Investing In People
I was texting my friend in London earlier tonight and we wondered off onto the topic of people. First it started out as me checking in, asking how everyone is and seeing what was new with her. Then she reciprocated the question, asking me how I am and how my friends are and how our mutual friends are doing.
Then she brought up a strong point, she said "people are incredible, like i love them".
At first I was like haahah hell yeah people are sick, but then i looked at it for another second and I was like well, you know, you're completely right, like people are incredible.
And that kind of got me thinking for the rest of the night on what it's like to appreciate people for who they are.
That's kind of the point of this, the importance of appreciating people.
The internet is a crazy world. It's how you found me and it's what lead you to this little journal in the public expressions of my brain, but social media all acts in a similar way in which we follow:
We follow people because we like them. As a matter of fact, we follow people because we trust them.
And I've broken this down mentally I've just never made a real statement on it, but I believe that we follow others because of a few solid main reasons (in no order of course)
They're attractive and you want to see more of them
They have nice style and you admire how they put outfits together
They're friends with "famous" people
They have the same amount of followers as you (same tier)
You have mutual friends but you aren't close friends (yet)
They were tagged in a post, you found them, you followed them
Or you know them in real life.
But it seems to follow the set path of: You follow someone because you know them and you like them, or you follow someone because you want to one day know them and like them.
It's like an investment. You invest your trust into someone by following them. You bring them onto your own personal brand and say "I'm on their team, they're a part of mine". And when you mutually follow eachother, it's a newly declared friendship
We can get back to the internet stuff at a different point, because I think this is meant to highlight what it's like to invest in people in real life.
And when I say this, I don't mean investing money. Money has nothing to do with this.
But an investment of time and longevity.
And the title of the piece is the core meaning, look at your relationships as investments into people.
I tweeted something earlier and I'm going to quote my own tweet word for word here because, well, it was a good tweet.
But I genuinely from the bottom of my heart think that there is no better personal relationship than one where you push people to be the best them they can be.
And that goes for every relationship you have. And they're all two way streets.
You need to understand your friends, learn from your friends, grow with your friends, and be sure to push your friends.
And I put "understand" first in that sequence because that's the most important one.
When you meet someone, you need to understand who they are.
And this is something that I never really looked at in life before i went to college, and college taught me nearly every aspect of this piece, but it's just that when you meet someone for the firt time, bam, that's it, they're them in that exact moment, and you can pick to like them, pick to not care for them, or pick to dislike them. Althought I strongly believe it's toxic to dislike anyone in life (but that conversation is for another time).
But when I went to college, I was meeting people in their rawest form.
And I don't think I was ready for that at first, so when it all came so quickly it was sensational.
Like you can walk up to someone and just based off what they're wearing you can tell if you want to invest your time into them. You can tell by their laugh, how they shake your hand, if they dap you up correctly, if they're too snobby, if their not confident enough, like all of that is so apparent in people at first glance.
But that's cool, because that's someone's rawest form.
Growing up going to highschool in a small town, everyone kind of knew everyone. And thankfully my town and friends didn't care about money, but I first-hand watched other town friend groups alienate people because their parents weren't rich, or they didn't play varsity sports, or they weren't in private highschools. Just stuff like that.
And when you are caught up in all of that, and you think that someone's reputation depicts who they are, then you'll never meet that person for who they really are, because chances are everytime they do something when you're with them, or when they come up and introduce themselves to you, you're going to sit there and reference your percieved imagine of who they are, how cool they might be, and what their reputation is like.
But in the real world, and in college, no one cares about that stuff. And that's something I'm endlessly glad I understood.
You meet someone and bam, your friendship starts right there. It doesn't matter where they're from, how cool they were in highschool, how much money their parents make, hell it doesn't matter if they have parents! That's what makes them them, and you're just here to learn about them from what they have to share with you.
But that's the best part.
The interpersonal investment.
