Why is it that the people we have the strongest ties with are the ones we take for granted? And then, the people who don’t respect us or value us like the treasures we are, are the ones we seek the approval of? Is it because we know our most cherished friends will always be by our side, no matter how many times we bare our teeth or shove them away? And with the ones we keep on chasing, is it because they start to feel like our hard-earned prize after a while? I can’t help but feel that this should be the opposite—the ones who are at the forefront of our lives should be the ones we forgive with grace. They should be the ones we yearn to better ourselves for, not the ones who never loved us in the first place.
If you have someone you can call in the thick of the night, someone who will wipe your tears with the back of their sleeve, no matter how busy they are, then this is the person you should take a little extra time to appreciate. Relationships are like flowers. They need a touch of tenderness to thrive. We can’t keep leaving them in a dark corner without water and assume their petals will reach for the sky, when in reality, they will slowly wither and die. And it can be extremely difficult to revive the things we’ve lost.
Sometimes it’s a matter of taking yourself back to the first day you met. How did you act then? Did you leave your significant other little love notes all around the house? Did you tell them how much they meant to you? What about your best friend? Did you go on road trips together? Spend hours talking on the phone about the many quirks of life? People get busy, yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carve out a sliver of ourselves to give to the people who mean the most to us. Otherwise, we may wake up one day and find ourselves surrounded by strangers, or worse, no one at all.
If someone is taking you for granted, then have the self-respect to let go if need be. We shouldn’t fight for someone whose only consistency is walking away. We shouldn’t keep our hopes alive for someone who consciously crushes it. Don’t be someone’s afterthought. If that’s all you are to them, fine, but don’t kill yourself trying to push to the front of the queue. And don’t let it be the reason you keep others at a distance.
People grow apart for a reason. It could mean you are meant to observe those empty spaces so you can replenish them with something else, like a reacquainted pastime or that new coworker you might have judged prematurely. It could mean you need to reexamine what and who means most to you.
It’s funny how “busy” we say we are when most of that time is consumed by lukewarm relationships and pursuits that desiccate our passions. If we want more time, we need to free some up, and some of that could mean shuffling our priorities. Make your peace of mind a priority. Your tribe. The way you give love and receive it. If you do, you may wake up to find that you’re surrounded not by strangers, but by people you adore and who adore you too.