Sometimes the easist way to define something is to list every thing it's not. So here goes.
Having just entered my 32nd year of life, it's as good a time as any to reflect on one pressing lesson I've taken from the past year. That being, I've confirmed I truly cannot exert energy on those who wouldn't do the same for me.
I've always maintained a select group of friends and was quick to cut people off if they showed an inkling of disloyalty. But this past year or so, I made an effort to be forgiving and cultivate relationships I would've ended in the past. This decision was based on my acceptance and love of my own perfect imperfections and realizing those around me have resolved to do the same for me.
I've come out on the other end having defined these philosophies about selfishness and friendship:
Every relationship is selfish. We have other people in our lives because of how that relationship makes us feel. The problem comes when someone consistently feels it’s okay to ask of you without ever providing energy in return. No relationship is ever going to be equal, but it should always be a give and take.
Which brings me to this: I can’t be in any type of relationship where I’m putting more into a person than they’re willing to put into themselves. We all had to start from somewhere, but at this point in my life, I can’t be around people based on their potential. I have my own work to do on myself and relationships based on bettering someone else do nothing but take energy away from this. It’s selfish for someone to expect me to do the heavy lifting in their life. And simply put, I cannot love anybody more than they love themselves.
So, to get to my final point and to end on a light note – thank you to all of my loved ones who made my birthday celebration unforgettable. You’re exceptional people and even more (and selfishly) so, you’re great friends.