We the last guys to keep the Wise guys code alive
If I can’t live by my word Then I’d much rather die
No no don’t thank me, This is just how my suit is stitched
I’m cut from a different cloth, I’m just who the shoe fits
-Jay “Thank You”
I’ve always drawn a clear line between friends, associates, and everybody else. Last year, I wrote about the 5 main types of friendships we all should have by the time we reach full adulthood; which is 30. For me to call you a friend I’ve had to have known you for a minute. We’ve had to have gone through some things, either together or individually, that tested our bond. And more importantly, you’ve met my family or they know about you. With my friends, I don’t have to hide anything or hold back. I can be myself because I know that they’ll remind when I’m not. Associates are more or less the people in my life who served a very specific purpose. Lately, I’ve become associates with people fairly easy because of the new ventures I’m pursuing. But these aren’t people I’d be myself with. They only know enough about me that’s pertinent. Everybody else is just that.
This past weekend being All Star brought these 3 categories together in a way that I never really anticipated. 2 of my friends were in town to hang out, while 1 of my associates was promoting an event at a club. This was the 1st All Star where I was actually doing business. So sure, going out was on the agenda, but it wasn’t at the forefront. The short end of things is that a friend moved down the totem pole as everyone else and a person that could’ve been a friend is going to remain an associate. We outgrew each other without actually realizing it was happening.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been unintentionally a part of the industry scene. I work with athletes and deal with their entourages, so I’ve seen the uncool part of “the life”. Through my adult life, I’ve become friends with guys that I likely wouldn’t be friends with outside of basketball and the business of it. The funny thing is we all deal with the representative of each other until something goes down and you can’t hide the real. Some of these people I’ve built solid bonds with because we get each other in a way that ordinary friends would. However, time and life’s experiences force you to either grow up and remain complacent. As a bunch of old sayings go, not every person is meant to travel the complete journey with you. I had to sit 1 of my friends down to answer the question; why are we friends?
Some relationships require you to take an inventory and be honest with yourselves. If a person isn’t supporting your growth or growing with you then their presence is pointless. I’m steady a work in progress so I want my circle to be full of people who are doing what I’m doing or where I’m trying to get to. This particular friend has stayed the same for the duration of our friendship. Aside from it being platonic, I realized that we no longer had the type of friendship where I could hit her up and have a 20 minutes conversation that doesn’t mirror the previous 1. She lives in the club, she’s all about her checks, and she has no desire of being just regular. I don’t judge anyone for the decisions they make, but the friendship has become 1 of a convenience. I mean, as I type this I’m thinking maybe it always was. But because of what’s going in my life, it’s not a friendship I feel is worth my time anymore.
With the associate, it probably could’ve been 1 of those friendships where he became friends with my best friend, my brother, and the rest of my homeys. But again, there’s fundamental differences in our lifestyles that are opposite. Sometimes a nightlife promoter can live the double life. I have a good friend in Vegas who’s married with a child. To my knowledge, he’s always been faithful and their relationship has been fairly calm. But this associate? Man….
Life isn’t too short, it’s just that it moves too fast. And when you’re maturing from the place you’re in now, you owe it to your future success to sporadically take a step back and examine who’s there for reasons that make sense. This is particularly true if you plan on getting married. You shouldn’t have to stop being friends with certain people just because you’re married. However, some friends aren’t going to be happy for you. That is, the position that they play in your life as a single man/woman will be in constant conflict with the vows of a marriage. I decided to relieve some headaches now before they turned into hangovers later.
Is it easy or difficult for you to cut off friendships? What’s the longest friendship you’ve had up to now? Do you see it ending? How do you go about starting new friendships as an adult?