I failed so hard at Carnival but in the end, it helped me. It’s story time.
Before I moved to London I heard so much hype about Notting Hill Carnival. I’m not a super soca girl but I can give a whine and party when I get in the mood so I said if I ever get a chance I would experience Carnival in London.
Two weeks before the big day I asked my one of my 2.5 friends if I could go with to Carnival with him and his crew. This was my chance to see the big CARNIVAAAL and I was low key excited.
The weekend before the big fete I asked friend how the day going to pan out and he gave me a very go with the flow response. That should have been my clue.
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Leave it to a man to make plans. The day of Carnival arrived and there was no meeting spot, no set time, no concrete anything. When I plan something, best believe its planned but I convinced myself to try this thing called go with the flow. I had a feeling the day would not end well but I was committed so I made my way to the tube (and let me tell you, I do not take the tube) where I endured weed being blown in my face and my butt awkwardly pressed against some stranger’s junk, all in the name of we gon link.
And then…and then….I arrived too far away from him, he was too far away from me and our final phone call ended with “This ain’t gonna work. They’re pouring Henny.”
At the sound of Hen- I decided to take my ass back home.
Maybe I should have stayed and try to wiggle my way to a new group of people but I was irritated with the lack of planning, that I had an unwanted contact high and the fact that I could have been relaxing in the comfort of my home.
These were all legit reasons to be irritated but I realized I was super pissed at the reality that Carnival was showing me I needed a sista circle.
Sista Circle – a group of friends, usually women but not limited to, who support you, have your back, wait for you at Carnival and gives you all the lovin.
Here’s how Carnival straightened my natural edges:
I’ve been doing this solo ish too long
Let me make it clear, I am not one of those women who takes pride in having zero girl friends. It bugs me a lot. A lot, a lot. When women say “oh I don’t do female friends cause they jealous of me ya see” that’s a red flag. You’ll never hear me say that’s why I don’t have friends. EVER.
I’ve always been a loner; in my adult life, I’ve only had friends at two periods in my life. In both of those situations, the friendships ended because of life circumstances and not because we wanted them to. The older I get (no shame in my game, I’m in my 30s – but for brands, I look like 20s…joking, or…am I?) the harder it is to connect with people.
Also, I am awkward as fuck.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident in a lot of ways but when it comes to friends, whew I’m a mess. I will straight up look you in the face and question why would you want to be my friend. I will ask it outloud and make it super itchy cause that’s my specialty. I specialize in AWK.
Walking along the streets of bougieville I thought here I am by myself, walking to an event by myself again. All those girls around me have their group, their gang, their squad and I had – me. It’s tiring.
Sistas understand you in a special way
Not taking away from guy friends (cause you can totally have that special connection with them), but my guy friend wasn’t it ya’ll. I was rolling there with a group of girls who got me, we would have jokes, we would be dancing every three steps, having moments of AAAAAAHHHH and AAAAAYYYYYE and we’d be poppin.
The sistahood just gets you.
Recently I’ve gone through so much emotionally and I have been forced to keep it inside. I do have a bf but she lives in America and even though we chat it out, there’s something about having a squad in your city. Being able to call a friend to come over or meet at a coffee shop, it’s special.
I’m also 3% (or more like 100%) afraid of having to create those friendship links all over again. Just as dating is hard, starting a friendship is hard. You have to learn a person all over again, you have to let someone into your space.
Even though that thought is terrifying, if I can put myself out there for dating (lord) I reckon I can do the same thing for the sistahood.
Henny over heauxs?
My bestest, bestest friend is my real sister and when I think of all the ways I put her first (and I’m not saying this in a rude way) I realize that’s what friendship is about. That boy put Henny, actual piss water, above meeting up. If he wanted to he could have found a way, but as I clicked off my phone I realized a friend and a sista wouldn’t let me go back home.
Think about it, when you go out you are always on the watch for your friends and you always keep them in the front of your mind. I’m at a stage in my life where someone picking Henny over me is silly but that action was the final girl you need to get your friend life together moment.
I’m not mad at friend because I don’t expect him to give that same level of I got you Olli to me. If I did, I don’t now! Plus he gifted me something super dope for Coco Creativ so he made up for that epic mess.
Life says I should be upset but I can’t be bothered being angry; in his own typical, oblivious guy way he did “a great job”. Plus, Carnival coming back so I could try again next year.
So what do I do friendwise?
To be honest, I freaking don’t know. It’s hard to make friends in the UK (or anywhere) and I’ve kinda given up while still remaining hopeful. Does that make sense?
Since moving here I have constantly seen campaigns about loneliness and I get it. Even though I have flatmates, they’re not my friends. We talk but we’re not invested in each other’s lives. Aside from my flatmates, there are days where I don’t have deep conversations, I don’t have chats – I don’t have squawk fests laughing at something only me and the other person would get. It’s not fun but it’s my life.
Everyone has their circle here and I’m just…me. Awkward, anime awkward, sailor moon awkward, hates winter awkward and always broke awkward. Yep. Awk. WArd.
While I’ve gotten used to it, that fail made me understand I don’t like it and I want more for my life. Like I stated, if I could try dating this year I think it’s time to start making friendship connections too. I really don’t know where to look but I will try.
I will not let my Carnival fail be in vain. Next year I’m going with a squad, matching outfits (at my big age, I’m joking) and making sure we all enjoy the Henny.
Maybe I’ll document my friendship search…Is finding friendship easy for you? Let me know below.
What I Learned From My Carnival Fail
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