Happy New Week!
I truly hope you're well and that this communiqué finds you well, really.
I lazily refused to force a post last week despite all of the advise of successful content creators and creatives about consistency and quantity over quality, especially when you're starting out. (hi pls, Ali Abdaal!) I simply exceeded my step count celebrating a close friends birthday and declined to be bothered. Yes, Eliud, I'm a slave to my moods. We all can't be Mr. 1.59 (jk, I'll do better, I promise, you're the GOAT and we stan! )
The Support v The Congratulations
I saw this on someone's LinkedIn post a few days ago and it triggered a subject I've been pondering over for a long time (hi DO, I hope you read this one 😝)
Several months probably a few years ago, Sharon Mundia (This is Ess) shared this YouTube video on a boundary she was setting: sharing her child on her social media platforms. (Sorry can't find it!) Joy Kendi also recently spoke about the same thing on Mantalk.ke (which my peeps at Artlight shoot) about drawing that boundary. I do this nerdy thing where I pick a book of the year each year, last year's was Boundaries by Dr. Townsend and Henry Cloud which is impeccably fantastic! I highly recommend.
Let's preface with the fact that I've been blessed with an amazing social circle. A fantastic group of family and especially friends who vouch for me and root for me like no one's business. I sure hope they think I do the same for them.
Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs, once the basic needs at the bottom are resolved, Love and belongingness needs come up. After physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled, the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belongingness. Belongingness, refers to a human emotional need for interpersonal relationships, affiliating, connectedness, and being part of a group.
Over this gap month period, I took some time out to do some 'stakeholder mapping'. I came up with a literal layered circle and mapped where various people in my life sit. If you remember 8-4-4 GHC, you'll remember the earth's structure - Core, inner crust, outer crust, I literally built a similar one.
It's human nature to be drawn towards success, to recognize people more for what they can do for you than who they are, to seek association based on titles and affiliations. I'm slowly making peace with that.
With your inner circles, one has a responsibility to show up and be vulnerable in order to build and develop deep, intimate and meaningful relationships. This for me has predominantly been through conversations, I am thoroughly struggling with the actions concept of it.
Our woke generation has grown so mediocre and entitled that we expect people to show up for us, but we fail to realise the obligation to reciprocate.
I heard someone recently say during graduation season that support does not have to be monetary. But imagine sometimes it's the money you need and not the prayer. I too, am learning this.
Your inner circle also has an obligation to hold you accountable, call you out when you mess up and keep you humble. Truthtellers.
Who gets access and when they get access is a subjective decision that only you can make.
I have realized over this season that several acquaintances show up for the good times. And it's not from a bad place most times, they're just lurking through either from a place of admiration or sheer interest. I have learnt that, this subjective accessibility thing, is a call one makes for themselves, based on your circle's proximity and both your expectations from that friendship or relationship.
The Social Media Facade
I recently realized that in the age of social media, people decide what and when you get access. Think of the number of people who reveal pregnancies, marriages, children, new roles etc you had no idea about, despite this feeling of proximity because you're connected on social media.
What about those who build certain narratives that you tend to associate them with online but in person have a different reality? What about the number of people we discover later on weren't doing well or were struggling yet we assumed they were having a great time because of the big smiles and bubbly personalities? I'm actively trying to keep this at the back of my mind. Yes, it calls for a need for realistic vulnerability - but not everyone has that right to equal access.
I've had such fantastic conversations with some of my inner circle people this week and man, I love my people. Literally spoke to one for about 5 hours, I kid you not.
To my people, I promise to proactively put in energy and effort to show up and I pray that you do as well for me. May I be a custodian of your truth and experiences. I appreciate you. ❤️
It may take a while, but, when you find it, you'll know it.
And I plead with you, please, hold on to it and keep it.
- June Okal -
The podcast Legally Clueless. I've been bingeing on this podcast by Adelle that allows people to share their life stories and experiences and have been really enjoying it.
To new beginnings and a new week!