“You need to hang out with people who fit your future, not your past.” Via wealth. I’ve had the same core group of friends for over 30 years. I consider myself fortunate to have built that kind of relationship with these people. But as we have grown older and gone our separate ways, we aren’t as close as we were. And that is ok. It is timely and expected, quite frankly. I still have love for them, but that isn’t who I am any more. And it isn’t who they are, either.
I romanticized having long term relationships and sticking with people no matter what. I grew up with parents who had the same friends since early adulthood and that is how I thought it was meant to be. But that isn’t always what works and it isn’t always what is healthy or needed. There were parts of my life that I certainly had fun, but that isn’t how I have fun now. One of them still does. She is successful in her own right, but her personal life still holds those remnants of the days we used to get messed up together. That no longer serves me.
Tearing the emotional band-aid off of our connection hurt, but not as much as I thought it would. I saw quotes about your net worth being your network and saw very quickly that the people I loved weren’t really contributing to what I was building. They were more interested in repeating the same shenanigans we did when we were kids. Telling the same story over and over again doesn’t turn the page. And I felt a deep calling in my soul that I needed to move forward. I couldn’t do it anymore.
I’ve always been afraid to do things on my own. I had this underlying fear that if things got really hard I wouldn’t be able to get past them by myself. So I developed a habit of people pleasing and keeping toxic people around me because it felt familiar and secure. Soon my own environment began to stink. I started to clean up my own space—and that requires a lot of mental work and radical honesty. It was worth every stinking moment, every tear, every realization of my responsibility to create the person I said I was.
That fear of my inability to do things on my own had been a crutch for too long. I’ve proven to myself over and over again that I am able. Letting people tell me other wise is an unproductive use of time and serves absolutely no place when you’re moving forward. The truth is it was nice to have that support around me, but they didn’t know how to support who I was becoming. I was willing to shed layers they hadn’t even learned were there yet. We can still have these people in our lives and we can still cheer them on—I will even bring them to my table. I just can’t focus on their issues or solve their problems like I used to. If I’m honest, I can’t have them solve my problems either.
Evolution is scary and painful at times. I’ve learned that it is often the idea of change that is more scary than the change itself. I’ve also learned that it is always timely. I wrote a piece the other day about how we instinctually know when it is time to move on or to level up. We wouldn’t be brought to where we are and we wouldn’t have the thoughts we do if we weren’t meant to act on them. We need to make sure we surround ourselves with people who have the ability and the capacity to recognize those signs as well. The love is always real, but the effort has to change.