The other day my mom and I were talking about relationships and how much work they require. We agreed that the most difficult and scary part of any relationship is the inability to control whether someone chooses to leave. I have lost friends that were like sisters, had boys give up on me, and have even had times when family members chose not to spend time with me anymore. I am pretty sure the only reason my mom has been able to put up with me this long can basically be summed up to the fact that she is a saint. I feel like I am not alone in this regard or at least I hope not. I am pretty sure everyone has lost someone from their life that they never imagined losing.
Even to this day I have times where I think back a few years to a friend I lost or someone I do not talk to anymore and it brings up painful memories. Losing people has not been all bad though because it has taught me to cherish who is with me now and who chooses to stay. The times when I felt furthest from the path I thought I was meant to be on is when I have ended up meeting the most genuine people.
A few years ago when I left the first college I attended after a few semesters, lost some friends during the process, and moved home, I felt like I had ruined my college experience. I was back working in my hometown as a waitress and attending community college in the city. I was the cliche college failure with no idea of a future and not much going for me.
It was during this time that I met two of the best people I could have ever found, in the most ordinary places. I met Lauren at work and thought that her outgoing and bold personality was too much for my quiet, antisocial self. Eventually though, we became friends and I realized she loves fearlessly and puts others before herself always. I am in awe of her selflessness and how much she gives to others, asking for nothing in return. She is not scared to tell you her honest opinion because she wants the absolute best for each person she meets. She is a woman of God who has the best sense of humor and has a way of lifting everyone around her up.
Also during this time I made a friend at the community college I was attending. I was going through a rough week and was not feeling very good about myself when a girl sitting at the same lab table asked if we could eat lunch together. Like I said, I am an antisocial awkward mess most of the time but I am so grateful she did ask because we hit it off right away. We were only friends a week when Tate and I took a road trip to Manhattan for a real college town weekend. Within the next year we were best friends, both living in Manhattan and attending Kansas State.
Another wonderful human being that God placed in my life when I felt I had absolutely nothing to offer. We can have fun nights out being crazy together and also times where we meet for drinks and talk about culture and religion for hours. Both of these women have seen me at my lowest times and have chosen to be my friend because I hope they see something good in my heart and know how much I value them. I still feel like I am not on that “path” most of the time but I know God placed these women in my life for a very specific reason, they are going through the same things.
It is hard for me to imagine either Lauren or Tate ever feeling unsure because they are both very determined and strong women who I know have and will continue to make positive changes in the world. I have seen them when they were vulnerable and felt lost and I have seen them succeed and accomplish over and over again. They have pushed me to better myself constantly while bettering themselves and I am so grateful for their friendships. These are the Godly relationships everyone needs because they nourish your soul and give you love even when undeserving of it.
So yes, I absolutely think that the scariest part of any relationship is the fact that someone can always choose to leave it. I also think the most beautiful and genuine part is finding those relationships where even on the days when you do not like yourself, even when you have nothing to offer, they choose you. I do not deserve the amazing people I have in my life but I thank God for them everyday. The ones that find you when you are real, not when you are faking it or have something to offer, are the ones you will end up cherishing.
Do not be scared to let people into your life and do not be scared to open up to others around you. Every human soul craves a relationship with others. Look outside yourself to be that person for someone else and also to recognize what truly amazing relationships you might already have but have taken for granted. You may end up being that reassuring light in someones life or remind someone already in your life what a difference they make.
Oh and thanks mom, for putting up with me for twenty four years and asking for nothing in return. I am eternally grateful.