" Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" ( Proverbs 4: 23)
Who are my friends? This is one question that I have tried to answer for years!!!
As a young black woman who grew up in a conservative christian home, the youngest in a family of 7... My parents taught us all they knew about life & relationships.
My relationship with my family (siblings) is one with lots of love and respect. We have the normal-regular clash but then we always bounce right back, as though nothing ever happened, makes me smile just thinking about it.
Fast forward 15 years later, After I survived secondary school- (my dad insisted I went to a Girls' school), battled my way through University - you know how it is here with the strike and all, I got a degree in Microbiology, I was well on my way to making something out of my life.
Through these years, I made some really cool friends , had a few regrettable experiences with failed relationships, met "friends" that I have not spoken to since i left school, the list goes on and on...
Now to hit the nail on the head, looking back, I see that some of these relationships that I made were for specific reasons, very temporary... i'm not saying they were fake, just not made to last- you know what i mean?
Now as a functioning adult, I've learnt that to move forward in life, you must surround yourself with like-minded people, people that fuel your desire to succeed, share in your passion for success through hard work, who are in themselves focused individuals. They are there because they need someone to bounce off great ideas with, whose presence is not only pleasant but adds great value, they don't only take, they give.
I call these sort of people- My Power Circle
That being said, some of our past relationships (friends) are very vital in our lives... Be it a long standing friend that have stood by you through thick and thin, or your free-spirit gossip partner ( ladies know what i mean), or your homeboy that have helped you out time and time again. These sort of friends are there for moral support, when you just want to be yourself and not have to be this straight-jacket, career oriented, success driven, lion in the jungle person. They offer the much needed comfort that allows you to be silly and not be criticized for it.
These people I call - My Comfort Zone
Then there are the coasters, who are neither here or there, you know them just to know them, they may come in handy when you're trying to remember the name of you Biology teacher, or the new vice chancellor etc.
Both of you know that there's really nothing else to talk about... they just remain your contacts.
These set of people can be very tricky, you can't tell them off , but you can't pull them close either. Its like a trying to fit a circle into a square... it never fits.
These sort of relationships fizzle out gradually, or even faster if you loose your phone along with your contacts.
You'll find that you will be more careful when selecting you new contacts, because then you want to just keep the REAL folks around.
The important thing is to know when to let go mentally, limit your expectations and just live.
You can tell when time is up on some friends/relationships... you will feel it in your gut! that's the queue to let go! When you're doing all the "keeping in touch"... " just checking in on you"... "PING".... "POKE"
Now i'm not saying you should go on a deleting spree, I'm saying stop investing so much energy and time to a relationship that is one sided, adds nothing to your life, that is just dead...
Friendship is a beautiful thing, it should be filled with laughter and care and support. Your friend(s) should be a support system, your second family...
If you keep giving and giving with nothing in return, soon you wont have what to give and will be left with nothing but bitterness and resentfulness towards everything and/or everyone. it tampers with your confidence and general outlook of the world. It can cave you in and even affect other (good) relationships you may have... the list is endless.
Check the expiry date on your relationships and act accordingly.