When do you realize you don't know someone you consider a friend? I didn't understand and didn't think that our disagreements, differences of opinion, perspectives, or environments we grew up in would impact how one of mine played out. I knew them while playing competitive hockey and had visited before, but not now. Because we were close together playing juniors in our late teens and early twenties, our personalities at that point in our development were more closely aligned. I was finally going out and being social, gaining confidence talking to girls, and he helped make strangers into friends wherever we were. Now, I have a problem staying connected in the friendship. It hurts to say that, too, because he's been there for me so many times when I have needed him. Hearing his comments about my ex-wife, opinions about an ex-girlfriend, and projections of "who do you think you are," when I was searching to find myself, I had to leave. Using my pain as a weapon against me was not why I moved 2,000 miles. I wanted to be around a person I trusted at a vulnerable time, and our time together became less uplifting the more I saw him.
It was never as smooth as I'd hoped for a friendship to be. There were good days and a lot of judgment. People I want to be around now aren't in constant conflict. I've even made it a priority to recite every morning, "I prioritize spending time with motivated, like-minded, goal-achieving people who lift each other and inspire my journey." Because I didn't make this a priority before, I ended up making friends where that was not a priority.
Now it's time to be grateful for the times that we had, but mindful of the times ahead. I now realize that I've looked past behaviors and been down many roads named forgiveness. My framework of how I want to go about making connections, developing trust, and building relationships is one of supporting each other and lifting each other up as a value commonly shared by both parties. One person can be surrounded by many people drawn to their energy and charisma, but if you're all treated like shit, that's something to pay attention to.
Be mindful of who you surround yourself with.
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