This weekend was supposed to be a mini-vacation: I took a half-day Friday to go camping upstate with some friends, and even spent a chunk of money and my time trying to get Nico into a pet-sitting kennel. However, as I was leaving work at noon on Friday, I get a call from my friend that he was in a bike accident.
Apparently a car cut him off near Coney Island, and he crashed his bike. After visiting the doctor, his diagnosis was a broken elbow and a broken wrist. He decided it wasn’t the best choice to go camping (which I wholeheartedly agree), and since he was my ride upstate I decided not to go as well; I figured going by myself with two couples would be awkward, and since the weekend kennel was expensive enough as it is, I rushed to the dog boarder to retrieve Nico before I incurred any more charges.
I really wanted to go, as I’ve been talking to deaf ears about camping or going to a cabin since April. Still, I felt that I can save time and money if I just stayed behind. On top of that, my roommates went and I’d have the entire apartment to myself. It’d be a good, relaxing mini-staycation in itself, right? Nope.
Miraculously, my friend who broke his arm was willing to drive himself to Chicago the next day, so I was expecting to hang out with some of my other close friends who didn’t go camping. However, they called me later in the day saying they were driving to Atlantic City. They half-heartedly insisted I come, but considering they were already on the road and it would take me 3 and half hours to get there by train and bus, it’d be pointless. Their call, in my head, just seemed like a brag knowing full well it’d be a hassle to get there myself.
So how did all this make me feel? Alone. I’ve been berating my friends to rent a cabin for a weekend (ideally, for this upcoming 4th of July). I’ve entertained the idea of a road trip, especially to Atlantic City. But then again, my ideas fall short to my uninterested friends and only impulse drives them to do this stuff without me.
My lifestyle can’t rely on impulse; I have a 9 to 5 job with set vacation days. I have freelance work after work. I have a dog and an apartment and bills to maintain. I’m a fucking adult with responsibilities. I don’t think my good friends know how to plan anything (for instance, I waited an hour for two of them to show up at a goddamn coffee shop before they left on Saturday), much less appreciate my time or patient friendship.
I felt so goddamn angry and disappointed this weekend that I missed out on so much. And what gets me more upset is that it feels like they don’t care; friends knew I’d be unable to go camping this weekend after such high hopes, and I understand the unfortunate circumstances surrounding that bicycle accident, but I spent an entire 3-day weekend alone with my dog, doing laundry, cleaning, and making stuff for my Etsy shop. The same can be said of last weekend, and the weekend before that: uneventful and boring, sans people breaking or spraining their body parts. However, despite such positive expectations, this weekend went south so fast and was only compensated by a lack of social interactions but a lot of menial tasks.
It was Sunday afternoon that I decided that I need to start doing things on my own again: I had a lot of fun and much-needed time for reflection on my solo trips to Montauk, New Orleans, and Chicago. I need to stop relying on other people to find enjoyment or freedom from boredom. I need to start saying “no” to others and “yes” to me. Unless you’re paying me, my time is my time: I’ll choose what I want to do, when I want to do it, and care a lot less whether or not I have the company.
With that said, I’m going to start saving up to buy a car; I won’t have to rely on anyone to travel, and I can leave New York City and all its selfishness and solitude at any given notice — for a weekend or even permanently.
So if there’s any takeaway from this, I need to be more self-reliant for the sake of my sanity; I cannot rely or trust anyone to fulfill my own self-interests as I’ve so carelessly done in the past. It’s a fucking wheel: I put expectations on anyone, only to be disappointed by circumstance, apathy, or unrecognition of my own feelings.
I need to focus on my own needs rather than unconditionally put my efforts towards others, just to spiral into co-dependence and negativity.