Coffee Rhetoric: nostalgia
Showing posts with label nostalgia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nostalgia. Show all posts

July 15, 2012

The Politics of Friendship


In my early-to-mid 20's, I welcomed the company of seemingly like-minded new people and befriended folk with a moderate amount of enthusiasm. As I inched towards 30, I found that sustaining newly minted friendships became a bit more complicated and difficult to sustain as major life-events unfolded, interests changed, or connections simply tapered off and waned. Now that I'm 34, I find the prospect of building new bridges daunting. I've realized that not only have I reached an impasse of sorts in my personal life, but as much as I enjoy spending time alone, sometimes it feels bleak out on that ledge without someone to chat to or be silly with. The older I become, the more difficult it becomes to cultivate or sustain new friendships with folks in my age group . 

After college and well into adulthood, the pool of friends becomes diluted, people become more consumed by their own endeavors, and relationships start becoming more compartmentalized to fit where people are in their respective lives: mothers tend to gravitate towards other women who have children, free-wheeling singles want to hang out with other single social butterflies, couples want to hang with other couples, etc. At best, social relationships don't go beyond superficial and are fleeting. 

Every now and again, while mulling over certain aspects of life and human nature, I come across something that touches on specific life challenges. The New York Times published a piece written by Alex Williams. Williams touched on the difficulties of navigating newer friendships during a certain age in space and time…
In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply. 
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.
No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now. Williams writes.
Experts also weighed in; suggesting fluctuating conditions such as an “internal alarm clock”, proximity, and settings that don’t really prompt folks to want let down their guard enough to share personal information, are also factors; which is apparently why most people have more success meeting and establishing close (and enduring) friendships during college. 
As close as folks can  become at work, often times that dynamic can change once the work-relationship is over and especially when workplace politics start to weigh-into the developing friendship… 
“The workplace can crackle with competition, so people learn to hide vulnerabilities and quirks from colleagues,” says Rebecca G. Adams, professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 
“Work friendships often take on a transactional feel; it is difficult to say where networking ends and real friendship begins.”
Of course once regular hanging-buddies and best friends start to cultivate romantic relationships, which also can affect the dynamic of a friendship, their priorities shift and the thought of being a third-wheel makes you cringe.  
And of course for me, aging brings about a certain level of self-awareness that has prompted me to be a little more discerning about the type of people I build with; and to take a no frills, zero tolerance for drama/the self-absorbed/or the disingenuous approach... and at times this can lead to a lot of moments spent alone. Either way, building and formulating new friendships has become a daunting exercise in futility, especially in this social networking age; and while I have no interest in imploring someone to be friends, I proceed accordingly and try to accept my interactions as openly as I can muster without letting any trepidation I feel from prior experiences, mar chances of potentially meeting someone cool or at the very least, a great professional contact. I also make sure my own ego is in check. I’m a firm believer in letting things unfold organically and just being genuine and getting along with anyone making a sincere effort to get on (and get to know) me. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t lament those younger days, not having to contend with the politics networking and building entails in this current technological age, once you reach a certain age.

December 19, 2011

The Music Lives On...

I've been out of commission for the past week or so, stricken down by a nasty sinus cold-possible flu-combo. I'm hoping I've met my sick-quota for the year considering it literally came on the heels of a simple cold I'd managed to kick in three days, and hung on to my not-so-immune system for dear life. Everything hurt... body, head, my sinuses and throat were on fire, and my gums were sore. All I could do was sort of just lay there and breath out of my mouth. I couldn't taste or smell.
Needless to say, the worst is over and I've convalesced as best as I can save for an annoying dry cough and slight (and lingering) stuffiness. I've much catching up to do as far as writing goes.

My feeling better from being sick notwithstanding, it was with a heavy heart that I read about the passing of Cape Verdean Morna singer, Cesaria Evora. Referred to as "The Barefoot Diva," Cesaria's music has left an indelible mark on my heart because her 1995 album "Cesaria" was a morning staple for me while I was away at college. It was one of only three albums I favored and listened to every morning and evening as I was winding down alone, in my dorm room- (D'Angelo's "Voodoo" album and Sweetback's 1996 self-titled album were the other two).  "Cesaria" got me through some stressful times as I learned to re-adapt and cope in rural Wisconsin. It was almost as if Billie Holiday were lulling me to a mild calm in Cape Verdean creole... the music had a similar effect to the jazz siren.

Cesaria's music will continue to live on and I will continue to soothe my soul and listen. Here's hoping that another generation happens upon her work. It takes a special type of music fan to truly enjoy and appreciate her...




Enhanced by Zemanta

September 04, 2009

The Itch

An OVERWHELMING sense of wanderlust has suddenly hit me. A combination of this woman's blog, the incense, the comfy confines of my apartment, and the music I'm playing (Les Nubians) is making me itch with the travel bug again... and it has been some time since I've been abroad. The employment situation MUST work out (no if, ands, or buts) so I can start saving STAT.

May 31, 2008

Just 'Cause...

I really need to purchase this movie, School Daze, and its soundtrack. I can watch it over and over again, non-stop, several consecutive times in a row.
Check out Alicia Keys's tribute to the movie. Giancarlo Esposito, who played Black Fraternity leader Julian (aka Big Brother Almighty) makes a brief appearance in the video...