F is for Friends

On my mind

This week has been an unusual one, because my usually quiet apartment has been blessed with the energy and laughter of my best friend, Hieyam. She’s staying with me for a few weeks and this is the first time in years that we’ve spent this much time together. Hieyam and I have known each other since we were babies and no matter where we have lived, our communication has never stopped. When she and her family moved to Oregon, we became pen pals. I literally sent her letters with handmade puzzles and drawings in them. I would like to think she kept them all and definitely did not throw my precious art away. That distance was draining for our impatient pre-teen selves and luckily she ended up moving back to Arizona years later. We still never lived together though, even in college but we got to spend time together on campus and at my apartment.

Since I moved away, we text regularly, DM each other on social media and more recently, have spontaneous phone calls and FaceTime sessions. PSA: talk to your friends on the phone! I know phone calls are anxiety-inducing, but it makes such a huge difference in maintaining an emotionally fulfilling relationship. Maintaining long-distance friendships has been difficult for me. It’s been a struggle to feel comfortable anywhere else and try and recreate that type of genuine support. When you’re an adult, everyone has maxed out on friends and shows a very superficial desire to be involved in your life. I’ve learned to not expect much from new people at this point in my life, but it’s still disappointing. I’d like to think you don’t have to choose between pursuing a career in a big city and having real community.

I always imagined having a circle of close friends to hang out with as an adult just like on TV and in the movies. I’d never wonder what I’d be doing on a Friday night. I’d have a consistent person to go see the latest movie, go get dessert super late at night or check out an event in town. If I have a breakdown in the middle of the week, I know who will swoop in to check on me after work and hold space (and vice versa). Life unfortunately takes us all in different directions and we have to face it on our own.

But right now, Hieyam and I are living in an alternate reality where the two of us live in the same city and are roommates and it’s awesome. We catch the metro together, make plans for dinner and decide what we want to do to relax on the weekend. We are two women chasing our dreams, working on ourselves, and being mirrors for each other. In a city that’s all about ambition and individualism, it’s refreshing to come home and be around someone who’s known me since birth and helps remind me of what’s truly important in life.

What I’m noting

  • Sorry, Mr. Trudeau. Not All Of Us Have The Luxury Of Ignorance When It Comes To Racism // I’m sure you’ve seen the photos of Prime Minister Trudeau in brown and blackface. To some, it may be shocking because he seemed to be a progressive, sensible person who would never be racist. But, “Trudeau is the epitome of privilege—not just as a straight, white man, but on top of that, as the son of a former prime minister. It was his privilege that likely made it possible for him to have lived so long without, as he claims, knowing any better. And that bubble of privilege is a systemic issue, one that continues to this day.”

  • Unbelievable Is TV’s Most Humane Show // Unbelievable is a new Netflix series based on the true story of sexual-assault investigations gone wrong that were reported in 2015 by ProPublica and the Marshall Project. This review is filled with spoilers so if you haven’t watched the show, don’t read it. I’m adding it to my list of shows to watch next.

  • Your Parents’ Financial Advice Is (Kind Of) Wrong // I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve the financial status and stability my parents have. One, because I chose the wrong profession lol and two, times have changed. Here’s a healthy reality check for what our generation is dealing with since the recession and student loan debt crisis etc. We have to sadly think differently if we hope to one day have our own house or afford to retire.

  • How to Ask Someone for Career Advice Without Being Annoying // Do people ask you to “pick your brain”? I’m always flattered when people want to talk to me about careers or things I’m passionate about, but there’s definitely an appropriate way to do this without taking advantage of people who seem perpetually available to you. This was a good reminder for me when I’m trying to reach out to others.

  • Social jetlag – are late nights and chaotic sleep patterns making you ill? // I just learned about social jetlag, which is pretty much like travel jetlag and comes from sleeping later and waking up later on the weekends because of work or socializing. “It is estimated that two-thirds of us experience at least one hour of social jetlag a week, and a third experience two hours or more – equivalent to flying from London to Tel Aviv and back each week.” This explains why it’s so hard for me to focus during the week. Going to work on fixing this ASAP and leave the late nights for the children.

  • The Toolbox Fallacy // I’ve recently started getting back into Reddit and found this gem of a video on why we procrastinate our dreams and the lies we tell ourselves such as “I can’t do X, until I have Y…” Did I feel attacked by this video? 100%. But it’s much needed advice for how you can realistically overcome what’s holding you back and choose a different way of being. Own your power, my friends.

That’s it for me. Have a good weekend!

— Nesima