Sunday, October 20, 2013

If it's important to somebody you love, it should be important to you.

A few months ago, I felt incredibly upset and disappointed because several people really let me down. Something happened today that brought up these hurt feelings and I realized it was still bothering me very much.

I like to think I'm a really good friend and relative to have. I've been there for a lot of people for all of their happy events. I never miss anything unless I have to. I have been through periods of unemployment, but I'll always show up with a gift when I'm required to show up somewhere with a gift. I make a huge deal over everybody else's children, and I do feel like, when it comes to the kids, they're the ones who will always show the most love and appreciation. Kids know when you're good to them, even if their parents don't seem to notice.

I had a play premiere and, while it wasn't my first play, I did feel like it was my first big hit. It sold out. We added performances. We got standing ovations and mid-show applause and total strangers told me I was brilliant. Me.

But people that are important to me made no effort to be there. 

Sometimes being the sole single one in a group is crushingly difficult because you're completely overlooked and your achievements and milestones are never viewed as important as everyone else's--because they don't involve a wedding or a kid.

Who on earth is to say what is important?

If it is important to me, it should be important to the people that I love. They should have been there to support me, because I had always been there to support them, but they just let this major milestone in my life pass by without even really acknowledging it, or, at least, making up an excuse as to why they couldn't be there. They didn't even care enough to lie!

I just feel like their rationale was, "If your celebration doesn't involve a wedding or a child, you're just not as significant as the rest of us."

I was so upset, and don't quite feel the same around them anymore because I don't quite feel like they care about me as much as I've always cared about them.  

I do plan on  having a wedding and babies one day, but, until then, I have other things that mean so much to me and I would like the people I thought were closest to me to be there for me and not instead just think that wedding and baby showers and children's birthday parties (well, and funerals) are the only times we need the support of those close to us.

I go to all those events because they are important to the people I love and the people I love should have been there for the thing that was important to me.

I'm sad, and disappointed, and feel very taken for granted and overlooked. It's not a nice feeling.

I talked this over with a close friend. She shed some insight on it, and she made a lot of sense. She compared it to how when she used to perform in college, she always felt like the only kid who had no family traveling to see her. 

It's especially tricky when our art is such a public one. I had to start looking at it like "If my major was accounting I could get some good grade or a summer internship and my parents would pat me on the back and send me off. Why do the arts feel like a failure if my friends don't show up?" So, while I know that you feel like writing a play can sometime be as laborious as having a baby, maybe equate it to a job, instead. Everybody should be proud of your job. High fives and occasional congratulatory dinners are in order. Maybparades are a little much. And do you deserve a parade? Goshdarnit, yes. But I want you to be happy with a high five, because at the end of the day, it's your happiness affected, not theirs.

I should focus on all the people that were there and not even out of obligation--a friend from high school that I hadn't seen in years, girls from the retail job I worked at last year, a friend from college who traveled over an hour--but it hurts that I was overlooked by people I thought were so close to me. 

I'll remember this feeling and I now that, no matter how many weddings or babies I have, I'll never make anybody I care about feel this way.