Last week, as I was sitting in the salon chair having my hair highlighted, my stylist and I got to chatting about relationships. She mentioned to me that she was feeling depressed – not clinically or anything life threatening, just down on herself for her decisions as of late. She’d just returned from a trip to San Diego, her old stomping grounds, and was feeling like she’d taken ten steps back in life. The friends she’d visited that she’d thought she’d have in her life forever, seemed to be making no progress in life. And the relationships she was nurturing at home, here in Sacramento, didn’t feel like they were enhancing her life in any way.
Oh, how well I understood her.
Right around the time I met my fiancé, I made a huge decision to filter some people from my life. I was nearing 29 years of age, getting ready to close out the last year of life in my twenties, and doing some major reflecting on the last ten years of my life. It got me realizing that in all that time, I had hardly changed at all. I was still hanging out with the same crowd and making the same decisions that I was making when I was 20. As fun as that was when I was younger, I realized how exhausted I was from trying to maintain this lifestyle that, if I’m being totally honest, was not natural to me.
I was in a bit of a depression myself because while I had grown successful in my professional life, I was still holding on to these relationships with people who were maintaining a whole lot of nothing. They brought absolutely nothing to my life, and yet I remained intertwined with them because I had this asinine fear of missing out [FOMO]. So basically my brain was at odds with itself because I couldn’t make up my mind which direction I wanted to take in my life. It eventually boiled down to an accumulation of small things that finally sent me over the edge enough to slam the door on my old life.
I haven’t looked back or regretted that decision one single time. It opened so many doors for me. I instantly met my fiancé, I was able to focus my energy on better quality friendships, and it freed up time for me to find joy in little things again. I love decorating my house, I love painting, crafts – and I wasn’t doing any of it because I was preoccupied with people who liked to party, for lack of a better word. when I finally shut them all out of my life, I realized how many good, quality humans I already had in my life that I just wasn’t giving the proper time and attention to.
One thing I quickly learned from having friends who are actually successful and responsible: money is never an issue. Not that money matters. I honestly don’t ever mind paying for my friends or footing the bill – if it means that everybody gets to enjoy themselves, then I’m happy to do it! That said, it is SO nice to be surrounded by people who actually have the means to support themselves and who actually offer to pay for things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out with a group of people who insist on dissecting the bill and only paying for their portion of a meal. It’s so frustrating and time consuming. If you can’t afford to go out, then don’t go out!
Another glorious thing about like-minded friends, they encourage you and lift you up. They are generally at a similar place in their life [or have been], and can relate to what you’re going through. Or vice-versa. And there’s a trust and a bond among those types of relationships that just doesn’t exist with surface-level friends. I’ve learned in the last year that those are the relationships that I’ve been desperately needing. I have so much stability from my family, but it’s important to have it from friendships and significant others, too.
I have always loved to travel, and having successful friends in my life has made it so much more fun because we can travel together! Nobody is stuck in town because they don’t have a real job – they can actually afford to take time off and explore. Even if it’s just a quick trip to Tahoe for a weekend, or Napa for the day to go wine tasting. As an adult, these are the experiences that make life fun, and missing out on them because your friends are more concerned about partying is a huge letdown.
If you’re feeling like I did, chances are it may be time to reassess your life and your relationships. And I totally know how hard it is to let people go who have been such a big part of your life and whose relationships you’ve spent countless amounts of time and energy on. But believe me, it’s worth washing your hands of those people now before you waste anything more. It seems heartless and rude, and in some instances it can be, but I can promise that you won’t miss those people at all. I believe in karma, and when you start feeding the good karma in your life, it’ll pay you right back.