Closing Chapters

Over the last few months, I’ve had some newfound revelations about who I am and who I want to be. I’ve also realized that I don’t need to say yes to everyone who wants a part of my time…or a part of me. It’s easy to think that it’s the nice or Christian thing to do, but really, it’s not.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say to be nice. It says to love others, to pray for them, to take care of the widows and orphans. But nowhere does it say to allow yourself to be taken advantage of or allow others to disrespect you. Lately, I’ve been doing some serious introspection. I recognized that by allowing people to come and go from my life as they pleased, I was allowing them to control not only my time, but also my ability to grow.

You are (most definitely) the average of the people closest to you. If those closest to you are unstable, don’t have motivation, make excuses rather than goals, and keep you on an emotional roller coaster, it’s time to say goodbye.

At different points in my life, I’ve worked with those people, I’ve been friends with those people, and I’ve probably even wanted to marry those people. A wise woman once told me that tremendous growth happens between the ages of 20 and 25. And while I didn’t want to admit it, my mom was right. Dare I say though, that from 25 until almost 30, I think I’ve changed even more than in my early twenties. There’s a sense of self I haven’t had before, as well as an inner power I’ve had all along, that I didn’t recognize until now.

Want to know what it is? It’s the power to say no to any person, friend, or relationship that isn’t inspiring your growth, motivating you, or adding to your life. I used to think that it was mean to tell someone no who wanted a friendship with me, until literally the last month or two. I recently had a former friend try to walk back into my life. They haven’t spoken to me since they literally and figuratively unfriended me over a year ago. They texted me as though nothing had happened and as though we were right back where we were a year ago. Old me would’ve let them back in, tried to make amends, and would’ve invested the time to rebuild trust. New me? Nah sister. Thanks for your text. I wish you well, but I’ve moved on.

Rather than feel like I had to let them back in, I politely let this person know that being in my life is a privilege, not a right, and unfortunately, I wasn’t willing to invest the time and energy it’d take to rebuild this friendship. My goodness was that freeing! All this time, I’ve had the ability, but never accepted the power. Life lesson right there friends.

What in your life do you have the ability to change, but neglect to recognize the power to do so?

I’ve seen time and again this victim mentality that makes me want to scream. Little did I realize, I was doing it myself with my friendships. I was allowing myself to be the “victim” by accepting less than what I deserve. I deserve friends who communicate, who don’t ghost, who are honest if I offend them, and who also accept me for who I am. And so do you!

To have the friend you want, you must first be the friend you wish to have.

We’ve all heard that saying in one form or another. Here I was, being the friend I wished to have, but accepting much less than what I was giving. In the last month or so, there have been a number of people I’ve politely wished well. There are nice ways to say that a friendship has come to a close and do it with class. There’s no need to be mean, but sometimes honesty hurts. The unfortunate truth? There are more who will be getting that message from me in the near future.

Does this sound harsh? Maybe. But if it sounds harsh to you, it’s probably because you haven’t yet recognized you also have the power to be honest about what you need in a friendship or relationship, of any kind. I guarantee if you stopped to think of the people in your life, if you had the courage to be honest, there are some you’d like to part ways from.

Time is the most precious commodity we have. You can’t make more of it and once it’s spent, it’s gone. Why don’t we guard it more fiercely than anything else we have? Likely because few realize how valuable and precious it is. I’ve also realized the more time someone has, the less they value it.

Who do you think values their time more: The person working part-time who spends their non-working hours watching tv, scrolling social media, and sleeping? Or the person who works 40+ hours a week, continues with family obligations, volunteers, and puts real effort into quality time with people they care about? Guarantee you, the latter.

But when the latter and the former become friends, it’s a mismatched friendship. One will want to hang last minute because they’re bored, while the other wants to plan because it’s their way of showing they care enough to set aside time for that person. When you have a little of anything, giving it shows you care. When you have a lot of something, giving it means very little.

The less someone has of something, the more valuable it becomes when they give it.

So, all of that to say, I’ve made the choice to cut ties from people on both social media and personal life. I want to invest time into the people who also invest into me. I want to have equal friendships. Those are the ones that are life-giving, motivating, and quite frankly, easy. People who are of the same mindset, hustling for their careers and constantly working on themselves to grow, are so much easier to have relationship with. They’re of the same mind, and they understand.

My bestie is one of the best examples of this. She motivates and inspires me and together, we build each other up. We’re always chasing growth and never content to stop and rest on Complacency Avenue. We’ve seen lots of people stop here, but when they do, they rarely continue on. I’m so grateful for her. It’s a wonderful feeling to be seen and to have someone truly understand you.

Find someone like that, reader. Better to have one friend who truly understands you, than a world of friends you constantly wish did. Value your time and find others who will do the same. It’s worth it, and so are you.

Love,
Manda

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