The most important thing i have learned while growing up is that you MUST surround yourself with people who ALWAYS make you feel good. Life is short, and there is no need to surround yourself with those who make you laugh some days, and cry the other days.
Don't get me wrong, no relationship is perfect. There will be bumps and bruises. However, in the long run you should be able to look back and see the good far from the bad.
When i say this, I am referring to middle school. Oh, middle school. It is the time where you think you know who you are, but most of us are very very wrong. So therefore, you choose people who are also very very wrong for you.
I remember sitting at a lunch table in 5th and 6th grade, where the girls would always whisper. The small table would be split in half, and everyone would have their own gossip. I hated that. On top of that I noticed certain friends would be nice to me some days, and treat me like i was a disease the other days. It was confusing to me. I spent most of the time just questioning what i did to make them hate me so much. I was looking for reasons that didn't exist. It wasn't about me. I still CHOSE to surround myself with those people. I thought they were my "fit", i thought it was normal to be treated that way. Those were my friends, so what was I to do?
This all changed in 7th grade. I started the year at a different table with another friend group. I was more than done with the drama. At this new table, everyone would communicate with each other! There was laughing, and not whispering, and i didn't feel a bit sad leaving the other group. I was doing myself a favor AND teaching myself a lesson.
I am sharing this snippet from my middle school horror story because it has inspired me to be where i am today. Something like "choose people who make you feel good" seems so simple. So obvious. It should be, but despite our ages we still tend to choose people who are not good for us, no matter how much we love them.
It is funny how 2 of the laughing lunch table girls are my 2 best friends today. Everyone said, "oh no, you'll see..everyone grows apart when you get to high school." I figured out who was worth it, and who was not at a young enough age where those friends are still true to me. At the end of my senior year now, it is bittersweet to me to see friendships that have lasted this long. To see that i can go a while without seeing them, but once we do it is as if nothing changed.
On a day when my depression was severe, i had a friend surprise me and climb in bed with me. She motivated me to get up and take a shower while she made me cat shaped pasta downstairs. I was showered, eating, and smiling. Thank you, Fallon.
Another day after an anxious day at school filled with anxiety attacks, i drove to another friend's house. She knew I had a rough day, and she led me straight to her bed. She tucked me in like a little mother, and ordered chinese food for us while we painted. Thank you, Xhesika.
It is the little things that matter. Especially when you are struggling, it is clear to see who makes the efforts to cheer you up, who sends you the "how are you doing?" texts, who pushes you to leave your comfort zone and leave the house after you make excuses why you can't. And the most amazing part to me..
Who is still there when you are not yourself. When the true "you" seems to have been sucked out of you and replaced with this lack of energy. When all you want to do is curl up in bed, or watch tv. As boring as i can be, my true friends stay because they know the real me is in there somewhere. So they climb in bed with me, and play my favorite songs because they can not wait to see her again.
I am incredibly blessed.
Thank you, to all my friends.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.