Now, I guess from the initial stages of meeting someone to calling someone your best friend there's a lot of time that goes down.
But what I've noticed in life is something called
Similarity and Proximity with Friends.
And it basically is the fact that you become strongest friends with those who are similar to you in a way. Think about it. All your best friends are friends in which you have something in common with.
For me, a lot of my best friends like brands and clothes and taking photos. We all share a lot of the same traits. We do everything together. We talk about clothes together. We take photos together. We read about brands and send information to one another, learning together.
And for me with the brand, I've built a team and I have one best friend who helps a tremendous amount, and like him and I, we do projects together.
Like friendship is about being on the same page.
It's about spending time working on activities you like, together.
It's about laughing together, and finding more to laugh about.
It's about telling stories everyone can imagine and feel even though they weren't there.
It's about calling them on their birthday just to brighten their day even more.
It's about understanding what makes them happy and doing lots of it to bring enjoyment to their life, and making sure you know what makes them sad and ensuring you minimize whatever that is to avoid it in their lives.
It's about being happy when you're together and still being happy when you're not.
It's about learning everything about them just from what they tell you.
You don't gotta go asking. Just wait for it to all come to you.
It took me a full year just to understand everything about my roommate who I lived in a small dorm room with. And my best friend, someone who helps with this brand so so much, I know nearly everything about his personality and I can tell you that every sunday he gets a little sad (but he doesn't know why) and he's straight edge because he feels like he's happiest in his controlled mind, and he can stay up all night but he can also wake up early for an 8am and I know the exact town he's from in Iowa and I know what he wants to do in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, and with his life.
But I don't even know his parents names. I don't know what kind of life he came from before college. I don't know if he was the coolest kid in his highschool or if he was the lamest. I don't know if he got invited to those highschool parties that the cool kids all went to.
I just know what he's told me. And most of the time people don't directly talk about life with the intention of filling you in on the parts you've missed, you just need to put the pieces of the puzzle together and piece information along side the timeline and you'll learn to understand.
But mostly, it's about how people are in the now.
That's an issue I have with social media, and I'm a product of this flaw from the ground up. And all my friends are too.
We're all kind of fake online.
Not fake, but not real.
I'll be totally honest I hate when people know who I am before I meet them.
And there's a lot of people that would love to have that, like they'd love people knowing who they are and liking them and stuff but it just creates such a bias on people and it ruins the excitement of meeting someone for the first time.
There's been so many times where I've met people and I'll go on to talk about something that someone I had just met wouldn't know and they chime in and fill in the blanks, i'm just like "oh word you know exactly who I am prior to meeting me therefore you know way more about me than I do about you therefore this is weird"
I don't want to say I hate it because I never want someone coming up to me being like afraid to tell me they know who I am or whatever but it's just weird.
Like i would hateeeeeeee being real life famous like Tyler The Creator or someone of that calliber.
Think about that. Every single person in the world that you meet, already knows who you are, what you do, and what you're like.
I'm sure its cool for a little bit, but over time it just gets so old because it's so hard to find genuine people who want to be your friend for more than them being able to say "oh i'm friends with them".
And I know kids who gas up being friends with me and I'm like dude you're friends with real life me, like this me, not the me on the phone, not the me in the photos, like you're friends with real life me just smile and tell me stories about your life don't just like me and make me think you want to genuinely care about me as a friend just to tell your friends we're cool
But yeah back to similarity effect, people mesh who are into the same thing.
If you like working out and you go to the gym, I bet over time you'll notice your closest friends are those who you go workout with.
If you like skating, your closest friends are going to be the ones you skate with.
If you like clothes, your closest friends are going to be the ones who also like clothes and enjoy the same brands as you.
If you like sports, your friends most likely will also be into and will follow sports just like you do.
If you like concerts, you're going to become friends with the people you meet at concerts over and over again.
Like it's just how it is.
Kids who like fast cars all hangout with other kids who like fast cars.
