First blog post of 2016! That’s a weird thing to say. Have you ever watched an old movie that talks about their predictions of the future, and they’re going on and on about flying cars and robot servants and a cure for cancer, then all of a sudden they say something like, “Yeah, the year two thousand is going to be wild!”
That’s so funny to hear, to me. We didn’t even have iPhones in the year two thousand. Wait. Did we? (We totally didn’t, I just checked and the first one didn’t release until 2007. Yeah, I didn’t think so. I’m really dumb sometimes.) They thought we would have a cure for cancer… Boy, wouldn’t that be wonderful.
A lot of people talk about becoming a “new you” at the start of every year. I’ve noticed a trend. Tyler Glenn got a new hairstyle and said, “new year new do new you.” We all ponder over the promise of a new year and think, yeah, things are going to change for the better in the next twelve months. This is the year when my life is totally going to flip around. I’m going to treat myself better and make some adjustments to my life. Whether it be to get into shape, to stop biting fingernails, or to finish writing a novel, a lot of us make goals that will help us work towards a better day. We call them resolutions.
I don’t know, man. I don’t like thinking about resolutions. It seems so overwhelming, to make all of these promises to myself and wholeheartedly believe in them. (Okay, that sounds really lazy, let me try to rephrase this.) When I was a kid, it was easier (I think one year I made a resolution to eat more tomatoes because I loved them so much), but now making changes that will better my life aren’t so simple. It involves things like working up the courage to look in the mirror in the morning and smile in acceptance about what I see. It involves things like fighting my paranoia and going outside. It involves things like trusting people.
I think I do have one main “resolution” to focus on this year, though. It’s a very prominent problem in my life right now. In recent years, I’ve struggled a lot with friendships, maintaining them and whatnot. I’m going to be completely honest: I’m not a very good friend. I try my best to be, but it’s a struggle when I’ve got all of these emotions swirling around that are tossing my mind back and forth. I’ve got a group of superheroes who have stuck by my side through the ugly, though, and I’m so grateful for them. There’s also some people who I thought were superheroes… but turns out that they’re not as amazing as I originally pictured them. These are the friends that, when I hang out with them, usually make me feel great. Wanted, even. Then something happens, like they’ll ditch me because someone better wants to hang out with them, and my thoughts start to twist around.
You know how it makes me feel when something like that happens? When someone drops out of our plans because somebody better wants to hang out with them? Like I’ll never be enough for them.
Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we take the guilt and blame ourselves for someone not wanting to appreciate us? If they were really our friends, they wouldn’t ditch you for “someone better” and make you feel like you’re anything less than good enough! I should really take my own advice, but like I said, I’m working on it. That’s officially my goal. It’s emotionally draining to put someone up on a high pedestal and stand by politely while they cut you down. It’s not right. In fact, that can be very toxic. It’s taken me a lot of work to get to this point of acceptance of myself, and it doesn’t take very much to set me spinning off into the belief that I’m worthless. So, when I write down on paper all of the things these people are doing to make me feel that nasty phrase — not good enough — I realize how stupid I’m being!
So, why haven’t I just cut them out of my life yet, you ask? Well, that part is a little harder to talk about.
I think there comes a time in everyone’s life where they just want somebody to hold on, to stick with them through their rough patches and still be offering a hand when they reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I’ve felt that many times. On a daily basis, practically. Being friends with me comes with an extreme amount of forgiveness and patience and understanding, so I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world if I decided to just give up on somebody because they were being rude! Especially if I’ve been friends with this person for a long time.
I asked my friend Ashley for advice one night, looking to her for guidance about what I should do. I asked her when I’m supposed to know that it’s okay to cut ties. I see it all over the internet and on pamphlets in counselors’ offices: it’s okay to eliminate toxic people from your life! Really, pamphlet? Because last time I checked, it’s a terrible thing to do to just leave someone, to give up on them, to back out of a friendship when you promised to always stick by their side. Ashley told me something along these lines: “If it comes to a point where they’re hurting you more than benefiting you, it’s okay to let go.”
At first I was like, well, that helps a ton! I made decisions in my head that night and planned to put them into action the next day. But then one of the toxic people asked to hang out, and I said yes. And honestly? I can’t really give you a straight answer as to why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been through so much with them, and part of me secretly hopes that this is all a rough patch. They only started acting like this (kind of, not really recent) recently, and maybe they’ll move on and remember they love me…
… see, I tell myself these things instead of coming to terms with the fact that they’ve changed, and I’m never going to be “enough” for them. Maybe I was at one point in time, but not anymore. That’s my plan for 2016, I think. In addition to the little things, I want to stop lying to myself for the sake of holidng on to things that I know in my heart are not good for me. Because you know what? I have a lot of things that are good for me! I have friends that listen to me rant about Pentatonix even though they’re not a fan, and friends who will let me cart them around in my red minivan and force them to listen to High School Musical soundtracks… like I said, lots of patience and forgiveness is involved in being friends with me. For that matter, I have two nephews who think I’m one of the coolest people in the world! One of them likes hanging around me so much that he’ll agree to help clean my room if it means that he gets to talk to me.
Happy new year, everyone!