The first call came moments after I let my small group of friends know what was going on with me.
“Hey—are you okay?” The pause and uncertainty behind the ask told me that she was concerned.
“Yes,” I said with a sigh. “I’m not sad. I’m just disappointed.”
After 23 years of memories and conversations, I decided to end a very one-sided friendship. It was a relationship fractured with seeds of ignorance that I, unfortunately, let grow and take hold—a mirage of trust with no understanding. I asked for years for only one person, in particular, to show up, educate themselves, and do the work, and when I was reminded of my pleas for help last week, I was, again, met with nothing.
Friends from all walks of life reached out in support. They tirelessly talked to their friends and family about the issues thrust back into the media today. They all stood up for what was right on the correct side of history and ensured that I was safe and protected. The friendship that I ended—I realized that my friend wasn’t able to do that.
It would be hypocritical of me to part ways with one of the jobs I loved because of their lack of support only to remain friends with someone who, at their core, does not care about me or care to know anything about me. Even after finding out about another friend passing away has solidified my views. If you can’t care about someone while they are alive, then you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it after their death. Throw your heart and intentions into your actions and make something happen before it’s too late.
I can’t put the blame entirely on this one friend. I allowed them to remain comfortable for far too long when being uncomfortable actually means growth. However, this is me ripping off the band-aid that barely covers a deep flesh wound. This is your turn to step up and fix things.
Like what I said about the group Hiker Babes and the head of the organization never sincerely apologizing, my stepping away doesn’t have to be forever. The ball is in their court to educate themselves, do the work, and then reach out. I will not be here forever, and neither will you. Act quickly. I need my friends to step up for me. I can’t let people in my life who don’t support me.