Kids who have rich parents tend to hangout with other kids who have rich parents.
Kids who vape love to hangout with other kids who vape.
and kids who smoke weed love to smoke weed with other kids who smoke weed.
It's the fact that you mesh best with people who share similar interests to you.
As life goes on, you'll start to see some friends fade.
And this is something that everyone says will happen after highschool, and I'm saying: this will happen after highschool,
The kids you were really close with just because you grew up near eachother and had class together who you thought would be your friends forever, some of them are going to lose touch with you.
Over the school year I kept in touch with probably ten friends from home.
Everyone else, I just kept up with online and stuff but I had ten friends that I would call and facetime regularly. The rest of the hundreds of friends I had in highschool, I just wouldn't know what to talk about beyond "hey woah hows college tell me all about it" and hear five minutes of how they joined a frat and they drink a lot of beer and love their pledge brothers.
You know what I mean, it's just like people fade as life goes on.
As people fade, you begin to see who is really there with you.
And trust me, that college thing I just told you about is going to happen. I always thought it wouldn't and I'd be close with everyone I was close with in highschool but now that I'm home from school back in my town, I see probably 5 people I was friends with in highschool. I go to the parties that the kids in my grade throw and I see everyone I graduated with, but I just sit there like wow I really have nothing in common with any of these people, and that's cool because in this moment we're not here to make friends, we already are all friends, but looking at it from a life-long-perspective, no one that I see at these parties shares common interest with me.
Except my five friends. Because those are people who I will be friends with for life.
And like in the beginning of senior year of highschool I stopped smoking weed, like I just quit and never got back into it and I lost SO MANY FRIENDS BECAUSE ALL EVERYONE EVER DID WAS SMOKE WEED .
That's when I first started thinking about this theory.
Like I went from constantly having something to do with all these friends to nothing.
No one wanted to hangout with my anymore because I always wanted to do stuff that didn't include smoking weed and they all wanted to sit around and pass the bong in a circle and i was like omfg life is out there guys lets go dooooooo somethingggggg
And that's kind of when I went off and started my life.
I had met Serafina and Hudson who were my best friends senior year and we all were straight edge and we just took on the world.
And all my old friends who I would hangout and smoke with, well, we never really hungout ever again. We just would have noting to do or nothing in common if we hung out.
And any time I do see them, they're all hanging out smoking
But people rarely smoke to get high, most times people smoke because it gives them something to do. It's the act of smoking weed that I miss. I hate being high, but I miss sitting around talking in a circle for hours and laughing about nonsense like it just did bring people together on such simple terms.
As people fade, you begin to see who you really are friends with. Those people, well, they're your life long friends.
Once you find your best friends, you just need to invest in them.
Invest in making sure that they truly are the best version of themselves.
Find out what their flaws are, work with them to make those flaws perks.
Find out what makes them sad and help them overcome it.
Find out what they feel insecure about (and every person in the world feels insecure about something don't try to act tough) and make sure you're careful of that.
But most importantly, find what they're good at and make sure they're working at it all the time to be the best they can be at it.
They don't even have to be good at it, find what your friends like doing! Then just go fucking do it!
Sorry to swear but like that's what you need to do!
Literally go find what you like to do and go do it! Do a ton of it! Do it all the fucking time!
Start off bad at it and get better !
I wasn't born a good writer! I sucked at it then I wrote and wrote and wrote and found my voice now I can do these types of things, but when I was younger I found out I loved writing and sharing my ideas and I just did it over and over again until I was confident enough to share it.
I used to be self concious of my writing. Not self concious in a full sense, just reserved. Like I never shared any of it. I have so many things written..... and I mean so many that sadly will never be published but like over the school year, that kid Trey who I became best friends with, he would tell me "bro go write go blog something just go share your mind" and I remember being like "yeah, maybe I should" then I'd be up until 3am writing.
