Lately I’ve been having these little moments where I’m just suddenly really happy for the relationships in my life. For the friends, family, best friends, s/o (Oh, s/o sounds so formal. Boyfriend.) Whether it was last night as we were reuniting over Mediterranean American and sweet rosé, thin fries and gin & tonic, or today, while we were curled up on the couch, eyes glued to the screen, feeling ambivalent for Eleven in Stranger Things, (leave! Hawkins needs you) munching on take-out Indian.
Sometimes over half-eaten shrimp you’ll take about God. Or over savory soup dumplings you’ll talk about your family. Or, late at night, you’ll toss and turn over strange ballooning hypotheticals that seem, in the mental fatigue and subconscious lair, daunting, terrifying, unbearable. Amid the this’s and that’s, I believe in the buffer hypothesis, that the people in our lives keep us sane and happy and from going sad-stressed-loony. I feel warm, content, okay.
Anniversary. We’d gone out to a comedy show, watched two groups improv-battle it out over dinner and drinks. I remember the guac–partitioned from the salsa, of course– cheesy enchiladas, peering at his eyes, room erupting with peals of laughter, looking towards the stage to see funny girl #2 in pink toppling backwards. I felt buttery, warm, happy. The show was pretty good–the first group was a little awkward; the second group, phenomenal. Things might be funnier when you’re tipsy, but the second group was funny. A duo of pros oozing comic chemistry on-stage. Hilariousness in their own right.
I’m grateful to have “found” my best friend three years ago. It sounds weird, but I see our friendships as vaguely ‘magical’–a sort of fate, of meeting a person you can automatically be yourself with. Someone who gives you shit, someone whom you give shit, someone whose flaws you’re aware of and vice versa and accept anyways. Like, that shit is hard to find. It’s already hard to find people you can be utterly comfortable around, whether you’re feeling moody or overly excitable or incredibly confused. But to find someone whose hair you’ll get into, who’ll get into your hair, and will still be your best friend, true and through–that’s not common. Someone who’s there, and not just when it’s convenient: well, my, oh, my. You’d be surprised, or maybe not, at how fast people’ll chunk up the deuces when things get real. Or unpleasant.
To be frank, I’ve had a whole string of friendships that soured at some point, got weird or complex or messy, that either got better or just weren’t anymore. And sometimes I’ll forget that, but then something’ll remind me. Maybe a dream or conversation or social media post. And then I’m reminded of why I avoid groups of girls, am biased towards one-on-one friendships, am irritated by highly defensive people (maybe the last one’s just a personal thing), etc. The reality of having had weird and muddy and possibly shitty relationships makes me appreciate the current relationships in my life. The ones that are, for lack of better word, clean. With the closest people in my life, it’s easy. There’s unwavering support, no resentment, genuine kindness, and contentedness. We’re not erupting in fights every Thursday or secretly being passive aggressive or what-have-you’s.
Every year I feel like writing a little best friend appreciation post, about how happy I am to have certain people with whom I can be weird or moody or just real around. So that’s this and this is that, my annual spurt of gratitude post.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle
It’s been a minute since I’ve sat down and counted my blessings, been actively grateful for what I have in life. Ironically, I’ll do this sort of thing when I’m at my lowest. So it’ll be in fits of sadness or confusion or negative what-have-you’s that I’ll write out the things that make me happiest. Projects I’ve embarked on in the past three years: three good thing that happened today and why; 100 happy days; list of reasons to be happy, stuff like that. But when I am cruising on happiness and genuinely content, as I am now, and as I have been, I’ll do everything but.
The daily quote by Tolle on Momentum, a Chrome installation, reminds me otherwise. So, in the spirit of acknowledging the good, and not just when it’s bad, here are 10 things that in my life that, well, bring me happiness. Or at the very least, that I am grateful for. Continue reading →
I wish you could break up with friends the way you do romantic partners. So instead of feeling obligated to drag on friendships long past their expiration date, you could say something like: hey, yeah, so you’ve draining and snarky and judgmental all these years. I’m not sure I like being around you, and it’d be real nice if you quit dragging me down. This isn’t working out. I’m finding kinder and stabler people to be in my life. Deuces.
But then that’d start all sorts of shit. And ain’t nobody got time for that.
You’ll never need people who bring you down. Who relentlessly judge, pry or criticize you. People who are unkind, then kind, then unkind. People who don’t respect you. People who are unsupportive. People who are jealous. People who superimpose their world beliefs onto you and judge you accordingly. People who are untrustworthy, people with big mouths, people who are manipulative, people who just want something from you.
There are a handful of people who, granted, may care for you, love you, might even be good to you, but are not good for you.
And there will be–are, present-tense–those who’ll bring you up. Who support you, are there for you, are genuinely understanding. They’re reliable. You’re there for each other when times are shitty; you’re there for each other when times are good. There’s mutual trust. Mutual respect. No drama, no petty shit-shows, just honest-to-God communication and understanding. There are people who give and take–no, not take, but accept. Each other. They meet you halfway. Initiative splits 50/50. Every conversation or hangout ends in happiness because that’s what good people are supposed bring to your life: happiness and support and positivity. I know, this is cheesy as fuck. But let me be cheesy here.
There’s no need to go on some sort of giant relationship purge. But it doesn’t hurt to take stock of the relationships in life to get a general idea of whether they bring you up or drag you down. Sometimes it’s both; it’s not always one way or another. Make wiggle room for growth and forgiveness–we’re all shitty hurting people at some point in time. But negative trends and toxicity are no-go’s. So…let go.