“The quality of the relationships in your life determines the quality of your life.” I don’t remember who told me this, but I remember what they said and it is something I have carried with me and will never forget. Relationships are all around us. Naturally as humans, we seek relationships to fulfill one of our basic emotional needs of belongingness. Once I survived adolescence, I realized I would rather have four quarters than ten dimes as far as close relationships and friends are concerned. Now maybe you have 6 or 8 quarters, but you get the point. As you go through life, you realize it is short and not always so easy, so you have to make the most of that time and fill it with people who will help make it a beautiful ride.
Relationships are hard. There’s no doubt about that. And I’m not just talking about a romantic relationship…I mean any kind of relationship from the platonic one with your best friend to the ones tied by blood with your family. The first reason that comes to mind is probably because it takes time and the second, I think is simply because we are all different which can create conflict and frustration along the way. Combine spending time on something challenging and sometimes exhausting, and it makes sense why it is easier to not fully commit to relationships or avoid them all together.
As if relationships weren’t already difficult enough, technology has added another layer of complexity to relationships. In some ways it has connected us and brought us closer together more than ever, and in others, it has done the exact opposite. In an era of social media, it is easier to replace the word quality above with quantity, but it doesn’t yield the same results. I say forget the number of Facebook friends or Instagram followers you have and check the last few people you picked up the phone and called. If you don’t see the people who mean the most to you or you want in your life…then you have to do something about it.
“Some people are meant to be in your life forever while others are just here to make an appearance.” Now I remember who said this, and where I was, and what year it was and what I was wearing…okay maybe I don’t remember what I was wearing, but in all seriousness, it was Mr. Devore in my senior Physics class. Why he said this, I’m not sure, but I remember learning a lot more than just physics in that class. What he said really hit home as it was the second semester of my senior year of high school and even though I had senioritis and was excited to graduate and go off to college, I was equally as afraid of the unknown. That was the first time I realized I was probably never going to see most of these people again after graduation, including Mr. Devore, and that’s when I learned you don’t always get to choose who stays in your life and if that’s the case, you can still take the memories and lessons with you, but when you do have the choice, make sure they better you and your life.
When I think of the kind of relationships I want in my life, the first word that comes to mind is positive. Because with positivity comes other great things that we all need to combat the inherent negativity of the world. The next word that comes to mind is respectful. Because with all the things that make us different and pose a threat to divide us, respect keeps our minds and hearts open without feeling obligated to abandon our own thoughts and beliefs. Third is BALANCED, in all ways…from the mutual understanding of what the relationship is to the time and energy put in. Lastly, I want relationships that are rewarding…not just rewarding in what you get from the other person, but rewarding from the gains you make from what you put into that relationship.
It most definitely takes two to tango when we are talking about relationships, and although you don’t have any control over another individual, you have control of who you decide to keep in your life and the amount of effort you put into your relationships. With that in mind, I plan to focus on the controllables by being more conscious of what and who I keep in my life and putting in the time and energy needed to foster those relationships. Last but not least…I realize working on relationships also involves working on your #Self, so along the way, I hope to work on me and becoming the person I look for in my own relationships.