Friends – we all have them, we all need them. As women, we want to have friends we can relate to. We want to feel like we belong to a little clan of women who understand our needs and are there to help and share the joys and ease the pain. But what happens when the friends we thought we had turn out to be selfish and fake? What happens when the friend who was quick to say yes to a wine and cheese night suddenly flakes when our lives take a difficult turn? What happens when the fair weather friend is seen for who she is?
When the end of a friendship hits us, sometimes it hurts more than the end of a romantic relationship. Yes, it is painful, but just like we got over that horrendous breakup and moved on with our current love, we can do the same with friends. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them and move on.
I used to work from home. It was great. I made my own schedule, I had time for coffee dates, I was free for long hours of phone advice, I was able to take and pick my daughter up from school. I was teaching yoga full time and I was fully available for my dad, who was very ill. I loved it. And then, just like that, in the blink of an eye, that changed. I was forced to take a job completely out of my field, a job that is challenging (most days NOT in a good way) and my life became totally different. I was forced to give up most of my yoga classes, I had to scramble to find someone to drop off and pick up the kid from school when the wife or I couldn’t and my life became an 8 to 5 rut, sprinkled with a few hours of actual enjoyment.
Losing the ability to be home and take care of things around the house and be fully available for my daughter has been hard, but the realization that some people are not who I thought they were has been even harder. Thankfully, I have learned from this little temporary glitch that there are so many people I can count on and some of them are NOT even who I thought would come to my rescue. My best friend was kind enough to take my daughter to school on the days my mom couldn’t (despite the fact that she has 3 kids of her own to get ready and take to school) and my oldest daughter and 2 other amazing women who I wasn’t close to at the time, were my safety net after school.
It literally took a village. MY VILLAGE.
I also began to notice how some of the people I thought were my closest friends didn’t bat an eyelash when I was in desperate need. I noticed how they cared about us during wine and cheese night, but were never concerned with how I desperately needed help. My father died and I can count on one hand how many “friends” have reached out to me, but instead of being upset I am grateful because they have given me the perspective I needed to see through them and better appreciate those who literally rearranged their lives to make space for me. It hasn’t been easy to evict some of them from “my village” but I am currently working on their eviction notices… LOL.
The reason I share this is simple. Life changes, our good days get turned into crappy days (but only if we allow it) and the people who truly love us never let us down. Sometimes we overlook the important people in our lives because we assume they will always be there. We give our time and attention to friends who often don’t deserve it and when we see them for who they truly are, we are hurt and upset, which is valid. However, let’s try to spin that perspective around and use it to our advantage!
Let go of those who are only there when it is convenient and the Cabernet Sauvignon overfloweth and spend more time with those who don’t mind being in your corner when you have nothing to offer and are hot mess of tears, puffy eyes and the snot runneth over!
Our time on earth is limited, don’t spend it drinking wine with someone who won’t hold your hair back while you worship the porcelain god; spend it with friends who will not only hold your hair back but will also get you a clean pair of undies (because we all know what happens to our bladders after having kids – one gut wrenching dry heave and that thing will leak out like a faucet after the plumbing has been restored) and will still get up early, without judgments, to take your kid to school so you can go to work… hungover…