People, listen up! There are no work emergencies. There are no friend emergencies. And there are no dating emergencies.
The only emergencies that exist are life or death emergencies.
Let’s put it this way: The only 3 a.m. call I want to be getting at this point better be attached to a last-minute flight to Italy with a guy named Paolo waiting for me with wine and Naples pizza at the end of it.
Everything else is just a temporary, pain-in-the-butt inconvenience.
I realize we all have moments, but if you are calling friends with “emergencies” all of the time, you need to check yourself, your choices and your coping strategies. Because, honestly, life is pretty amazing and it doesn’t need to be so hard. Trust me.
If you are constantly riding the roller coaster, most likely you are also building it. Take a moment to look at the story you are telling others. Is it a tale of fun, happiness and adventure? Or is it a sad, upsetting, total downer tale of terror? Why is that? What are you doing to change it?
Looking back over the years, I’ve had lots of amazing friends. However, I have also had a lot of “what the heck was I thinking” moments.
As a person who likes to fix things, including people, I have taken on a lot of projects. I tend to see the potential in people that they don’t even see yet. It is what makes me a good life coach, but doesn’t create great friendships. Because of this, I have learned the hard way again and again, you can’t be with people, on any level, just for potential.
Not only is it unfair to them (since they shouldn’t be hanging around someone who is waiting for them to change), but ultimately, I was prolonging them from changing themselves. The only way true change can be made.
Here’s the truth: I chose those friendships. I built them up to what they were, continued to stay in them long past the time I should have and then victimized myself on how I never felt heard, appreciated or supported.
Not my shining hour.
At this point, I want to be in friendships that feel good. Where I feel heard, supported and they are in it to win as much as I am. That way, I can be really great for them, too. Mutual admiration societies rock!
Also, isn’t that kind of the point?
I am so imperfect it isn’t even funny. If I actually sat down and started to overthink and critique myself about my life, someone would find me in a corner, curled up in the fetal position, simultaneously drinking champagne from the bottle while eating chocolate bars.
Here is what I know: I would rather keep trying for the life I want and falling down awkwardly sometimes then trying to control every part of my world around me and end up freaking out every time things don’t go as planned.
If I make a mistake, I fix it the best I can. If I offend, I apologize. If I fall flat on my face, I may whine a bit, but then I pick myself up and just keep going… trying to not repeat too many of my past mistakes.
My goal for at 40 something? Wake up every day and do my best, riding life as the adventure it is.
I feel like in my 20s and 30s, so many conversations with friends were spent wondering about what people were thinking and talking around the obvious while doing anything to not have tough, awkward or scary conversations with people.
“Is he interested?”
“Is that person upset?”
“What do they mean by that?”
I would spend hours trying to decipher behavior or conversations like they were a Rubik’s Cube. Figuring, if I let it run long enough on the hamster wheel of my mind, I would somehow figure out the complex puzzle’s answer that must be hidden in there somewhere! Looking for the “a-ha moment” that just didn’t exist.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
At this point, I only want to be as real as possible with the people in my life. That starts by expressing myself well and asking for what I need: Having the tough conversations, but in a kind and honest way and letting go of the confusion by asking questions (even when I am scared of the answers).
Knowing that the truth always is better in the long run, even when it hurts (temporarily).
Here is what that looks like to me:
– To always be confident enough in who I am, to let the person I am interested in actually know without playing ridiculous and exhausting games.
– When I choose to let people into my life, and it is the right time, to let them know I am on their side. That I am going to do everything in my power to be great for them. That I won’t expect them to be a mind reader and will tell them what I need and when something is wrong. They’ll know that I am here, as their partner in crime, to work through the hard stuff and that I am not just in this to confirm that I am loveable, but to learn, grow and build a life-changing relationship. That is where all of the gooey goodness is!
That all starts with me and being healthy enough in who I am to hold up my end of the bargain. Who’s with me?
I would definitely say I am still “a work in progress” when it comes to all of my goals — professionally and personally. I will be for a long time. But, as I’m over 40, I started to notice a trend in my attitude towards life. An attitude that at first I thought might be kinda like Grumpy Smurf, but as I have moved forward, it has become my new mantra.
This amazing, life-changing mantra? “I am getting too old for this crap.”