With A Little Help From My Friends
By Megan O’Connor
The last time something bad happened to me, I didn’t tell anyone. My entire life was turned upside down. The things I’d been working towards since college were gone; I didn’t want that path anymore. I left the city I’d been living in for two years in the middle of the night; I packed up my apartment and left without telling anyone. I moved back to Phoenix without saying goodbye to any of my friends in Texas, or telling any of my friends in Phoenix, that I was moving back. I kept it to myself and lived with the shame of what had happened, all alone. At the time, I wasn’t sure why. Why I wouldn’t tell anyone at Friendsgiving that I was really living here and not just visiting. Why I didn’t ask anyone to go to coffee and talk to them about what was happenings. Eventually I snapped out of it, enough to where I let in a few people. Even when you’re determined to keep something down, eventually it’s going to come out. And things got better. Not good, but better. And then they got great. But life is cyclical, and something bad has happened again, but this time it’s a completely different situation than two years ago.
The last time something bad happened to me, I had no one to rely on. I had lots of friends and people in my life, but on some level, I must have known the support that I needed wasn’t really there. I had lots of people I could approach, but what’s the point when you don’t trust them with your secrets? When you’re not sure the things you say will be met with understanding and empathy.
This time, though. This time is different.
I got fired a few weeks ago. From a horrible job that I hated, by a horrible boss that made me cringe whenever I thought about him. Aside from the being jobless and having no money coming in part, it wasn’t a bad thing at all. Don’t get me wrong, I do need the money, I’m not making too much as a writer at the moment, and I am not independently wealthy. And while I have an incredible tolerance, I had been sending out job applications for weeks in order to get out of a really bad situation. When it was finally over, when I finally was free of that hell, I told everyone!
Normally, you do not talk about being fired. It’s not something you tell people, much less everyone you know. I told everyone. That day. I couldn’t help myself. I knew that no one I was telling would judge me. They were going to support me and tell me, not only how much better off I was, but also how much I was really worth.
And they took it a step further. A few of them sent me resumes and told me about openings at the jobs they are working; a few offered to look for jobs and do some recruiting for me. All of them believed in me. My abilities to succeed were never questioned, a few people putting their names on the line to get me interviews with their bosses.
Two years ago, I had no one who would go to bat for me. No one I could even talk to about my situation or anticipate any kind of help. Two years ago, I didn’t have Brelby. The majority of people that I know now, that I’m friends with now, are people I’ve met through Brelby.
Not only have they become the people who foster my passion and creativity, we have so much fun together, but they have also taught me about trust and to let myself be vulnerable. To try new things, to make a fool of myself, and to believe that even when I may think the mistakes I’ve made are so damaging and irreparable, they will stay by me. Even if a situation does not have an obvious solution, or any solution, I’m not alone.
Because they’re my friends. And we all need a little help sometimes.