I just lost a good friend and that terrifies me. They have not passed on, thankfully. They are just out of my life. It has been seven years since we bonded over a vegan sandwich and apples. He brought them, I ate them. We were both seventeen. Full of dreams. He told his wildest desires on how he would love to change the word with his work and I listened in awe. I bought into the dream. Picked my roles on how I would help him build this titanic.
Two years he called me to help him for one of his projects. I jumped at the thought of it and without any questions I vowed to give it my best. He was my friend. The minute I set foot at the working space. I felt a shift in the energies. He did not seem as meek. He felt distant. But then again we were in a crowd of around thirty, there was not much attention to go round.
The next year another call came through. This time the job was bigger and there was a one off stipend attached to it. Nothing to dance to the bank about but a noble gesture all the same. I did the job well. Diligently. Kept my head down and put in the hours because this titanic was going to stay afloat come rain or shine. Consequently, the next year I got the third call. This time I was playing another huge part in the now what seemed like a steady ark. Contract signed, no questions asked. I even got a bonus. Hurrraaaay. Hard work pays.
Then came 2017. I began the year on a low. My job was suffering and I was fighting but failing miserably. My body gave in. For a week plus I was married to my bed as my mother bore the brunt of carrying a big baby around. I could not do anything by myself. The shock of losing 8kgs in four days left me waiting to be whisked away by the angel of death. The positive twist in this is that for the fortnight I was sick I had uninterrupted reflection time.
I evaluated my life and what I had to live for. The first hunch was to quit my job. I didn’t. Second was that I evaluated relationships in my life. This was affirmed and clarified by a chapter of Year of Yes by titan Shonda Rhimes. She talks of how she has had to let a few people go because it just did not sit right with her. Over the years she created characters for her friends and to her they were perfect. They did no wrong till she stood up to both of them then the character profiles fell apart and the real actors were revealed.
For me it was an altercation that broke down the walls and there was the villain standing tall looking down on me. See while I had laid stone for the titanic the whole time, my friend stood on my back charging me to work faster. He did not care for me or love me. He was happy that the every piece of wood was in place. I watched as the other members team fell from exhaustion and jumping off the train. Ship. Ark. One day I fell with exhaustion and when I requested for better I was at the receiving end unforeseen nastiness. I tried to forgive but my friend was not even sorry. So I walked away. Now I need to draft my resignation letter. I deserve much better.
Scary but worth the peace.