Manifesto on friendship

3 May

I am sure I have mentioned my pinterest obsession on here at least a couple times, I love all the interesting things you find on there. I never would have found any of the cooking and DIY blogs I now frequent if it weren’t for pinterest. Of course pinterest can be a total time suck as it catches your attention for hours and sometimes it causes me to become very hungry as I see all these amazing recipes. As some of you may know you have boards that you post your ‘pins’ to and they are organized by categories so I have some (quite a few) board for food (desserts, breakfast, soup, thanksgiving recipes, vegetarian, etc) as well as house related, family related, fashion related etc. boards. There are also secret boards for things you don’t want everyone to be able to see (since all other boards are public), so I have a secret board with my girlfriends called “for the ladies” and we post hilarious things, inappropriate things, in-side jokes, wedding ideas for those who aren’t engaged, baby things for those who aren’t even trying, truisms about being a girlfriend/wife, but most of all pins about being friends. While pinning away yesterday with new pins about being girlfriends I started thinking about friendships that have been fostered and grown and those which have withered away or been suddenly ended. I started thinking about the ones which I decided it was over and ones where I was not afforded the chance to make a decision. Sometimes you don’t know that it’s coming and sometimes we see it coming from a mile away but aren’t ready to let go.

In my teenage years and earlier twenties I tended to be a person who would make friends fast and easily but didn’t do a fabulous job at screening the people I was bringing into my life. This has lead to some heartache over the years when I have become close with toxic people or maybe just relationships with perfectly normal people that for one reason or another expired. Sometimes situations change, sometimes people change, and sometimes it was bad to begin with but we just didn’t know it. I think that everyone can relate to having been involved with relationships that were one sided- we care more or they do, ones where we were/are being used for what someone else could get from us, negative friendships where we feel bad every time we come into contact with them. What I know now is that it’s important to select the people in my life carefully and holistically, and most importantly to define my expectations in a friendship. In knowing what I can and cannot accept in relation to the behavior of those around me, I know where to draw the line. I have realized that although the relationships we have with those we surround ourselves with are extremely vital the relationship we create with ourselves is even more important. Recognizing our self worth is paramount when considering the level of behavior and treatment we will accept. Treating ourselves right by eliminating negative forces in our lives is very important and advocating for the way we want to be treated is another way to treat ourselves well.

I also learned that it’s important to periodically ‘spring clean’ my life, meaning that I examine the relationships in my life and determine if they are healthy, need some TLC, need resolution over unresolved issues, or it’s time to call it quits. I am not someone who is a pack-rat by any means but I have been known to be someone who could be considered ‘a hanger-on’ when it comes to withering relationships. I may have known that this friendship wasn’t working for me, it wasn’t healthy and it was simply draining but I used to have a difficult time walking away from it, usually out of nostalgia  but that doesn’t mean that I should stay for that reason alone. I know now that I should avoid in friendships with: those who have ulterior motives, those who don’t believe in you, those who don’t raise you up, those who make you feel bad about yourself, and those who don’t value you. I realized that it is more important to me at this stage of my life to have a small amount of good very close friends than to have many mediocre friends. Those are the relationships which I will lend my time and foster their development and those are the ones that I cherish.

It would have been lovely to have known these things when I was a teenager, but then I wouldn’t have learned these lessons first hand to know their worth.

sex_and_the_city_0071

*photo from HBO.com/sex-and-the-city

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