I’m slowly learning the right people always stay. They don’t leave when things get tough, making up excuse after excuse until they gradually fade away from my life. Rather, they hold space for me. They choose me. They show up. They support me in whatever way they can, even if sometimes that’s a simple text to let me know they’re thinking of me or a bottle of wine on a Tuesday afternoon.
I’m slowly learning to let go of the opinions of those who could not love me. I’m realizing that their perception of me in no way defines me, and I am still full of worth even if they didn’t see it. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I had to fight for approval, for affection. Now I’m coming to understand that this is not the case. I’m slowly learning anyone who makes me feel like I have to win them over is meant to be in my life.
I’m slowly learning that not everyone is meant to be in my life forever. I’m becoming more comfortable with the fact that some people are merely passing through. Sometimes they are a slow dance at a bar, a date who told me about a book I now love, a former best friend who taught me how to stand up for myself. I am slowly learning to appreciate the lessons and to be grateful I got the chance to learn.
I’m slowly learning that my circle will get smaller when I show up as I truly am. I am beginning to welcome that change. I will embrace quality over quantity. I will no longer force connection. I will be brave in asking for what I need, and graciously accept when another person is unable or unwilling to do so. I will let them go and focus on the ones who do want to be there for me.
I am slowly learning I don’t have to bend until I break for those who wouldn’t move an inch for me. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have to be useful in order to be loved. That the right people will make me feel safe and welcome just as I am, not because of what I can do for them.
I’m slowly learning I’m not for everyone, and not everyone is for me. I will pay close attention to how others make me feel when I’m with them, and afterward. I will not ignore my gut any longer, I will listen to it even if I don’t fully understand what it’s trying to tell me about someone at a given time. One day, I know I will.
But most importantly, I’m slowly learning to look around me, not behind me. I’m surrounded by so much love and I also have so much love to give back. I am done chasing those who do not want to be caught. Instead, I will enjoy the company of those who are here. The ones who stayed. There is a reason they did, and it’s because they’re meant to be here. You can’t argue with fate.
So, thank you to those who have stayed, and thank you to those who have left. You both have made my life that much better.