how to work on yourself

You Should Take Breaks From Friendships, Too, Especially When You Need To Work On Yourself

It's one of the healthiest things you can do for your life, no diet or exercise necessary.

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You might be thinking "f*ck that, a friend is only a friend if they never leave," well then yes you would be correct, but sometimes it's deeper than that, and you don't know it until you're in it.

Of course, if you go through an unfortunate loss or something monumentally tragic occurs, that friend should be at your front door. No questions asked. But sometimes, people need space for themselves. It does not have to do with you. Taking time to seek solitude and reconnect with your inner peace is not selfish. You are not a bad friend. You are human.

These "breaks" could be a day, a week, four months, maybe two years. That's something only time can tell. The key to this idea is one thing, be it very simple and yet very difficult. Kindness.

It is very, very difficult for someone in your life to not take it personally when you don't want to be around them, whether it be you no longer text one another good morning, or you just flat out have no contact for this time period. You have to be sure your exit is filled with love, loyalty, and kindness. Make it graceful, make it meaningful. You care about this person as they do you, and you need them just as much. Let them know. Let them know right now.

You are doing this to better yourself, which in turn will improve those around you.

However, if the exit is anything but kind, you could have just lost that bond for the rest of your life.

I haven't heard my dad's voice in almost four years, but I can still hear him preaching this one thought, "People will never forget how you made them feel." It gives me chills and brings me comfort all at the same damn time.

Listen, life can be unfortunate. If I'm weighing my life, the scale would definitely favor the unfortunate side significantly more than the fortunate side, but I am not bitter over it. I have acquired such an appreciation for any "good" in my life, that it actually takes up too much of my time, but I'm not changing it. If someone is making you feel good, tell them. No one is going to get annoyed to know that they are cared about.

This is certainly a scary thing that I pray you never have to decide to do, but I'm always first to drop some real-life situations on a perfectly nice day.

Being that I'm speaking of this from an intensely deep part of my current personal life, the only way I could describe what I've learned are by the quote below. These are words I will forever agonize over the fact that they spilled out of another individual's mouth before my mind could even figure out how to say it.

"That is the saddest part when you lose someone you love — that person keeps changing. And later you wonder... is this the same person I lost?" — Amy Tan, "The Kitchen God's Wife"

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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