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February 2020
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Ain’t It Funny: Tell Tales of Friendships

friendshipThere is a song on the soundtrack to the film, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, titled, Aint It Funny. It is one of my favourite on the album, I never get tired listening to it. Fair to state the song focuses on how life circumstances change with the line, ‘Aint it funny, how life turns around, same people you see going up, you see them coming down.’

I have had two very different conversations with two very different people this week and I had to say to myself, ‘Belinda, ain’t it funny.’ I took account of the friends I have and the ones I have made over the last few years I have lived in the UK, last year after a few friendships and relationships came to a halt. I had to ask myself, where it was going because I realised the purpose and aim of some of these relationships had never been defined. So, abuse had crept into . But all for the sake of maintaining a friendship, we sometimes keep quiet and take shit, and then go home reeling and feeling very angry.

I could not do it anymore. I had had enough. One or two needed some element of confrontation, which I did and it actually turned out okay. I cannot express the weight that came off me after taking that action. There was a sense of getting my dignity and self respect back from confronting those I had to confront. Others, I have just left and let them be…and if the chance to ever talk about it comes up, I will be sure to do so but for now, I am very happy in my space.

What I learnt was that, for so long, I had not identified how I wanted people to treat me and in return, how I treated people. I had to sit back and really examine my actions in all of these relationships that were just not going anywhere but were being masked as friendships. Some, I had given access to areas of my life when they did not deserve or earn the right to get that far. By all means, I do not mean to get arrogant but it is not everything about one’s self that you share with people you have only known for two minutes. There has got to be some form of history for them to gain access to certain things about you. It is not about being snobbish, it is protecting what’s sacred about who you are and sharing with those, worthy of your story.  And you too must count it an honour that they came close enough to hear you.

I missed the contacts for months after I pulled back. There was days I was tempted to pick the phone and call and just get on with things the way they were but I knew better. It would only lead to more pain. I could not stomach the disrespect I had put up with from one or two people anymore. I could not deal with the two-facedness with others and the very fact that one or two didn’t have a clear definition of what ‘our friendship’ was about. And if I may add and in no way trying to belittle anyone, there was some element of selfishness. Please, hear me out, I too made mistakes and they needed to be corrected and I hope these last few months have been a good opportunity to correct them and keep correcting them. So, I don’t repeat them in future relationships and cause anyone pain. If there is one thing I know about myself, it is the fact that, I can pull back from someone and just shut down on them. It is something I am working on and because I know my proclivities, I always do my best which sometimes may not be good enough but I do try to be as diplomatic/practical and be patient with myself and others as much as possible. I don’t just shut down without first putting up with a thing or two. However, how much do you put up with before you implode?

In all of these relationships, where I pulled back, something needed to be corrected; my expectations for one needed to be realigned because these individuals are not Belinda and I must be a free agent when it comes to what I expect of others and maybe expect nothing at all. When you expect so much from people, you end up putting them in a position of mini-gods which they will never be. For we are all fallible and flawed. And if we are truly honest, there will be times when things will get rough. Besides, I know I would like to believe I am the easiest person to get along with but you would be surprised to hear my sister say otherwise. Get over it. We all have our moments.

Even now, there are one or two I miss but it is a process that must be endured because if we are to be, then we must learn to appreciate each other for what we are and celebrate the connection. It is a process that must not be taken for granted, for there are lessons to be learnt. I know I have learnt so much and still learning. I remember thinking, what will I do for friends? But, I have done just fine and even better, and sincerely hope I am a better person from the lessons of the last one year. I admit, some part of me has gone into a shell and no more am I willing to share that part with just anyone.  When the people it should be shared with come, I hope to be discerning enough to realise it before its too late.

FriendshipBut this is where my post today is leading to. In all of these changes I was experiencing in my relationships,  it suddenly hit me, I have no friends outside my circle of African and  church friends, and maybe a few from university. I thought, what ‘da hell’ is that all about? For a journalist, that is pretty shameful. Seriously, shameful for sure and I am embarrassed to publicly admit it but I believe all of that is about to change because I am on operation, ‘Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone.’

Still, I must maintain the balance of what makes a friend and what a friendship is about. Surely, it has got to be more than the pleasantries and niceties of saying, ‘xyz’ is my friend. It has got to more than a race thing too. It must and has to be meaningful.

I have to be honest and say, I don’t do best friends. I have never had one. I have close friends and friendships/relationships but no best…for I believe that in all of these people I have in my life, each one has a best they add to me.

So, I’m on  a mission to become more open minded than I currently am. I want to meet people from different social background and culture and learn from them. I want to hear folk stories from Brazil, learn about the history of a tribe from Kenya and eat food from Puerto Rico. Is that too much to ask for? The big trick is where do I start and how do I go about this new goal and exploration of mine. That my people is the million dollar question but all is not lost.  I really do want to experience other people, places and cultures. So, if you know any nice places out there, do post your comments and mention the place, and please, let it be in London. I best start from where I live 🙂



3 Responses to “Ain’t It Funny: Tell Tales of Friendships”

  1. Ogochukwu says:

    I don’t know how come i’m just reading this. My best part…
    “…for I believe that in all of these people I have in my life, each one has a best they add to me.”

    Sometimes I think we hold on to people and expect that they wil be there forever. I know that some peopl come into our lives or a season and for a reason and when the time passes we have to let them go or accept whatever else comes with the prolonged/overdue stay.

    Unfortunately, i have no idea of London or what it’s like. So no comments or referrals.

  2. Belinda Otas says:

    Ogo, you could not have said it better. So, why are you just reading this now? 🙂 lol!!!

  3. Arnold says:

    amazing thank you it made my day

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