An opening note: I apologize to those of you who were expecting a video post today. I came down with a bit of a cold and I didn’t have very much energy to shoot a video this week. I also don’t think you would have wanted to watch me talking for any length of time the way my nose was running… gross…
On a second note, I almost didn’t publish this because it is a bit of a rant, but I want to be as honest as possible with you guys. I want to show you both sides of the happiness equation; it’s not always sunshine and rainbows…
I always tell you just how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded, supportive, loving people. If you read Fire Your Friends, you know just how adamant I am about this idea.
I guess I can say that I’m quite selective with the people I spend my time with because I have so little of it free.
In fact, I’ll just come out and say that I don’t waste my time with people that leave me feeling exhausted, small, or frustrated. I just don’t.
Many people would look at that and say I’m harsh. I’ll take that.
I think I am. I think I have to be. Because I take control of my happiness now.
I don’t allow people to stay in my life that have proven time and time again that all they bring to the table is negativity.
But it’s not always easy. Actually, I don’t think it ever has been.
What I don’t often talk about here is the after-math of a friend breakup.
What actually happens after you fire a friend?
A couple years ago, I had a best friend whom I loved dearly, spent most of my time with, and told many of my secrets to. She was there during one of the worst breakups I’ve ever been through, and we had a lot of fun together.
The other day, I saw her comment on a mutual friend’s status on Facebook, and I felt like someone punched me in the chest.
It was the first time I had seen anything from her since the last time she called and emotionally dumped on me without asking me a single thing about myself.
I realized how much I missed her.
Remember when I wrote Fire Your Friends and talked about thinking about it before you do?
I’m glad I did because I had an overwhelming flood of emotions.
The whole day of and after I saw that comment, I couldn’t concentrate, thinking about her and where she was.
I thought about how open we left it: we just stopped talking.
After counting multiple phone calls consisting of her never asking how I was doing while dropping her latest piece of negative news on me, I stopped calling.
She got the hint. That was that.
There was no closure.
Seeing her comment brought back every good and bad moment I ever spent with her, and thinking about her. Every piece of built up resentment. Every shred of regret I felt for deciding to cut her out. Every time I thought about her and wondered if she thought about me, too.
Why she never asked me why I wasn’t calling.
Why she stopped calling, too.
Dealing with these feelings is a natural part of the process, I know. But it doesn’t make it suck any less.
I think to myself right now, if I was reading this post written by someone else, I would say: “Just call her if you miss her so much.”
And then I think of why I don’t. I think of why I cut her in the first place.
When everything in your relationship is built on making one person feel better, and the other suffering because of it, something is wrong.
I still ache for some closure, yes, but do I want to be friends again?
Because I have worked so hard for what I am grateful for now: friends that support me, a drama-free environment, and a limited amount of emotional dumping from the people in my life.
I have made my happiness and part of that process was trimming the fat.
Sometimes the ones that we love most hurt us more than the rest.
And why should we allow that to happen?
Why should we sit around and hope that they’ll one day notice how much they’re hurting us?
Why would you not, instead, confront this person? Why would you not flat out say: I’m feeling like I have your back all the time and you don’t have mine?
If I hadn’t said all this to her, I probably would call her. But I did.
She was the one I had the courage to confront. And you know what happened?
She said she was sorry, then acted the same from there on out.
And I ended it.
As I write this post now, just thinking about it gets me quite emotional.
I’m so hurt. I take full responsibility for ending the friendship, but I wish she had tried to change. I wish she had cared enough to try to keep me.
And I guess that’s what I’m trying to address today. This feeling of hurt that may never go away.
It may come in pangs for years after you end it. That wishful thought: why couldn’t they have tried harder?
Maybe she just didn’t care enough. Maybe she didn’t want to change.
But you can’t control what others do or how they feel.
In the end, all you can do is take responsibility for your own actions. What you do dictates your life. How you choose to live and who you allow into your life is up to you.
Whether you want to feel constant pain from someone that drains you, or sporadic pangs of it much much much less often is up to you.
I choose the latter. And though I hurt sometimes, I stick to it because I know I’d rather hurt thinking about past woes than allow them to occur over and over again in the present.
After careful memory-sorting, I realize that what I miss about her were the times we had in our friendship before it went bad. I’m falling victim to the Nostalgia card.
In Fire Your Friends, I warn you not to only look at the good times you shared, as those may be outweighed by the bad. In this case, they most definitely were, even though I tried to ignore it for quite some time.
I only have one action step for you today, guys:
When you start to regret, remember why you chose your path.
If it was for your happiness, let it go.
Ride out the short bout of pain and remember all you have to be grateful for.
You make your life, and it’s not going to all be sunshine and rainbows.
…But hell if I’m going to sit back and turn on the thunder storms every single day, knowing I have the power to turn it off.
Take responsibility and live your life.
That’s how you’re going to be happy.
If you liked this post, please read the original Fire Your Friends: Dropping The Negative People In Your Life.
All pictures by D Sharon Pruitt at Pink Sherbet Photography (1st adapted by me)