Monday, April 6, 2009

Real Friends (By: Samira Hodges)

Today we have the lovely Samira Hodges, debut author of Milestones, visiting us with a guest blog.


Dear Mom and Dad,

I know it may seem strange to you, having me write this letter, but it’s something that needs to be done. There is something that needs to be explained, something that has been brushed under the rug for far too long…and it’s my fault. There was a fight years ago, between you and me. A fight that lasted too long. A fight that redefined our relationship, one that made you think somewhat less of me, I think. One that made you misunderstand me as a person. One that made me almost hate you. The fight stemmed from the time I decided to leave home for college. You had always wanted me to stay close to you, to go to the local college, follow in your footsteps, and accept the scholarship. And I had always humored it. I’d never had a problem with it. But things changed. Right before my decision was due, my life changed in a way I never thought possible. It was turned upside down and I wasn’t ready to explain. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. I wasn’t ready to face anything. I just wanted to run away. And I did. Without any justification, I left. And finally, years later, here’s why.

The truth is my decision had nothing to do with you. It had everything to do with my so-called friends at the time. You remember them right? There was Claire, Gina and Carla. We were supposed to be inseparable. Supposed to be friends for life, confidants, sisters. But the difference between “being” and “supposing” is clear to me now. Supposing has the word “posing” hidden in it. So the friends, confidants and sisters bit? Obviously, none of it turned out to be true. I still don’t know what happened (and truthfully, I don’t care), but they turned on me. One minute I was happy and comfortable and ready to go to college with my so-called friends. The next minute, I had no friends. I actually had no one. I was made a laughing stock. I was an out-cast, a loner. These were roles I was so unfamiliar with. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. How could I go from miss-popular to miss-outsider in five minutes? How could the people who claimed they love me, hurt me so badly (over and over and over again?). What happened? If they didn’t want to be friends with me, why were they so mean about it? Why couldn’t they just be honest with me? Why deliberately hurt me? Were they always this evil? Or did I bring it out in them now? Why not just let me be? Why not just let me go? Why did they go out of their way to be hurtful and rude, day after day? Did they ever love me at all? Or was it all just a farce? My head was spinning and I was hurt and confused. I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it. I didn’t know.

Of course, now I know. Now that I’m in my thirties and married with children, it all seems so simple. Now that I’m watching my kids go to school and make their own friends, it all seems so clear. And now that I’ve surrounded myself with good people, I know the meaning of a true friend. The thing is, mom and dad, I had to leave for college. It was a must. I had to get out of that small town and get away from that toxic scene. I had to spread my wings and find myself. And I did. I so did. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk about it before. It was too difficult and I just needed you to trust me. And truth be told, it took me a long time to get here. But I can talk about it now. I can also reflect on it. I can discuss it at lengths. I can analyze. I can realize and I can also breathe a huge sigh of relief. Because the truth is, Claire, Gina and Carla did ME the favor by dumping me. Years later, I’m shining, I’m thriving, I’m happy and guess what? They’re not. They are still in the same high-school rut. They haven’t evolved. They haven’t moved. They haven’t accomplished anything. They are still the same miserable and immature people they were back then. It’s sad but it’s also true. And me? It took me many years, but I finally understand the true meaning of friendship now. I finally understand that I get to choose my friends. Friends aren’t just people who fall into your lap. They aren’t just people you have nothing in common with or people who you are constantly fighting with. They aren’t people who hurt you (deliberately or not). They aren’t people who bring you down, who can’t understand you, who are jealous of you. They aren’t any of those things. Real friends accept you for who you are. Real friends want what’s best for you. Real friends drop anything to be there for you in a heartbeat. Real friends feel remorse. Real friends want to be your friend as badly as you want to be theirs. Real friends are as the cliché goes, “the family you choose”. After high-school, I carefully handpicked my friends. I changed my entire approach. I evolved. So for the record, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving without an explanation. I’m sorry I made you wonder about me. I’m even sorry if I worried you. But maybe now you’ll understand my decision a little bit better. Or maybe you knew all along. Because the funny thing about all this is that I think I knew all along too. I knew all along that I was meant for more than those people and more than that life.

I was meant to be happy.

And I am.

Love always (your daughter),

Jane Burkhead.


So what do you think? Be sure to check out Samira on her own blog at and don't forget to check out Milestones when it releases in August


Anonymous said...

I saw a strange likeness with that and my old life and it scared me a little... I didnt run, but i'm thinking about running that im seeing the same pattern as before. I dont want it to end like that again.
-Just Me

Jill said...

I'm so sorry You've had to go through something terrible. Hopefully you find a better solution than running away. If you need someone to talk to just email me at readingisbliss (AT)