Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Importance of Friends

I have been going through some things lately. Aside from a busy schedule that is the bi-product of my dreams coming true (although I find myself falling asleep easily at night), there has been something else that has been bothering me. What I am talking about is the jealousy factor in this industry. When you start to see a little success the claws come out from those around you. Some of it is on a smaller scale. Some of it is on a drastic scale.

Lately I have been dealing with a psychotic female admirer. She has been the pebble in my shoe for years. Her name is Ms. Wannabe. I hate having to talk about her much less write about her. This woman has been nothing but a negative attention seeking pest. Actually I prefer the term bitch. Truth be told, she is only sober for about an hour a day if that. Without completely taking her inventory, it is an act of God that I haven't beaten her head in for as much as she has tormented me. I know I shouldn't take her personally. She is an alcoholic and drug addict who's life only gets worse as her boyfriend enables her. But it's kinda hard not to get pissed when she calls and hangs up all the damn time blocking her number.

Anyway enough about the skank. 

I saw an old friend of mine yesterday from the comedy world. She hasn't been performing as much because she is going through a rough patch in her life. We talked about the mic world. My friend-who is quite funny-humbly stated that she hoped she would never become too grandiose for open mics. I joked that I have become too grandiose for mics. It is true, my ego is too big to pay five dollars a pop to follow my dream. Plus I have spent a small fortune paying for stage time. We talked about the downside of mics and how it was good to get stuff out but some mics had their own culture that was very anti-woman. However my friend pointed out that if one hated a mic, they had the option of finding another. It was not the end of the world.

I ended up pouring my heart out to my friend about how I felt shunned at mics once things started happening for me. And how it seemed suddenly I was the bad guy because so many of these people seemed allergic to achievement. My friend pointed out that when a person gets successful, it is not easy for everyone. I explained I had drifted away from mic land because I was busy doing other things like for a while I was producing web content. My buddy explained that again, my success would not be easy for some people. She said that there are people in this world who think things are handed to people. She explained while she knew I worked hard for my success, to some people it might seem it was just handed to me which is far from the truth. 

I told her about how I had to deal with sexism and hate from all angles back in the day. My friend explained that those people don't see that, and they only see their own shit. And that their jealousy was more about them than myself. That I couldn't expect everything to be happy for me. Oh and she joked that from 1989-2002 she too was a hater. And as an ex hater she could attest that you don't know what someone else goes through to get where they are.My buddy was right. My former friends didn't see the blood, sweat, tears, and hard work. 

Then I told my friend about the chick stalking me. About how my success is just too much for her. My friend pointed out that she has a drug problem and a boyfriend who enables her. She said, "You don't want her life, do you? Her life sounds terrible, April." I told her no. At that moment I felt sympathy for Ms. Wannabe. If anything she is a very sick woman who is crying for attention. As she openly brags about her drinking and drug use it is just a feeble cry for help from a troubled young woman. Then my friend pointed out, "There will always be haters, April."

I bid my friend goodbye and felt better. The night was spent with me sending emails about my book, interview questions to a writer friend of mine, and more emails about a pilot project I am a part of. Just then the phone rang. I got not one but three blocked calls from guess who? Ms. Wannabe, everyone's favorite professional victim. I ended up calling another friend of mine who is like a mom. Well she was with her young grandkids who were fighting and having a bad day. She snapped, "There is nothing I can do about it and I am sick of hearing about her." I stammered and my friend explained, "I am having a bad day too, April. Just ignore her. That is the best you can do!" And she slammed down the phone. 

Why didn't my friend validate my bullshit and insight me to bash the head in of my hater? Then I realized it's what I needed to hear. I had to stop giving this real life version of a puss filled pimple attention. Since she has decided to start harassing me again, I have been on her facebook page more than I would like to be to see if I was in mortal danger. I have been on her blog lately to see if I was in danger as well or to see if she would make threats. Most of it has been annoying, whining statuses and second rate musings of an overgrown, petulant child. Of course she bitches and moans about me in many. Apparently I am delusional and have an overblown ego. As I wanted to jump through the computer screen and strangle her I realized my friend was right. Because this young woman was renting space in my head and I was on her social media (which is pitiful), I was being sucked into her world and giving her more energy than she deserved. Thus as she was becoming obsessed with me I was becoming obsessed with her.So once again I blocked her tuning her out, not feeding in. 

The last thing I saw on her page was a disturbing video where it looked like she was nodding off. She was pale and looked possibly like she was shooting heroin or something. While she has been nothing but horrid to me, this makes me ill. Drug addiction, especially on women, is unforgiving. It is also a path that ultimately leads to death. I don't wish the yets she is about to encounter on anyone. The sad thing is, I understand more than anyone in the world what it is like to be alone in an abusive relationship and to feel so isolated. My first instinct is to reach out and help someone like that actually. Tell them the ex girlfriend is not worth going to jail over. I remember being that jealous and foaming at that mouth. Then I realize more than anything in the world this creature doesn't deserve my hate but my pity. She is sick, very sick. Hopefully she finds some sort of spirituality or else her mother may end up burying her. It's not over dramatic. It;s the reality of addiction.

Just then I got another blocked call on my phone. I remembered both my friends reminding me that there would always be hater and how I just had to ignore her. The phone rang and that was it. I also figured it was late anyway. I turned off my phone and turned in for the evening. Translated from middle school, she could talk to my hand cause the face don't give a damn. With that, I had a laugh about this woman who was obviously on a middle school level and had a good night.

Bottom line: A friend is someone who tells you how it is when you need to hear it. They also let you know that most of the time for as seriously as you take your shit, it ain't that serious.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

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