Cutting the Tie That Binds

You and me? We’re done. Maybe…

Years ago, I worked for a commercial real estate company. This was my first “big kid” job beyond the years I spent in retail. The office was located downtown, and was filled with people vastly different from one another, and from me. I knew this was going to be quite the experience and I couldn’t wait.

One day I heard a peer call a friend and tell this person she was ending the friendship. End of story.

Yep, you read that right: called a friend and told her/him that she was ending the friendship because they never saw each other anymore, and if this person wanted to be friends, they would have made more of an effort to hang out.

*insert wide eyes here, and me looking around to see if I’m the only one hearing what I think I’m hearing*

I’ve seen friendships disintegrate over time and in an instant (often due to really bizarre circumstances).

I’ve seen people drift apart due to lifestyle differences and geographical distances.

Up until that point (and since then), I had never seen (or heard) someone deliberately cut someone from their life over something so inconsequential.

To say I was floored doesn’t even come close to what I was thinking. First off, I thought this girl was bat-shit crazy. Who calls someone out of the blue and ends a friendship over something as trivial as not hanging out? Secondly, I wondered if the person on the other end of the line was thinking, “Hallelujah!”

In retrospect, I still think the girl was crazy. The situation, however, has completely different meaning for me.

I understand now, as I did then, that life gets in the way, so to assume you’ll have the same friends forever, or that you’ll see one another every weekend is impractical. As we grow as individuals, our friendships grow as well. We attract new people to our lives, and we become enriched because of it.

I’ve found as an adult, that your friends become the family you choose. Like a carefully curated collection of people that make you laugh, support you in trying times, and celebrate the wins; just as you’d do for them and with them.

But what about when we have attracted someone that doesn’t enrich us so much as they suck all the energy out of us? Perhaps this is a moment when we take a cue from the crazy girl and cut someone out of our life. We make the decision that we want more for ourselves, and our well-being, and we exclude those that don’t fit within that parameter.

I’d much prefer that friendships just take their course, and follow the ebb and flow of life. However, this could be the part of adulthood that isn’t much fun. Where, to get to the sunshine and butterflies, you need to take care of the dark clouds that hang around. Perhaps in our quest for self-care and living our best life, this is just something that needs to be done.

As hard as making such deliberate changes is, I can tell you with absolute certainty it is worth it. Eventually, once you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people, and put yourself in the right situations, your best self does shine thought. And who wouldn’t love that?!

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