Have you ever had a delicate piece of fabric and noticed there was a loose piece of thread? So you grab a pair of scissor and cut it, but then you notice another loose end and another one. Next thing you know you’re cutting and pulling thread trying to make this delicate fabric look perfect and in place, but by the time you’re finished there’s nothing left. The fabric is now choppy, unraveled and un-salvageable. I’ve learned to apply this same analogy when it came to certain friendships.
At 26, I am thankful to have my core friends. People I have grown with at different stages of my life some from childhood, some in college and some in adulthood. They have been there when I was at my lowest and have celebrated with me during my success. They have become real brothers and sisters to me.
Lately I’ve found myself questioning some of the people I’ve picked up along the way. One in particular and as we celebrate different milestones in our separate lives, I’ve found myself wanting to be less and less active in hers. It hit that that’s what my problem was. I’m always worrying about how to be a friend and I never considered how much of a friend I was getting in return.
I sat and reflected on all I’ve done in our friendship and it equated to twelves years of giving and being there through bad break ups, family issues, her not wanting to be my friend because I didn’t agree with something in her life that eventually didn’t end up lasting anyway and still being a friend enough to show up to graduations, housewarmings, etc. I placed our friendship on a scale and realized how imbalanced it was. I realized all of these years she wasn’t much of a friend to me at all.
I wasn’t looking for brownie points for everything I’ve done for her, I guess I was looking for a considerate relationship. Balance, but I felt a hard slap to the face every time she went on social media rants about how she didn’t have any friends, or worst when she chose her bridesmaids and didn’t even ask me and took to social media to let the world know they were her only friends and she never had to question where she stood with them.
Completely in my feelings. I started to vent and rant on social media, but before I could press send, I deleted it all because it’s never been my style to be petty on the web. It was further confirmation that I needed to let go and stop watering a dead plant. I pulled the thread that had been holding it all together: me.
Stop Using “Friends” Loosely
I think that’s where we go wrong with a lot of the connections we make. Just because you shared a laugh, exchanged numbers, have known each other for a few years doesn’t make you friends. We place such a meaningful label on people and hold them to that expectation and when they fail us time and time again, we’re bitter and hurt. I think learning to identify what a friend is is the first step in the right direction.
For me a friend is deeper than the surface. It’s a relationship that both are invested in.
Learn to Let Go
Just because someone has been your friend before doesn’t mean they’ll always be your friend. You may find yourselves growing apart. I’ve learned that with women, it’s all about maturity levels. You want friends who are beneficial to your life. Women going places.
Give & Take
I’ve found myself at several phases of burn out emotionally and mentally hanging on to friendships that I should’ve let go of. You give so much and although there isn’t an expectation for anything in return, you find yourself drained. Relationships are give and take. Each person should be a willing and selfless giver.
You go through different stages, get over certain hurdles at different times in your life and often times our friendships shift because of this. Some strengthen where we get closer to people who were mere acquaintances, some weaken and we realize they don’t do much for us.
I challenge you all to think about the people you choose to walk beside you and share in your life experiences. In addition to love, friendships are a very important essence of life. The older you get, the more you want to hold them close. The more impactful they become. So choose wisely.