“What it’s like to not be apart of the ‘fam’ anymore” – For all of the people who never had a fam to begin with.

That was the day of honey roasts. I scrolled through all of the comments on all the pictures, and it felt like a swift punch to my throat. “You’re out. You used to be in, but you’re out now. When you’re in– you’re in. But man, when you’re out….” 

Calling people “fam” never really meant much, did it? 

I only felt sorry for myself long enough to realize we only build up the people we see everyday — we only brag on the “fam.” I only felt the weight of how things used to be long enough to realize — some people I know have never even lived in the “When you’re in, you’re in” part of the story. 

My skin itched and I felt gross. “This is what it feels like to not be in anymore? This is what it feels like to read these kind of posts? I’ve made people feel this way before?” 

Pushed out. Excluded. Not good enough. Alone. Waiting. Do better. Be better. Meet these standards. Live in Atlanta. Talk the talk. 

Maybe it’s shallow of me that some honey roasts on Instagram were my big epiphany moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I sank into it, too. My foot got caught in the trap. Because, God, it felt whole to have people. Like people could ever be “had” to begin with. But they pulled me in, they called me family, they took the white-walled pictures with me at church. 

God, what I’d give if I could go back to every moment I thought: “This. It doesn’t get better than this. This is it, these are my people, we’re in this.” Because I think I’d make myself sit longer in all the moments I found out I was wrong.

I’ve filed through my fair share of “fams” in the past 8 years. A boy I can’t look in the eyes because I didn’t know how to be his friend anymore when his life put drugs on a pedestal. Another who was too busy trying to fix his own pain that our friendship became collateral. A girl who couldn’t speak to me anymore because of who I chose to date. Seasons changing that ripped me away from the arms of people I had thanked God for.

And it’s just lonely. It’s all just a lot of praying for someone to come a long because you’ve never really had what everyone else has had when it seems like everyone else always picks the right “fam,” and you’ve never really put down roots anywhere. 

I wonder what would happen if we started honey roasting the people we aren’t closest to.

I wonder what would happen if we did more than have surface encounters with our friends– if we invited them out when we went out for dinner with our “fam” after the party.

We’re trying to make a difference, but we’re only clinging to the people we do life with every day.

So sometimes I sit in my car — I’m twenty-one years old, and sometimes I sit in my car and put Taylor Swift’s “Long Live” on just to go back to the time I played it for a car full of the kids I grew up with. And I whisper apologies over and over and over to all the people I hurt when I made the decision that all the heartbeats in that car that day were all I needed.

I want to grow, not be comfortable. Usually we register that thought with doing something we’re afraid to do. But maybe growing instead of being comfortable looks like no more circles drawn to keep a cap on who you do life with; maybe growing looks like taking down borders for other people to get inside the life they see on social media; maybe growing looks like growing out instead of saying “I have my fam, this is it, and it doesn’t get better than this.”

That’s so “me-me-me.” It does get better than this. It gets better when you reach out and pull more people in. 

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