“I stay down with my day one [friends],” raps Drake in the DJ Khaled hit, ‘No New Friends.’ Certainly, I can relate to this sentiment as I have known my best friends for most of my life. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy going home for Thanksgiving because it’s the time we all get together. And, it is also why after some difficult patches with less seasoned friendships, I was also singing, “No New Friends.” But, that’s not a good thing.
Over the past couple of years, I have had friend drama that was suitable for any of those shows I hate to admit I watch. Misunderstandings, false accusations and other bad behavior was flying back and forth from both sides. It shook me to my core because it was definitely not what I was used to inside the confines of a friendship. I have known two of my best friends, Andrea and Antonious, literally for my entire life and two of my others, Danielle and Dorian, for 20-plus years. In all of that time, I have never had an argument with any of them.
It was about a month ago that I had resigned myself not to meet anyone new. (I was on the verge of making the same proclamation with regard to dating as well). I was just going to stick with what I knew and that was it. Not only is that unrealistic, it is also unhealthy for your spirit.
Closing myself off was a protective measure that was rooted in the fear of getting my feelings hurt again. But, doing anything out of fear is always going to yield a bad result. Particularly for someone like me who loves people and meeting new people. It didn’t feel right to be that intentional about something negative.
Then, just as the universe does, a co-worker and I decided to go out to lunch. At first, I was determined to keep it on the “hello” and “goodbye” level. I wasn’t going to share anything about myself, except the surface stuff. It would be nice to have a lunch buddy, but I was not looking for any new friends. Well, we had a ball at lunch and clicked on so many levels. But, again, no new friends, I said!
Thankfully, my co-worker didn’t know of my recently implemented rule and we kept talking. I decided that I would open up my spirit and be receptive to whatever developed. It has been amazing to have someone to speak to in the office and a very enjoyable friendship seems to be forming. Had I remained closed that wouldn’t have happened and it has been a blessing.
People may hurt us along the way and a natural reaction is to put up our defenses and shut out the rest of the world. However, we are truly here for each other. You can’t fully live your life without being open to new experiences, new things and new people. You might just miss a major blessing if you resolve to say, “No new friends.”
Wishing you love and ceaseless joy!
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Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.