Or like one of my friends Andrew has this talent where he can listen to 10 seconds of any song (ever) and then he can play the song on his guitar. Like anything from country music to rap to EDM he can do it all. When I found out he could do that, I went to his room every night with a new song and we jammed. I could always tell he never had friends who loved he had those talents. But to me, it was like bro you're incredible and amazing and talented lets keep working at this until you're flawless and on broadway like wtf we're not partying tonight we're staying it to listen to you play Magnolia by Playboi Carti on your electric guitar chord for chord.
You see what I'm saying? Like you just need to gas your friends up. Because once you become like older there's no point in being friends with people who aren't pushing you.
I said "older" there instead of saying "19" because sadly enough I know a lot of 19 year olds who are only friends with kids who are as uninspiring as they are, they just don't understand i guess but that's fine they're happy and them being happy is good enough for me to be their biggest fnas (on a small scale of course).
But that's it! You just need to surround yourself with people who are like you, and who appreciate you for who you are.
AND IF YOU'RE IN A RELATIONSHIP, YOU BETTER BE DATING SOMEONE WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST LIFE FAN OR ELSE YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME.
Like with Serafina and I, it's nothing but love and happiness and progression.
Every single day we wake up and figure out how to be the happiest people we can be.
Every single day we try to do as much as we possibly can in one day.
Since we're always together and since we've been best friends for two years, we know what makes eachother mad, what makes eachother happy, what makes eachother sad. Like we've just expreienced it all. And never in a million years would I ever do anything to sadden that girl or make her upset like that's just not how we are as people! We are so so so into gassing eachtother up and complete honesty and inspiration like that girl inspires me in so many different ways that she'll never even know because they're so miniscule.
But I've seen so many couples that just don't understand this.
Like I know couples that are TOXIC. Both of the people cheat on eachother. They lie to eachother. They go behind eachothers backs.
And I sit back just with a pout on my face because they really don't want the best for eachother because clearly they're doing things that would upset the other person.
I have such a negative view on toxic people. I hate liars I hate people that go behind other people's backs, it's just such a blatant transparent wall like I can see right through them.
If you're going to love someone, and spend time with them, and make them feel special or whatever, please just sit there and understand that the point of being in a relationship is making sure that whoever you're with is being the best version of themselves you can be, and in term they'll learn to do the same to you.
Next time you see your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever just compliment their face or their hair or their smile or their outfit. Tell them they look cute. They're going to smile I'm telling you. They're going to laugh on the surface but I bet if you ask in two weeks how they felt when you said it, they'll tell you they loved it because they'll remember it.
Gas them up with everything they do.
Be their biggest fucking fan.
Inspire them and be inspired by them.
In my life, Serafina doubles as my best friend ever and basically my girlfriend. But she's my #1 fan in life and I'm hers. For now and for ever. Because when we met, we knew that it was worth it to invest our last year of high school into one another, and together we built a friend group of people from all over the place that also invested in us like we invested in them. And everyone we met on the way, we just knew was there for us like we were there for them.
And that's the positive power of the internet in a sense that I got to meet so many people from so many walks of life that came from so many different childhoods and states and stuff that all care about so many similar things I care about.
Actually, that's the best part of the internet, going back to proximity factor, everyone I've become friends with online is cool and unique in their own way.
Most people I went to high school with, well, they're all very similar and they don't have very open minds because they're very stuck in the small town we grew up in, so a part of me growing up was me using the internet as my escape route and that's when I learned that I'd rather have five internet friends that I go fly to see every few months that genuinely care about how I'm doing on a weekly basis and who like every project I work on and who keep up with everything I do rather than twenty high school friends who all went to college near home that text me "wanna burn" when I get back home.
Just surround yourself with people you care about. And love every bit of them. And make sure they know your appreciation for them, too.
And that goes for everyone, not just your boyfriend / girlfriend / partner
Gas your friends up ---- I could go on and on with this but just fucking love your friends.
Invest your time into them and just take them with you on your team in life.