I’m getting pickier. In little ways, and in big ones too.
Maybe that’s what happens when you get older and when the crankiness starts to set in. But instead, I like to think that it’s a byproduct of getting to know myself, and (finally) learning how to start loving myself – at least a little bit. Enough to say: No, that’s not what I want. That’s not ok for me. I am worth more than that.
Like, I won’t buy shitty garbage coffee to make at home anymore just to save a few dollars. Do you know how much coffee I drink? It’s one of the best parts of my day. So I want the good stuff whenever I can get it.
I’m getting rid of things like crazy, too. I recently donated about half my clothing – if it didn’t fit, or if it didn’t fit well (like, if it technically fit but I’d spend most of the day tugging at it, yanking it up, or pulling it out of my ass) – it got donated. Anything that was just ‘meh’? Gone. I only want stuff that I actually like. Why has it taken me so long to understand that?
It felt so amazing to let it all go. It actually felt as though I had gained something throughout the process.
And I’m becoming especially careful about how I spend my time now, too. I’m learning how to say ‘no’ to invitations for things that would be draining, stressful or otherwise un-enjoyable. Because life is so incredibly short. Why has it taken me so long to understand that one, too? If I’m lucky, I might have, what, 55 or 60 good years left? I can’t afford to waste any of it. We can’t ever get any of that time back.
And people. Relationships. My circle’s gotten smaller in the past few years, and I’ve struggled a lot with that because I created a story about what that meant – a story where I simply wasn’t good/smart/fun/funny/kind/________ enough for people to want to be friends with me. But once I started to pull that story apart, the truth was that I’d actually self-selected out of some of the relationships I’d been in, many of which were unbalanced, unstable, or unhealthy in some way. Most of these relationships involved a lot of pointless drama and this sort of sneaky, casual negativity that managed to slip into every conversation. Looking back, it’s not exactly a mystery why I’d leave these interactions feeling drained and pessimistic. But, I figured, at least I had friends!
Yeah, that’s not ok with me anymore.
Because in the relationships I build now, I know what I want. And in a small way, I’m starting to understand what I deserve – and to really believe that I do deserve better than what I’ve had.
My friends are real. As in authentic, not as in ‘not-imaginary.’( I’m not ready to let go of my imaginary friends yet.)
My friends and I thrive on silliness, joy and celebration, but we are also able to wade through the darkness and the muck together – and to help each other find the way out, when needed. We don’t run away when things get scary.
But my friends don’t create bonds where it becomes about me “saving” you or you “saving” me, because that’s not healthy. My friendships are not built on the premise that one of us needs to be “broken.” And I will not break for you. A real friend would not expect me to.
My friends don’t care about all the ways in which I’m fucked up – and they’re honest about the all ways in which they’re fucked up – because we are ALL fucked up in our own special, magical ways, and it helps to talk about it. (And it’s usually really funny to talk about it, too.)
When we are together, my friends and I become something more than just the sum of our parts. We create partnerships where we help each other to become the truest, highest, and most self-actualized versions of ourselves. Our connections allow us to accomplish things together that we may never have achieved on our own.
And in our friendships, there is love. We have love for each other, yes, but not only that – we also learn to fall more in love with ourselves.
(Because I like the ‘me’ I am when I am with you, and you like the ‘you’ that you are when you are with me. That is what friends bring out in each other.)
There is not a lot of time left, friends.
This is what we deserve.