Why your friendships don’t have to last

A great friend once said to me;

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

At the time, I thought nothing of it, other than it was simply a nice saying. But every once in a while, this saying popped into my head and over time it started to make more sense.

As I kiss goodbye to one more friend, whose presence made my life so much better, if only for a short while, I know in that moment – I’m better off for knowing them and saying goodbye, than never knowing them at all.

I also know the reality of living not only in different countries to the people I love, but also the impact living in different time zones can have on your relationships.

So let’s be honest here, this goodbye is goodbye. Sure, we still have Facebook and it doesn’t change how I feel about you. But the closeness we once had, is gone.

Thanks for teaching me how to be sassy and fierce. You’re the reason I stand a little taller today.

I can’t help but wonder, how important is the length of our friendships?

What about the friendships that don’t end because of distance, but end because we simply grow apart?

It doesn’t mean the friendship was a failure. Nor does it discredit the fun you had when you were together. It simply means that this chapter of your life is over. Thank’s for the season, I had a ball.

And, for the friendships that last a lifetime, I will always be grateful.

Some lifetime friendships are like waves, building in strength and then subsiding, only to reappear at a different moment.

And some friendships are constant. Forever, regardless of distance, or stage of life.

This doesn’t mean the season or reason friendships are less important. It simply means they’re shorter.

And so, for all the people I’ve been lucky enough to call my friends, regardless of the length, I am forever thankful.

 

A lesson in not giving a f*#k

The less f*#ks you give, the happier you’ll be.

As I zipped up my old hoody, I looked down to admire how close in colour it actually was to the washed out, horribly fitting tracky bottoms I had also chosen to wear that evening.

It was clear that a long time ago both these garments were very different colours, but not anymore.

As I headed out into the street, knowing this outfit choice was not my finest, my instincts told me – this is the moment you’ll bump into every ex and their beautiful, well dressed, pristine girlfriends!

I shrugged off that feeling and replaced it with this thought, – the less you give a f*#k, the happier you’ll be.

That sat much better with me in my current state.

Happily, I trotted down the dark street, and collected the beers. I held my head high as I announced my arrival at the pizza shop and then promptly scurried back to the safety of home.

I may look slightly homeless I thought, but I’m definitely happy.

But, what exactly had I stopped giving a f*#k about?

Had I stopped caring about how I felt? Or what other people thought of me? And, could caring about either of these things, really be holding me back in the happiness stakes?

I decided to test it out. The next morning I picked out the smartest outfit I could find – it wasn’t exactly a ball gown, but it was the best I had. I did my hair and slapped some make up on.

It felt good.

Caring about how I looked made me feel happy too, it also seemed to make my boyfriend happy. Clearly officewear was more up his street than hobo chic.

I know it’s pretty obvious that caring what other people think doesn’t get us anywhere. But it’s easy to forget, what we think and feel about ourselves drives almost every emotion we have.

So next time I decide to not give a f#*k, it will be about what other people think, and not how I feel about myself.

 

 

Is being inconsistent with productivity a bad thing?

Move at your own speed.

I can’t seem to keep a consistent pace when it comes to productivity – either I’m on or I’m off. All in, or all out.

When I’m on, shit gets done! Jobs get ticked off, I’m flying.

But, when I’m off, it’s just not happening. And, it’s not like I don’t have things to do. All the drive that got me to this point is gone, and the worst part is I don’t seem to care, not one bit.

Things pile up, deadlines come and go and still I can’t quite get my butt in gear.

What is it I’m waiting for? How can I shake this feeling?

Was my last stint too much? Was the final push a push too far?

Being able to put everything you’ve got into making stuff happen is a great asset, but when it comes at the cost of the next few weeks, I can’t help but ask myself,

Is it worth it? Am I happy? 

Just because you’re feeling a little flat right now, doesn’t mean you’re not happy. All you have to do is look over your shoulder at all the things you’ve just achieved.

Flat out and then rest, doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The trick is not giving yourself a hard time when you rest. Recognising it as down time and saying to yourself ‘look at what you just achieved, enjoy this time now, it’s yours.’

And when you’re ready, have faith in the knowledge you’ll be back in the game in no time, wondering how you ever sat still for so long.

It’s all your choice

How do you want to feel today?

A few years ago, it hit me,  you can’t control other people.

No matter how much you want to change how they behave or even feel, you just can’t.

The only thing you have control over is you.

It’s up to me how I behave – well on the most part that’s true, maybe after a few drinks my level of self control is debatable, but that’s a different story all together.

But, knowing this still didn’t stop me from feeling sad because of others actions.

There must be more.

What if the emotions we experience are our own choice? What if I could choose my reaction to others. What if it was as simple as choosing happiness or sadness?

I sometimes feel like I have some sort of life bipolar, as I tick tack between feeling like I’m on top of the world, I’m on track for something amazing, everything is incredible and then for no reason whatsoever, things change. The black cloud comes over and everything is hopeless, I have no future, no prospects, nothing is going my way.

