Monday, March 30, 2015

rebuilding burned bridges

Once upon a time I wrote about making the cut. I wrote about how to get rid of toxic relationships, of people who no longer made you a better person. And I think I may have been a bit pre-emptive in writing that. I will always stand by the idea that one should surround themselves with people who inspire them, challenge them, and help mold them into a better person. But it's dawned on me recently that maybe I've put too many people on my "cut" list.

I'm not one to give many chances. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I'm not one to trust easily either. I keep my inner circle limited and I don't warm to people easily. It takes months and months. Even years in some cases. But I've found the small number of friendships I've fostered over the past six or seven years have been the best ones of my life. They still are to this day.

Then something major happened for me at the end of last week. Something amazing and exciting and all that I could have hoped for (more on that later...), and I had my family to tell, and my best friends (the majority of which happen to live out of state), and then it kind of dawned on me that I didn't really have anybody to celebrate with. I don't have a go-to here anymore. My go-to moved away recently. My roommates are my best friends and they're each other's go-to's. And that is more than okay! All my go-tos just happened to move away for college, and I see them often enough.

But what happens when your go-tos aren't picking up their phones? 
And your best friends are all at work?
You're kind of just... alone.

I'm rescinding what I said earlier about making the cut. You have to give people chances, lots of chances. I think of all the times I've screwed up and all the chances I've been given to make things right, and how I haven't allowed that for other people. And it makes me sad. My best friends standing next to me on graduation day will be the same girls who stood next to me at high school graduation, and there is something so special in that. I consider myself lucky, and I cherish how lucky I am to still have them in my life. But they're all I have here right now. Them and a few other lucky people! But it doesn't hurt to have a lot of friends either. People need all different kinds of people for different points in their lives, and I've always been so reserved that it never really dawned on me that maybe I was doing myself some harm by keeping my inner circle so limited.

Don't push people away. Give them the same courtesies you'd want to be given if you messed up. Don't let one stupid fight ruin a friendship. Everyone goes through weird things, especially in our early 20s, but that's why we all have to help each other! As Taylor Swift said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." And I'll be the first to say that just because you assume a bridge has been burned, doesn't mean it can't be built again.


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