No, this post isn’t about the demise of dating or finding your true soul mate like all the recent buzzfeed articles around. Although, how can you resist NOT clicking on the “if he does these 5 things, he’s the one” articles every now and then…

This post is about all the other relationships in your life that shape the most important one of all – the one with yourself. I often think about this, feeling introverted most times and having small groups of friends throughout my life. The relationship with my parents, my friends, and myself has changed tremendously throughout the years, but probably the most in this past year alone.

I had one of those surreal moments when I was home a few weeks ago, being flooded with love and appreciation for both of my parents. Although they can sometimes be overbearing and assertive, I couldn’t be more thankful to have them in my life. I started to think about our evolving relationship throughout the years, and how much it has changed me. Not only with our interactions, but the interactions I have with others and the way I handle situations and process my feelings and emotions.

This snowballed into all of my friendships…

Friends I speak to every single day, several times a day.

Friends that we catch-up with occasionally, and it seems that nothing has changed.

Friends I can share every detail of my life with.

Friends that feel like family.

Friends I wouldn’t be the same without.

And then there are those few friends, that were once in my life but for one reason or another are no longer part of it. And that’s okay. Because some friendships that once were, may no longer be right. Either one or both individuals needed to part ways for their own personal sake or sanity. There is still a good past, a lesson to be learned, and an unknown future ahead.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to cherish each individual relationship. To be more accepting of differences in opinion or personality traits varying from my own. I’ve (tried) to not sweat the small bad things and love all the small good things. And worse comes to worse, I fall back on my fav cliques – it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all & everything happens for a reason, even if you may not know the reason yet…

One of my favorite quotes is “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” To me, the relationships we once had with people that are no longer living are one of the most instrumental and impactful bonds we hold. They are memories that are now capped. Conversations and words said, that could never be further had or taken back. No future shared laughs, tears, excitement, or sorrow… Yet I hold on to these relationships as I do with my friends and family. I continue thinking about those memories and often confide in them during struggling times. I think about how they would handle the situation, just like I’d ask a friend for advice. And I tell them I love and miss them, just like I tell my parents each time we say goodbye.

With time, (& countless mistakes that seem to have left little wisdom) I’ve come to realize that one of the most important things for me is how each of these relationships makes me feel; the characteristics people bring out in me and whether I can genuinely be my true, weird, self around that individual. I know that this is, and always will be, an evolving journey. But the beginning has been a pretty great one so far…


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