I’ve been thinking a little bit lately about why I have the people in my life that I do. Of course, it involves my own choice to an extent… because love is about a series of decisions you make. Yet once love is there, it’s difficult to turn away from that. So, those people are also, on some level, not a choice. They are there because they are… there, we are bound by an invisible and often un-understandable tether. Somehow, in some ways, our stories have linked and it’s no longer a choice. But a bond.
But there are points you can turn away, too. Sometimes you must. This should not be taken lightly.
That said, when I think about those I choose to have in my life: those who walk alongside me in the big and small things, the ones who call me for a last minute lunch at Culver’s after church, ones who stop by my house or my office without warning, sometimes with coffee to bribe me (or just to make me feel better), the ones who call me at 2:30pm during the week, knowing I’m at work but I wouldn’t dream of not taking the call.
Those people…My tribe, as some call it… there are my people. They are those that no matter what is happening in my life, I drop it all to do whatever they need me to do.
Some of these people challenge me. Some of these people inspire me. Some of these people make my life easier. Some make it harder, but it’s always worth it. I’m not usually one who shies away from hard things.
[Recent experience with having a puppy excluded.]
Lately I’m wondering if I’m in the minority with this. This thing about having friends that make my life harder.
I know it sounds weird, because I 100% believe that the people you chose to have in your life are there to ease your burden. Are there to hold you up when you fall. Are there to sit with you when there is nothing left but tears. Are there to love when you are at your most unlovable.
But I also don’t have much use for people who don’t push me. People who don’t inspire me to be better. People who don’t take me outside my comfort zone. Maybe this makes me heartless, but I guess I believe that I have a limited amount of emotional energy, and I don’t see value in friendships with people who just simply make me laugh. Not that we can’t be friends, but I am probably not going to invest much in them. I’m not going to trust them with the deepest darkest parts of my soul that I am anything but proud of. I want and need people to make me think, make me better. To help me get rid of those deepest darkest parts of my soul. And I guess I’m realizing I want the people in my life to be the same way.
I know how ridiculous I sound. Maybe even how unfair I sound. I know a few people who’ve stepped away from me for this very reason. I’m too hard. Too challenging. Not worth it. I might ask for grace and even apologize, but rarely will it alter who I actually am. I just place boundaries on that friendship, try to stop making it so hard, and we eventually drift away from each other.
I guess the thing is, is that I still miss those people when we drift. I wish they would miss me, too, and see the “hard” as worth it. Let’s be honest, this is a form of rejection and no one likes that.
I’ve come to believe there is both an element of trying and not trying in relationships. And ultimately, we have to decide if the trying is worth it and if the not trying is good and healthy and wonderful.
I am grateful for those who choose to do both with me – to try and not try. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better version of myself. And thank you for putting up with me. I love you more than you know.