feel some type of way about it, I’m genuinely sorry. I hate that I am even finding myself in this position, but I have to speak my truth. I’m naming no names, but if it sounds like you and you actually think it’s you, you may want to reevaluate some things.

I’m just saying.

In life, I’ve experienced so many ups and downs. I’ve celebrated victories and mourned defeats. It feels good to remember those few times when I was on top of the world, but it still pains me to recall when fate forced me to make rock bottom my home. It’s been a long journey, but I made it through all the toil and trouble. Though it often felt over, my life is actually just beginning. There’s a lot more fight left in me. The fat lady hasn’t sung and the bell hasn’t rung. It’s only round two.

I guess what surprises me about life is how little knowledge I still have. Though it is good to continually learn and grow throughout one’s life, I suppose some things are still shocking me when they really shouldn’t. Right when I think I have it all figured out, things go left. This week has especially shown me that there are still some aspects of life that escape my full scope of understanding. Either that, or I’m simply not wired the way other people are.

Mankind has the potential to be such a wondrous and enterprising species. At our very best, we can inspire, innovate and reach heights of excellence far beyond our predecessors’ wildest dreams. But at our worst, we can debase the confidence and spirit of our fellow man with just one snide remark—just one leering glance. Instead of using technology and intellect to edify and advance a people, we can use it as a vehicle of hate and destruction. I’d like to think that our forefathers are appalled by the lengths we’ve shown ourselves willing to go to be downright uncivilized towards one another. Even I cringe at the countless evil deeds that are so callously devised and carried out everyday. It shouldn’t be this way. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Despite being more than familiar with the fallible and fickle nature of man and the dire impact it can have on those who fall victim to it, I honestly thought some people were incapable of stooping to today’s common standard. I truly believed that I was a good judge of character and that I had successfully purged my intimate life of all toxic people. It disheartens me to realize and admit that I was wrong.

I learned a lot of new things this week. For instance, I learned how to perfect a beloved family recipe (that my mother is sure to be proud of). I finally broke my social media ban and made my first ever posts on Twitter and Instagram (yes, first ever). This week showed me what I value in life as well as what I just couldn’t care less about. I also broke two personal fitness records and discovered that I am endlessly passionate about things I never could have imagined.I also learned that there may be some people in my life who no longer deserve to be there.

Throughout my existence, I have moved a lot, which has made friendships and acquaintances hard to maintain. Though I have always done my best to stay in contact with everyone, I’ll admit that there are some things that simply can’t withstand time and distance. Over time, some people have shown themselves to be loyal—some not. I don’t know about anyone else, but in my eyes, loyalty is the crux of any relationship. I cannot and will not knowingly surround myself with dishonest and/or disloyal individuals. I think most people would agree that this is a fair and reasonable sentiment, no? Well, based on the requirement of loyalty, I have an extremely small circle of people I call friends. Though I know countless people, I consider very few to be an actual friend.

Friends are very important to me, and always have been. Growing up as an only child, my friendships were the closest I would ever get to knowing the experience of having a sibling. Anyone who is an only child (or adult) understands what I’m talking about. Coming up, it’s just you. First day of school? Alone. Trouble with the parents? Alone. Only children get some of the finest independence training there is. Don’t get me wrong though. When I was a child, I loved not having to share a room or any of my toys. I didn’t have anyone to compete with nor did I have to beg for my parents’ attention. However, as you get older, the dynamic changes—a lot. Depending on your life circumstances, the independence training can often turn into loneliness training.

Maybe you’ve found a life partner, or maybe you haven’t. Perhaps you know the joy of parenthood, or perhaps you are still childless. One thing is for sure though: Your parents are getting older, and so are you. In my case, I’m still unmarried without children. This status may or may not change in the future. Unlike my counterparts with siblings, I don’t have any nieces or nephews. Very few additions are made to my family—there are just natural or untimely losses. While I am certainly not complaining (it is what it is), I’m never going to discount the benefit of having true, loyal friends to share the happenings of your life with.

