As I sit here on one of the last days of 2018, I find myself spending a lot of time rewinding through this past year. The good times and bad, the lessons learned, and the friends lost.
2018 has been a big year for me. I graduated high school. I traveled by myself for the first time. I became an aunt. I got my license. I started college. But more than all those things it has been a year of reflection. I don't think there has been a time in my life when I've thought myself into more headaches than this year.
As is natural during such a transitional period, I spent much of this time thinking about how I envision my life looking. Not just after high school or going into college, but after that too. Which of my classmates will I keep in touch with when I am part of the workforce? Who would I want at my housewarming party? Whose bridesmaid do I want to be? These seem like dumb questions to be thinking about at 18, but my friends and I discussed these ideas a lot during the second semester of senior year.
When I watched many people change drastically through the course of our last year in high school, I often wondered why everything was suddenly so different. I mean these were the people I grew up with. We went to preschool together—there is nothing we don't know about each other, yet somehow now, in the eleventh hour of our friendship, all of that understanding has disappeared.
The lesson that came from this moment was that people change and with them so should relationships. There are no relationships without trust and respect, yes, but also no relationship will last without adapting.
When you see a relationship become one-sided in that only one person will adjust, maybe pivot their ideas, or apologize first, in order to keep the relationship alive, then that relationship shouldn't continue. When someone repeatedly disrespects you, your time, or your ideas, you have no business keeping them in your life. If someone does not take pride in your accomplishments, if someone does not share in your sorrows, then you probably don't mean that much to them. Don't make them a priority.
You know when a relationship is over when it starts to feel like an obligation. You know when a relationship is over when you dread seeing them. It's not momentary anger or frustration with someone, it's an understanding that this relationship will never change.
It's important to realize that not making someone a priority doesn't need to mean cutting them out of your life. But if it does, you don't need to stop caring about someone to realize that they aren't good for you. And if it's really meant to be, sometime later in life when both of you have grown, you'll find a way back into each other's lives.
But until then, 2019 is gonna be a year of self-care and self-advocacy. Creating and curating the person you want to be means being picky about your time and your people.