October 13, 2014
Six months ago I wrote a blog post on The Evolution of Friendships (you can read it here). It got a LOT of views and tons of people poured their heart out to me via email and Facebook messages telling me they know exactly how I feel and went through all of the same emotions during that same period in their lives. I had no idea something so personal to me would get so much attention but I loved that others felt the same as I did and weren’t afraid to come to me one-on-one and tell me how much they appreciated me putting those emotions into words.
This past weekend I was talking with a friend about some of my newest frustrations with friendships and the fact that so many of my friendships have changed form since I have become a mother. She’s been a mom just 6 months longer than I have, but it means that she went through all of this 6 months before I did. She’s been dealing with it longer and has more experience with it. I’m grateful to say that she’s a newer friend that I haven’t known very long, but have gotten super close with in a short amount of time. We just get each other. We’re both moms, wives, both business owners (in the same profession), we’ve shot weddings together for over a year now and our friendship has grown on another level because we hold the same values when it comes to our families. It’s super easy to vent to her because I know she’ll understand and offer words of encouragement that will pull me out of my funk, and she did!
Our friends who don’t have kids (and that never want them) will never understand our lifestyle, and our friends who do have kids are too busy with their own family to remember they even had friends, LOL! It truly is a cruel cycle but I believe that most things in life are seasonal. And that includes friendships. We were discussing a certain friendship that has brought a whirlwind of emotions to my life in the past year, and what was said to me was: “A full year of her never giving you any true friendship is plenty of time! I gave all of my friendships a little over a year and as soon as I stopped trying, they fell off the face of the earth. And you know what? That’s OKAY!”
Ahh, she’s right! It is okay! I think the hardest thing for me is the fact that I’m Italian — we’re loyal to a fault and we put our whole heart into our relationships with others. We stand by the people we love, unwavering, selflessly, wholeheartedly. But she’s right — there comes a time when you just have to give up on some people. You have to tell yourself it’s okay to stop making an effort. Once she said that last line, “and you know what? That’s OKAY!”, it was like the voice of reason! I responded to her, “You’re right! That just means I’ll have more energy for my family!”
That’s what it all comes down to for me: my family. I already put 100% of my heart into my family but knowing that it’s okay to stop making an effort and let go of some of these friendships that have been draining me, I’ll have more of myself back to give to my family. More of my heart, more of my mind, more of my attention, more happy to give!
After our conversation was over, I remembered that I wrote a blog post all about the evolution of friendships so I went back to it and read it. The very last lines stuck with me and although I have written them before and you have probably read them before (if you read the other blog), I’m going to end with them again. Because they resonated with me when I wrote them, they resonated with me when I read them 2 nights ago, and I still stand by these words.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the people that want to be in my life will stay and the people that don’t, will leave. And we’re better off without those people. If you don’t inspire, motivate, move, push, enrich, or add to my life in a positive way, there is no room for you. I guess I wrote this blog so I could get my feelings out in a positive way and to hopefully allow some of you to feel that it IS okay to let go of friendships that are no longer adding to your life in a positive way. It doesn’t matter how long we had those friendships — what matters at the end of the day is how those friendships make us feel and how they’ll add to our future. Our future with our life partners and children — because my family is my purpose. What’s yours?”