But the value of those who remain within that circle will only increase. What am I talking about? Your relationships with friends, family, and anyone else who you choose to keep around you in your life.
We don’t get a manual for life, this we know. In fact, very don’t get a manual for much at all during our journeys but alas, we figure it out. We seemingly have this constant awareness of time in the back of our minds, more often in the forefront but we are told that we must live in the moment and seize everyday. For those of us that listen to these gurus, wise as they are, we know that this is often much easier said that done. It takes a lot of practice and even more so, takes a lot of conditioning from the lives we’ve been accustomed and told we should be living.
I sit here as I approach the tender age of 32, and, while most people will say to me “oh but you’re so young, you’ve got so much ahead of you” to them I say, yes, I do agree but I feel like one day we are in our late 20s without so much as a care in the world and then all of a sudden, we wake up and have a huge amount of responsibility placed on our shoulders, or is it just perceived responsibility?
I’ve had a bad run with health over the last 6-12 months and at one point, it seemed to become quite serious causing me to really look at what I was doing on a daily basis, who I was spending my time with and where I was putting my thoughts and energy. Life has a way of creeping up on us and it is in these split second moments of decision making, that our characters are truly tested.
If there has been one thing, which I learnt from about the age of 27, around the time of my first Saturn Return, it has been that life became less about the numbers. The numbers of friends I had, online and in real life, it became less about how late I could stay out and then back it up again the next day. My measure of success and what was cool changed quite rapidly. It was almost a physical change in the first instance but then this required a huge amount of mental processing to catch up to what my body was telling me.
My definition of happiness changed, but it almost felt as if it was forced upon me by life to change it. No longer was life about working my fingers to the bone during the week and then blowing it all away on dance floors Friday and Saturday nights. Life became about having my washing and ironing done, having my bills paid, planning for a future, deciding on the type of person I was and the type of person I wanted to be. These were the things that if I did not do, I would be unhappy.
This then led me to look at who was in my immediate circle and what they were offering me. As harsh as it sounds, I believe this is how we should be looking at our friends and acquaintances from time to time, as they are a mirror reflection of us and vice verse. If you are finding that you are feeling drained after spending time with certain people, then perhaps its time for them to go, only after addressing your issues with them of course, and if you can’t, well then there are billions of other people on this planet out there.
One thing I’ve found in my own experience is that my close circle of friends has continued to narrow down as I age. My spare time is spent with those who I truly love and care about; the conversations are full of meaning, full of fun, full of laughter. Sure, there are the hard times, there are the moments where the lows are lows, but these are balanced out with the high highs. The key word there, being balance.
As above, so below.
It can feel almost a little business like or quite black and white to be making decisions to rid our lives of people who are no longer serving a need in our lives, or those who are energy vampires but ultimately, as we age, life becomes about our happiness and keeping our stress levels down. Self-preservation is crucial so this is all a part of the process. Along the way, people will just drop off as they no longer feel that we want them around and we will also begin to drop off the radar of those who we feel this way towards. Don’t feel any guilt about this, when it stops being fun, leave. If you feel like something can be fixed, fix it. The key is to not overthink anything and pay the upmost respect to your feelings, if you do this, then you are honouring your soul and at some of the most turbulent times in our lives, this is sometimes all we can do for ourselves, so cherish the dark days in order to appreciate the light.
This piece was also featured on The Huffington Post