I'm Too Busy for My Friends
Is it okay to be a little selfish right now, Papi?
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This year, I finally decided to take my dreams and ambitions seriously, and have dubbed 2023 the Year of Work. Last year was pretty bumpy to say the least. I lost my job and nearly lost a parent to illness in quick succession. Now, I'm kind of back on track. I'm working full time and getting up early to write in the mornings on my various projects, like short films and a podcast.
I avoid making plans with friends midweek so I can get up early while my brain is freshest and bang out some words before doing the work that actually pays the bills. When it comes to the weekends, I'm prioritizing writing, too. I just joined a writers group at a local theater, so I feel like I have a bit more of a sense of community and less like I'm throwing paper into the void.
That does mean for the next ten weeks or so, however, that my Sundays are taken up with this writers group and making rewrites to the short play which will be exhibited at the end. This really only leaves Saturdays.
I know this is a nice problem to have: "I'm working so hard and my friends still want to see me.” But I don't know what to say to my friends to make them understand that when they text asking, “when can we hang out?” I realistically want to reply, “um, in six months maybe?'” I have two best friends, people I will always facetime or see eventually, and, to be honest, I'm happy for them to provide me with my requisite amount of social interaction for the next year.
I'm a big “people person,” so it feels rude somehow that I'm closing my world tighter and tighter. I went away for Christmas, and have yet to tell some people that I'm even back.
I suppose my question is, how do I tell friends, people that I do love but will survive without in this intensely selfish period, that I don't really have time to see them... and how do I stop feeling so weird about it?
Anxious and Ambitious
Howdy, AA! Happy Year of Work to all who celebrate. I am not, but I love that for you.
Well, no, I’m actually lying. I work a lot. Indeed, I might work too much. I’m guilty of “burning the candle at both ends,” an expression that’s always interested me because it seems to imply a floating candle, or a very uniquely designed candleholder.
I, too, dedicate many weekends to writing. My weekend writing has a different flavor from my weekday writing, so it’s very important that I take advantage of that. I don’t want to do brunch, because one brunch knocks me out of commission for the day, and I don’t really want to go out at night, because waking up early the next day is what ensures me a good spot at the coffee shop and a clear mind to get things done.
This all conspires to make me not very fun, yet people do ask me to hang out at times, possibly due to my natural beauty or my accessible observational humor. My solution to being an absolute recluse is to blame the nebulous machinations of capitalism. “Ugh, I wish I could, but I have this thing due next week.” It’s often true!
Where we part ways, though, is that I kind of wish I was “out and about” more. My displeasure stems less from worrying about if I’m a good friend or not and more about if I’m losing out on fun or relaxation. Meanwhile, and correct me if I’m wrong here, you seem kind of happy?