Next Tuesday? Sure I’m free to hang out. Could I walk your French Bulldog Frankie? Er… yeah. Did I have Soandsos’ birthday, a four page group report and 16 Bar Mitzvahs to attend? Yep, but of course I can make time for this too 🙂
Everyone struggles with finding balance in life. This can be even more so within a demanding career. Keeping your brain fresh and your wits stimulated can only help keep the creative thoughts flowing. But why do we let ourselves be overused and overworked by people we consider friends?
Because we are afraid.
No one likes the idea of hurting someones feelings. No one likes the idea that they could somehow let people down in a way. If you don’t attend Soandsos’ birthday party, then that must mean that no-one will go. No one will share with cake and laughter. No one will bring gifts or cards. Soandso will be sitting alone, party hat askew, wondering what they have possibly done to offend you so. Birthday in tatters.
When it comes down to it, unless you are putting off performing life saving heart surgery to grab a coffee and paint your nails, being selfish is pretty much one of the best things you can do every once in a while.
Any real friend would understand the need for some much needed personal time. And if they don’t, then you don’t need them.
If you have had had the same group of friends since primary school, I would love to know your secret. From what I have experienced, either one or both of you change. Grow up. Meet new people. Get busy. Stop seeing each other so much and eventually it fizzles out.
If you find yourself putting your happiness and your needs on the back-burner, I urge you to re-evaluate these friendships. Of course you’d want to keep as many people as possible in your life. But its also reasonable to assume you might need to let go sometimes.
I am comfortable with losing friends if they don’t treat you well, don’t let you grow or if loosening the bond lets them or yourself realise your dream. But always do whatever you choose gracefully. Burning bridges make them a lot harder to rebuild.
I have several what I affectionately call “Selfish Friends”. People who understand to never hold themselves back from doing what they need to to better themselves. In every aspect of their life Liking to travel obviously has the natural downfall of being attracted to like minded people. But the issue lies when these other travellers then want to better themselves and travel. And that means away from me.
Here are some examples of my extremely close friends who have left for new pastures. Some I still talk to daily and some I don’t. Do I miss them all terribly? Yes. Would I turn back the clock and convince them to stay? Not likely.
This is the one time it is not okay to be selfish. It’s fine to feel anger, dismay and even extreme jealousy at the thought that your best friends could leave you. But thats also coupled with pride, happiness and yup, extreme jealousy that they are living their dreams. Its hard as f*** but you would never want to be the person to hold someone back. And all of these emotions push you to wanting to share that freedom. Get you out of your comfort zone. And hell, can make for a lot of free boarding across the globe.
Have any of you had to let someone go in order to make them or yourself happy? Have any of these people came back to you? I’d love to hear of any stories of anything similar.
Thanks for reading!