It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life has been busy, and wonderful, and messy and excruciating all at the same time.  But that’s usually how life is; the good with the bad, the best with the worst.

As the weather gets warmer I tend to spend most of my time outside, soaking up the sunshine, recharging my batteries, and just letting my mind wander to the tune of a gentle breeze and warmth on my face.  Lately my mind has been drifting more and more to the relationships in my life; friends, foes, loves, lovers, children, colleagues, etc, and how some stay and some go.

Recently, I lost a friend.  I’ll save you all the dramatics that surrounded it, but quite simply, one minute we were friends and the next minute we weren’t.  And quiet honestly it was for a stupid, arbitrary reason that I won’t even dignify by putting it into writing.  There was no falling out.  There was no betrayal.  Quite simply, it just ended.  But irregardless of the reason, I have one less friend than I had before.  Because of that I feel like “less” than I was before, like something in my life is missing…because it is.

And I’m sad.  I miss my friend.

There’s something so refreshing about having people with which you can be your unequivocal self, with no questions asked and no judgements posed.  I have very few people like this in my life, so when I find someone who’s soul meshes well with mine, I try to hold on to them for as long as I can.  I’m fiercely loyal and protective of these friends, so when one of them has to leave, it hurts.  A lot.

But all this aside, my most recent friendship ending has led me to evaluate many other friendships and relationships in my life.  I have best friends, and close friends, and acquaintances, all of which play integral roles in my life and help shape who I am.   And they all play their self-selected roles well.  We’re there for each other.  We check in.  We do the celebrating when it’s warranted and the cheering up when needed.  Just by being in my life, every single one of them makes me a better person.

But if that is the case, if I have some truly amazing people in my life, then why, oh why, do I continue my relationships with the toxic ones as well?  Those are the friends that lie, cheat, and manipulate their way through friendships and relationships.  It’s usually directed towards other people, not at us.  And we sit back silently and watch the way they treat other, judging quietly, but not saying anything.  Because it will never be us.  They’ll never lie to us or manipulate us.  We’re safe, we believe.

Until we’re not.  Until we realize that we’re the ones being lied to. And the moment you catch them in that lie, it’s like the wind gets knocked out of you.  You have no breath, you have no words.  And then comes the anger…followed shortly after by the overwhelming sadness.

And we tell ourselves that’s just the way they are and it’s something we need to put up with in order to keep the friendship.  And up to a short time ago, I would have believed this.  I would have put on my game face, hoped they didn’t do it again, and let our lives move on just as they had been doing.

But today…no.  Today I say THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Why the hell am I going to continue to put up with someone who treats me so poorly?  And not just me…but everyone else as well.  And the plain and simple answer is: I’m not.  I have some amazing people in my life, including my most recently lost friend.  I don’t need to continue to be friends with the toxic ones; the ones that make me feel less than, the ones that always make me second guess the truth, the ones I simply do not trust.

I’m 35 years old and I know that I still have a lot to figure out when it comes to life, love, and relationships.  Most days I feel like I don’t know much at all.  But I do know this.  I’m no longer going to allow these people to be in my life.  I may not always be the most self-confident person, but I do know I’m better than that.


The Forgotten Thank You

“We met for a reason.  You’re either a blessing or a lesson.” ~Frank Ocean

There are very few things we do without the help of others.  Many times there’s the “overt help”, the help you can see and understand, the type of help that never masks itself as anything other than help.  It’s help simplified or help understood.  We can take it at face value for what it is.

Then there’s the other kind of help.  The help that swoops in wearing a mask.  The help that may take days, or weeks, or even years to show itself.  The help that you are fairly certain is actually not help at all.

This help comes in so many forms: toxic friendships, heart break, depression, fear.  At first, these things are a negative force in our life, ripping us apart from the inside out, tearing us down so much that we believe we may never be able to build ourself up again.  We believe there is no way for us to ever be whole.

But you know what I’ve learned? This is sometimes the best kind of help.  While it may change our lives drastically, many times we come out the other side a little worse for the wear, but seemingly better overall. This is the kind of help that forces us to make decisions, make changes, face our demons.  This is the kind of help that not only changes who we are, but makes us who we are.

Usually we vilify those people who change our lives in this way.  We feel that that they’ve taken some essential part from us and we yearn to get it back, to make ourselves who we once were.  But for me, at least today, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to the toxic friends, without whomI never would have discovered some of the truly amazing people in my life.

Thank you to the those who have caused substantial heartbreak, without which I never would have found running.

Thank you to the depression that has overtaken me on numerous occasions, without which I never would have known how wonderful simple joys can be.

It’s time to put the past behind me and move forward, embracing everything that’s gotten me where I am today, both positive and negative.

I finally think I’m ready.