I do hate to start things off with a cliché but, well when the shoe fits…damn there’s another one… In life, we move…and we move on. Why do we move or why do things change? Not necessarily because we want them to, but rather because they have to change. Relationships grow old…stale and so we have to move on. Unfortunately, I’m not only talking about the relationships you have with your spouses (or significant others, should you also have never been married), but I’m also talking about your friendships and acquaintances. We all have different relationships in our lives that meet different requirements and which fulfill different needs. We should all be so lucky to have a gym buddy…someone who helps motivate us to go to the gym, someone who supports our bettering ourselves…as well as those nights when you both choose to take a night off to get some frozen yogurt instead because it is the mental health you need to also care for. We should also all be so lucky to have a friend who we can meet for coffee or a walk when we need to bounce ideas off of. Someone who, like family, is always there when you need to chat about a bad hair day or a guy you just met or a shitty boss.
But we also need to have a lot of acquaintances…people we can do things with, like go to see a movie with occasionally or someone to meet for dinner/lunch/drinks every few months. This person normally shuffles in and out of your life as frequently as maybe 5 or 6 other such people. They enjoy your company and you do theirs…they enjoy getting out with you, maybe discovering a new restaurant with you or with whom you can share a good bottle of red wine…something that always promotes some really good conversation. I always smile when I think of these people because I remember what fun I had the last time I saw them or how much we laughed…the more wine we drank…or how much they support my crazy antics and how I just love sharing them with these friends just to help them laugh!
I have been forced to cut friends loose in the past…sometimes due to changed living circumstances and sometimes just because we lose touch…but that does not necessarily mean that I don’t still think of them and remember them with fondness. But it’s not those people I am referring to here either.
‘Cause I gotta tell ya’…we all have another kind of friend…and don’t even try to deny it. We all have friends we keep around because we feel we’re obligated to stay friends with them. It may be because we’ve been friends with them for umpteen years or because our mothers were friends so it’s like we’re carrying on a legacy. Or, at least for me, it could be because we don’t get them. We can’t really understand them…why they do the things they do…what reasons they have for behaving the way they do. And even if we get their scars…understand why they may be how they are, why does that still make it alright? And should that give them carte blanche forever?!?! When should they start having to answer up to their actions and what they say to, or against, other people?
Or does it need to be that they do something against us, first? Something that breaks all the “friendship” rules in our book before we can say to ourselves…”We’re done!” We refuse to spend another minute of our precious free time doing things for them because we’ve realized that they wouldn’t do the same for us!”
And it is these people who, to me, can also represent those doors that keep opening and closing in our lives. Yes, many people use this cliché to refer to jobs passed or serious relationships. Everyone needs closure before they can move on to a new job or husband or girlfriend. But what about those friendships that were just digging a hole in our hearts for all those years which we ignored. Friends we kept waiting to fulfill their end of the friendship game of tennis…and always fell short. Friends who actually have made us feel as taken advantage of as many of us have felt during many of our love relationships, as well. People who can only truly be happy for us when something good happens, so long as there’s something in it for them.
Those are the friends I am talking about cutting loose…with a sledgehammer! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently decided that my first priority needs to be about me and sometimes that means that I cut loose those who are sucking me dry in order for me to make room for a positive addition to my life…an addition who will only cause good things to happen to me without them thinking of themself first.
So as the cliché says, “When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens”… slam those doors shut…every single one of them and be open for what comes next. And if that means that you have to spend a night home alone every once in a while, so be it…you’re so much better off than when you fill your life with superficials just to satisfy the wrong need.