But, between those two states, nothing in my life had changed. Nothing particularly bad or particularly good had happened to cause such opposite emotions. And yet those feelings were real.

Maybe today is brighter or I had a great night’s sleep, whatever the reason, by simply viewing things differently, my whole world changed and I’m ready to take on anything.

Now it’s not realistic to ask myself in every new situation or every interaction, “how do you want to feel about this?” And I know that life is not this simple.

But, by getting clear on how we want to feel as a whole everyday, we’re able to keep the emotional tick tacking to a minimum.

So ask yourself this, how do you want to feel?

 

Is there room for both of us to love me?

I lost myself.

If my Dad was here right now, he’d say that was careless of you.

And the honest truth is, it was. It was no ones fault but mine. I stopped thinking about the things I need to do to keep me, me, and expected someone else to fulfil them instead.

I got lost in what we need, what they need, what you need. And the only person to blame is me. No one else is responsible for my state of mind, but me.

Before you, I spent so long on me, finding me, loving me, exploring me – it really was all about me. And it felt so good.

But, in reality that was all simply preperation for meeting you.

I wanted to love myself so someone else could love me the same way.

I love myself
I love myself
I love myself

And then, from this shiny place of love and confidence I was the most attractive I’ve ever been. It’s true what they say, the best way to find love, is to love yourself unconditionally.

But the self love quotes on Facebook seem to have missed out the next crucial step.

What happens after we find love, do we instantly give up on our self-love? Are we not capable of loving ourselves and someone else at the same time or is it that we blindly hand over the baton of love to the new partner and expect them to fulfill the role we once had played?

And so, somewhere between falling in love and everyday life I lost myself. I stopped doing the things I’d carved out to make me feel strong and independent. I stopped taking care of myself. I lost myself.

So now, it’s back to the beginning. The love I have for you is no different from the love I have for me, they both need time and affection to grow, and if I neglect one, the other will undoubtedly suffer.

 

Should you tell your friend you don’t like their partner?

A very close friend of mine recently broke up with her long term partner.

Over dinner one night, after the debris of the breakup had settled and a few wines in, I confessed – I never really liked him.

He wasn’t abusive, he never cheated, in fact, he didn’t actually do anything ‘wrong’, it was just a feeling I had. Come to think of it, it wasn’t even that I didn’t like him, it was that I didn’t see him make her happy, he didn’t bring out her best self.

She thought for a moment and then responded, ‘you’re not the first person to have said this, why did no one tell me while we were together?’

Would it really have made any difference? I justified my inaction with another question.

Who am I to tell you what to do?

And then, I thought about my own experience, one past relationship that ended particularly painfully. As my friends came one by one, to console my broken heart, the truth soon came out. They never really liked him.

Why, oh why, did no one tell me? I felt instantly annoyed. Could someone have prevented all this heartache?

Are we doing a disservice to our friends by not saying something when we don’t like their choice in partners? Or when it’s just our own preference should we keep our opinions to ourselves and let them make their own mistakes?

When you’re in love, it’s hard enough to see the signs right in front of you, or feel the niggling doubt in the back of your mind, let alone hear it from your friends. Would you really listen?

And maybe there’s something in going through the pain.

If we’re the sum of all our experiences, good and bad, then going through something shitty – like a breakup, is important for our growth.

I’m not saying sit by and watch your friends stay in terrible relationships. But, maybe when we don’t feel it’s the right match, it’s our duty as friends to simply support each other while we figure it all out.

You made me cry, are you ok?

Now I am the first person to admit that I am a sensitive soul and crying is part of the deal.

One of the problems with being so sensitive is you are often drawn to the tougher, less sensitive people in life.

I suppose it goes back to cave man times –  find what you’re lacking in others and stick with it, that way you’ll be all right.

The problem is with modern day personalities the ones who come across the toughest, are often the ones with the most issues and just as sensitive on the inside, which doesn’t always make the best mix.

For years I’ve had this little rule when it comes to life: if you make me cry, it’s over, you’re out. But recently it has occurred to me that maybe walking away from every cross word, every disagreement is not always the best way to travel.

I so desperately don’t want it to bother me. I want it to wash over me and then move on, but it lingers inside the pit of my stomach, heart racing, hand shaking, tears rolling.

So what can I do?

Hold it in, kick off, shout back, hold a grudge or simply write the friendship off and walk away?

There is one other option: reframe.

This means taking what has happened and saying to myself, “You said those words. They are your words. They come from you. You chose to say those words – these are all facts outside of my control.

Then your words reached me and I choose how to hear them, how to see them, how to feel about them and where to put them.

And so I think about it again, there you are saying the words, I see them coming out of your mouth and I wonder how you feel while you say them.

I think about you saying the words, I can see you are upset, you are angry. Underneath anger lies another emotion, something inside you, something bubbling do you even know what it is?

I don’t feel sad for me any more, I feel sad for you.

Reframe again.

I think of five reasons why I love having you in my life; you’re kind, your thoughtful, you’re loyal, you’re fun, you’re adventures. ……. you must have been having a bad day!

Are you ok?