At 2:47 early yesterday morning, I had an epiphany…I finally figured out a name to describe a feeling I’ve had for the last 9 years…..I’m a “plus one” friend. The majority of the friends I have are friends of Jenn’s, which makes me the plus one.
I’ve always had an genuine interest in all of my friends, and try to take the time to learn about what they do and what they enjoy. The ones who view me as the plus one would be surprised at how much I’ve learned about them and what I remember. They all know I’m a musician, and that I like the music of David Sanborn, but it’s no surprise that their interest stops there. And from this, I’ve realized just how much I’ve wasted time on these people. It amazes me that there are friends 400-600 miles from me that I feel closer to than people less than five miles….oh well.
The thing I love about my friends up in Woodstock and in Pennsylvania is that regardless of how long it’s been since I’ve seen them, we can easily pick up right where we left off…there’s a mutual respect of what we do and what we care about, and a feeling of being welcomed.
My therapist made a very impactful statement to me this week….that it’s ok to want attention and support. We’ve been so conditioned that it’s wrong to ask for this….it’s not about “look at me!” – it’s about sharing a part of ourselves in hopes that the people around us take some sort of genuine interest.
One of the hardest things during the pandemic has been the lack of face-to-face interaction….there’s an energy that you get interacting directly with people that you don’t get from a Skype or a Zoom screen. Although I’m thankful that we have this technology, it’s still not the same as being face to face. This has been almost as much a stress point to a lot of entertainers as the loss of income. Not being face to face with my close friends during the pandemic has been an incredible challenge.
As we start to head back to a sense of normalcy with interaction, I have this request of my friends, whether we’ve been friends for two weeks or forty years: DIG A LITTLE DEEPER. Don’t be so fast to write off the people around you, or take the time to get to know about them. We don’t know how much time we have on this planet, and we’ve seen how many loved ones have been lost unexpectedly over the last year. Don’t be afraid to get to know people with different interests than you. Who knows – you might even discover a new interest from the people that have been kept in your “outer circle.”
And for those who still put themselves on a pedestal, like you’re too good or too busy to get to know the people around you?
GET OVER YOURSELVES. You dig?