There will be dark days. I knew that. We all do. We all know life’s not fair — no matter how bright things are — there’s a looming chance for an event that could send us reeling and fuming. This is, after all, life.
And what would it be without others? How will we cope?
It seems it’s in others that we find the strength to be ourselves. Sometimes even, it’s in them that we find permission to be true.
During dark days, it’s the important relationships that hold the glue no matter how far away they may be.
After weeks of trudging through, here’s what I’ve found.
Whether you can count the number of friends in your life with the fingers of one hand or a lock of hair doesn’t matter if you don’t know who to call at any given time no matter the situation.
When you know who to call no matter the situation, there will be a time when you’ll need to call someone and you might both miss each other’s calls as a result. Life has a way of getting in the way.
The hardest job on earth is being a parent. The second hardest job is being a good parent, a friend, a sister, a father, an Aunty, an employee, a body, a soul, a heart, an ear, and a voice. Until you stand in someone’s shoes, you don’t know how much the nail they’ve been wearing hurts.
There is no statute of limitation to the amount of time it takes to build a relationship. It can start in a random taxi cab or during a high-school reunion 10 years after you shared a classroom. All that matters is who you are when the moment requires you to be true.
Not all relationships are created equal: if you spend time pouring in the wrong vase, you might wake up with an empty basket and a room lonely in the sea of acquaintances. It is necessary to audit the people in your life and be intentional with who to let in and especially, who to let go.
No one can save you from yourself, and you can’t save anyone from themselves. But when people give room enough, with patience and availability, it is possible to listen enough to allow ourselves to be saved.
Distance doesn’t make the heart go fonder, nor absence. When you love someone, you don’t need to be with them to show them that. Miracles still happen and prayers do work. There is magic in loving bonds.
The most important relationships require work. They are also easy. They come in the form of strangers and family. In both cases, it’s the genuine touch of human connection that makes time fly by and the feeling of being recharged that shows you who you matter to and who matters to you.
Blood doesn’t mean disrespect or loyalty. Family doesn’t mean manipulation. You don’t have to be forced into a pretend relationship with the precious life you have. You’re already on your way out of here, don’t spend your time with those who don’t deserve you.
Those who deserve you will find you. They’ll grow with you and they’ll remind you of your words. If you’re not ready to be in a relationship, don’t start one. For you will find relationships in all places, in the dark space of the web or the cloudy groove of coffee shops. There is no limit to how many important relationships in your life, but there’s a limit to a life of important relationships.
Choose with love.
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