The world around us can be pretty rough place, the people who inhabit it even rougher. They bring us down about things that we know aren’t true, yet they bear so heavily on our minds that they become true. We have two choices in the matter: either we can let those untruths shatter us, or we can prove them wrong. I’ll bet you already guessed that I prefer the latter. There would be no reason for this post if I thought otherwise.
For years I didn’t have people to hang with. Ninety-five percent of my life was spent alone. For my first three and a half decades I had my mom, dad, sisters, niece, and nephews to be with. Some have passed away, others have gone their own way and only come back occasionally, a few are still hanging on. Regardless of where they went, (or didn’t), they left a big hole in my life that took almost as many years to fill.
Make no mistake: I love being alone and take no issue with it. In fact, that subject had its very own blog several months ago. However, over the past couple of years I’ve noticed a very interesting phenomenon taking place: the entrance of great people. It’s an event that I can’t help smiling to myself about, even giggling, because for years, so many potential comrades made me feel like I just wasn’t worth bothering with. As is always the case, there are the haters that still do.
Chasing is for the young and foolish, and I did enough of it to last me a lifetime. What you learn as you get older is that things happen in their own time, not because you want them to. I don’t believe that things happen when you aren’t paying attention or you aren’t “looking,” but that they occur because the timing is right. The timing may never be right for some things, and relationships are at or close to the top of that list. Then again, if you really make a connection with someone, you may just need to recognize when you should “step back” and give that other person some room, while you continue on with your life. I guess it goes back to that old saying, “If you love someone, set them free.” Love can always be changed to like or respect, and the rest of the saying, “If they come back they’re yours, if they don’t they never were,” still holds true. When I stopped chasing and learned to have patience in my potential relationships, good things started happening.
Here’s something wonderful I have to relate: I was searching Facebook for images for this post, and I came up with way more than expected. And once again I was overwhelmed. Wow, people like me! This fact is still a miracle to me. It took years, but I now have an amazing hiking companion. I also have travel partners. I’ve met a ton of wonderful writers through conferences and book signings. Facebook may have a lot of things wrong with, and you have to take the word “friend” with a grain of salt, but I’ve met wonderful individuals online that eventually became my real, face to face friends. I even have peeps that I meet up with to enjoy some nightlife. After a fifteen year absence, I’m cutting the rug again once or twice per month. Most of these relationships happened all on their own, but I highly recommend Meetup. There’s a huge selection of groups out there that are waiting to find you and are filled with folks who love to do the same things you do.
I hear people around me talking about the many friends they have. The whole world seems to be on the list. But when the going gets tough, where are they? Better to have a few heavy hitters that are there to pick you up when you’re down than have a stadium full of fair weather buddies. Cement those relationships by being as good a friend to them as they are to you. And be choosy. Not everyone is good for you. If someone is too anxious to be in your life, there’s probably good reason for that.
In closing, don’t believe what the world says. You’re really okay.
If I am, you are, too.