This being said, the last nine months of my life have been the hardest I can recall having. Things have been pretty rough before, but never like this and never for such a prolonged amount of time. I did my best to cope with my losses by focusing my energies into creating a more fulfilling and happy life. I wanted to be proud of myself and finally achieve the things I’ve merely been daydreaming about the last few years. The dreams I aspired to always felt like they were completely out of my reach. They were always for other kinds of girls, but not me. Prettier, thinner, smarter—whatever.

I have been down so long that the person I currently am honestly can’t recognize the person I was. The place I currently stand is vastly different from the depressing black hole where I once resided. I’ve accomplished so much in the face of adversity. My ability to look back and see where I came from is God and nothing but God. I know it certainly wasn’t me. A few months ago, I had nothing left to give.

I say all of this to illustrate the importance of my current happiness. It means the world to me to get out of bed and actually want to be alive—to be grateful for waking up. This wasn’t always the case. I now have a reason to keep moving and a burning desire to help others find their own reasons. Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was share my newfound excitement and jubilance with the few friends I have. The response I got in return actually broke my heart.

Some people honestly had zero concern for me, what I’ve been working on or what I’m hoping to achieve in the future. They didn’t even bother to pretend. Other people listened to me, but responded with a cold and dismissive indifference that plain shocked me. Some of the comments left me with a taste in my mouth most bitter. This post is a byproduct of continuously being made to feel as though I’m less important, less successful and less worthy of someone’s time than some of the people I’ve been calling “friends”.

I guess I’ve simply reached the point where I have to simply clock what needs to be clocked. I’m tired of feeling as though some of my relationships are one-sided. I’m fed up with all the backstabbing, lies and games because I never said I wanted to play Uno or Monopoly with you all. When things go wrong for some of you, I’m always right there. If you need someone to vent with, I’m ranting right alongside you. However, its always so amazing to me how when times are hard for me, everyone conveniently goes ghost. The conversations are always on and popping when you want to brag about yourself or gossip about others. Heaven forbid I want to share a happy detail from my own life. You either try to one-up me or trivialize the things I’m hoping to do.

These are the same women who weren’t happy when I got with my ex. The same women who didn’t say a single word when we got engaged. The same ones who were too busy to offer a kind word once the engagement fell through. I surely should have seen this coming.

It just hurts me that after all of these years, I’m seeing that some of my greatest confidants are simply too self-centered and/or immature to encourage a friend who could really use it. As unfortunate and disappointing as it is, I’m finally realizing that your biggest cheerleaders in life aren’t always who you think they should be. I’ve already learned that they didn’t end up being the majority of my family, and now I’m seeing that even my “friends” are acting like I’m a competitor instead of a friend. Someone tried to say that people like this are usually just jealous, but who on Earth actually harbors jealousy towards friends? I mean, I don’t live under a rock. I know people are envious of friends all the time, but why? What good does that do you? A friend is supposed to be a supporter, not a foe.

At this point, I’m just feeling like whoever can’t be bothered to ever pick up their pom-poms for me needs to just stay on their own squad. In the wise words of Drake, “I got fake people showing’ fake love to me.” Yes, yes I do. I don’t need fake love though. It needs to be real from this point on or I just don’t want it.

If you have ever gone through this or are currently dealing with something similar, remain unbothered. When open doors close, closed doors open. It’s good to see who is who and what is what. When you have an amazing calling on your life and big dreams, you need to know who is really down for you before you bring them along. This is all just a really important lesson. You’ve got to be a friend to keep one.

Remember to always treat all people with kindness and never make the mistake of thinking you’re too good for someone or their dreams. You will never truly know what that person who is smiling in your face is actually going through. And the next time you’re busy boosting yourself up at the expense of others, remember that “the bottom” never discriminates. This is why you should never take people for granted. You never know when you might finally bother to look up and find them gone… right when you need them most.

To wrap this all up, I just want to say that beauty is as beauty does. It’s great to look good and be praised for your outer beauty, but is there actually anything going on inside of you? Do you treat people well? Are you gracious? Are you considerate? Or do you talk more than you listen? Do you ignore the feelings of others simply because you are too busy worrying about yourself? Do you take more than you give?

Never, ever be the one with a pretty face and an ugly spirit. -XO

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