It is said that you become like the five people you spend the most time with so you should choose wisely. I don’t know about you, but when I first heard that, I got a little scared. Okay, more than a little. I began to really think about who I was giving my time to and how each person was shaping who I am. And then I panicked. This is a big deal, people. Big.
Here’s what I discovered. I have some really, and I mean REALLY, incredible people in my life. They inspire me. Encourage me. Uplift me. Challenge me. Make me better. And, most importantly, love me. And then I
have had the other ones. The friends that were nice enough. Fun enough. Convenient enough. But that was it. I couldn’t really come up with any evidence that they had inspired me. Or encouraged me (in a healthy way, that is!) Or uplifted me. Or challenged me. Or made me better. And I don’t know that they truly even loved me. Not like a friend should, at least. Sure, we went out and had fun. And don’t get me wrong, that’s important stuff, but it’s not what’s most important.
What’s most important is having those friends who push you. And pull you. And then celebrate with you when all of that pushing and pulling helped you to reach a whole new level of greatness. They share the best parts of themselves with you so that you can find the best parts of yourself. When you are with them, you don’t want to leave and when you leave, you long for the next visit. They are the sort of friends that make you genuinely happy and that you can admire, not because they are perfect, but because they strive to be better each day and that makes you want to do the same.
If I have learned nothing else over the last two years, I’ve learned this – the people with whom you choose to spend your time with can make or break you. They have the ability to either weigh you down or lift you up. The weight of my feelings, thoughts, worries, and heartache has been immeasurable, yet those friends, the ones who push me daily, have continued to help me hold that weight up each day. So much so that it’s not quite as heavy anymore. They don’t let me wallow in self-pity (though they do let me cry from time to time), but rather help me to see the possibilities of all that lies before me. And while I can’t possibly give credit to each person who has pushed and pulled me the last two years, I would be wrong not to mention a few – LBC, My Southern Belles, Left-Brain, Mado, and Ann – if I could create the ideal woman, it would be the perfect fusion of all of you. Each of you have brought so much to my life, but the greatest thing of all is inspiration. Inspiration to be a better person. To love better. To be a better mother. A better daughter. A better sister. A better friend. You have shown me how to handle loss with grace. Challenges with strength. And heartache with dignity. These are priceless gifts. Gifts that I have found in each of you. And now gifts that I can find within myself.
What about you? Who are your five people? What do they do to inspire you? Lift you up? Make you want to be a better person? Or do they?