Once upon a time, I was having lunch with two friends and one was talking about how her boyfriend doesn’t make time for her anymore. She complained for hours about how he would answer her texts two days after she sent them and say how deeply sorry he was only to do it again. He also claimed he was too busy to call or see her – although they were in the same school and their departments were separated by a ten minutes’ walk.
We listened to her rant about how sad and tired she was (because we are awesome friends). And the only reply my other friend gave her was, ‘if he still loves you, then he can never be too busy to send a text at least once every day’. As the supportive friend I was, I shouted, ‘sense o! That is very true.’ But until this year, I never really understood that statement.
Did I have first-hand experience on commitment?
Did I believe the statement? Yes, it did sound true in my head and when I observed relationships around me, I could see the authenticity of that message but had I experienced it as a person? No!
You see, I never really had close friends before December 2018 (when I met a close friend of mine, Prisca). Yes, I had friends but they almost seemed circumstantial. There wasn’t any form of commitment and it almost seemed like a thing that would pass as soon as we found ourselves in another situation. An instance is when I go to school, some of my classmates almost seem like my best friends but the moment I leave my class, I only remember them when I pick up my book or pen. Lmao. I do love them and I wish them well but it is what it is.
My personal experiences
Prisca was the first person that taught me what commitment meant. Before then, I was bad at it. She would text me and I would text hours later. She would then send me the dark moon emoji and demand me to give her a reason for my absence. I would avoid the message for hours while trying to think of the best excuse to come up with but time would pass and nothing! Hours later, I would shamefully go to her DM and apologise, only to do it again. It became better though. After the annoying hands of guilt and shame hit me on the face, I started showing up and when I couldn’t, I informed her with an, ‘I’m really busy, would call you later’ text. And I always made sure I called.
Another friend of mine, Praise also taught me a bunch on commitment. When we don’t talk for days (because of his absence), he would send a really long message; carefully stating his reasons and apologising for not informing me beforehand. He might have been very busy and wasn’t just free to talk but he didn’t use that as an excuse. He always acknowledged the fact that he wasn’t there.
Still, the statement – Anyone who cares can never be too busy for you – really showed up in my life this year.
You are now wondering how? Did she meet the man of her dreams? Did Timini Egbuson throw away his Bachelor life and decide to become the reason for her throbbing heart?
Unfortunately, none of these happened. But something did happen.
Anyone who has held my phone this year has seen the beautifully put-together pictures with words written underneath them that I have as my lock screen. That picture is my goal board for 2020. And one of the goals there is ‘meaningful relationships’. I set this goal, hoping to meet with people I really wanted to be around.
This was after I noticed that the friends I had were not of my choice but of circumstance.
I wanted more friends that I could say I chose to be with and not ‘I met them in class, they seemed cool and yeah, we are friends’. Those kinds of friends are cool and all but I needed my circle. The kind of people I could call at night after crying all day and wouldn’t feel any sort of way after. The kind of people I could rant to about how stressful my day was and they would understand. I wanted people I could be vulnerable with, so I prayed to find them (thanks to Salem’s advice that he doesn’t really know he gave me) and I got them (well, still getting them because this circle isn’t done yet. lol).
These friends – I made conscious effort to be – with taught me a lot about being committed to people. And I almost feel ready for the bones of my ribs and the tendons of my bones. Leemao!
But one of them made the most impact. I’m not saying his name but I met him at an event, thought he reasoned like me and CHOSE to be his friend. The keyword is chose if you can’t see the highlighted bold text before you.☻
He is a really busy person and one of the most hardworking people I know. He is always trying to meet a deadline or working on a personal project or heading a team. He is usually only free at night and I am never free at night (I’m always so busy snoring and dreaming of the speech I would give when I finally become queen of the world). And because of that, we don’t get to talk every day or every two days but a week doesn’t go by without him sending a really long text that would exhaust everything he could have told me all week if he weren’t so busy. It did feel weird the first time, not being used to it but I could see how natural and effortless it was for him, so I adapted. I started replying his messages with long messages of mine until it became a tradition.
I think I am actually the only one that sees it as a tradition. He probably doesn’t know he is doing anything.
Do you see where commitment comes in? Can you see how commitment mutates in different situations? We didn’t get to talk a lot but we were still committed to each other as friends.
If you got to this point, then I must be really lucky.
You are probably thinking: what is the point of everything she has said or rather wrote?
The point is:
Nobody is ever too busy to check up on their priority – except you are not on the first five pages of their priority list.
The busiest person would put in that effort. He/she would make time and when you can’t see that effort and you feel some sort of way, do not feel you are wrong for feeling that way. Demand a reason. Don’t quote me wrong. I didn’t say call the person at midnight and shout about how the person is the worst person on earth because the person didn’t reply the message you sent one hour ago. He/she could actually be sleeping.
Context always matter too. Put yourself in the person’s situation. Be thoughtful.
And yes, this is me breaking the table of those that are always quick to say: you don’t owe anybody anything.
You actually do. You owe your loved ones attention, love, care, listening ears and more. You owe your girlfriend (wife) a text everyday if you don’t see or call her. You owe your boyfriend (husband) a call after he is done pitching his project to an investor. You owe your friends support when they are doing something worthy. You owe your CHOSEN family and friends commitment.
DISCLOSURE: please, know your limit as a friend. Do not video call someone’s husband (boyfriend) or wife (girlfriend) by midnight and expect them to pick your call because they owe you listening ears. Always put the person’s situation in mind. Always remember your friends have a life that may not involve you.
I will leave you with these words:
If you are a priority, they would make time for you anyway they can but always remember to be considerate.
Thank you for reading. Wash your hands and stay safe!