How Many of Us Have Them?

        When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

– Maya Angelou

I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “actions speak louder than words.” And in most cases, this is true. But there have been times in my life where someone’s words showed me who they really were. That old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…”—not true. Words can hurt—but ONLY if we allow them to have power over us. I have learned this the hard way. Too many times, I gave second, third, and 15th chances to someone who couldn’t stand by their word or spoke any sort of negativity towards me. I held onto “friendships” or the “family” that I thought I needed because that’s how I thought things had to be. I was too afraid to be alone but even more afraid of losing the people who I would die for—even knowing that they wouldn’t die for me. What sense does that make? None.

It has taken me a long time to accept the fact that we as human beings are supposed to make mistakes. Some of us learn from them, some of us don’t. It has also taken me a long time to figure out that everyone has a different definition of friendship. Some of us take the word more seriously, but there are also those of us who throw it around with ease and consider everyone a friend. Many years of being bullied, lied to, and taken advantage of have shown me that everyone is not my friend. To be a friend to me is to love, to support, to reach out, to be the light between oceans in the darkness even if I can’t see the light yet. A friend is supposed to be family. For me, a friend isn’t someone I make jokes with–I can laugh with anyone. But a friend is someone I trust–and because of my past there are few people I trust. To know me is to love me and I don’t see the point in opening up my heart to everyone I meet.

I have–or had– people in my life who I love with all my heart but there aren’t at my stage in life yet so they can’t understand or even empathize my pain or the talk about the things I believe to be important. I don’t fault them for that–that’s life. I tried for sometime to continue reaching out to them but we just don’t click. I wish that we could make the friendship work because I believe that somewhere inside of them they feel the same way. But life just sucks sometimes. It’s the way it works. There have just been to many “I’ll call yous” or “let’s get together sometimes.” Too many let downs. Too many chances at fostering a relationship that might not even mean as much to the other party.

The same goes for my family. I have always said that blood makes you related but it does NOT make you a  FAMILY. As I’ve said before, friends can be family. When I was younger, I had a family. We were close. We did everything for each other. But as we’ve gotten older and with my Grandparents being gone–we’ve faded away. I was mentally depressed and physically sick over the fact that I was alone. Because the image of what a family is was destroyed after my Grandparents passed away. I kept trying to reach out to my relatives. But no one ever came to my rescue. It took me too many chances to figure out that I was wasting my energy hoping and wishing for something that just wouldn’t be.

I’m not saying not to trust people or not to have friends. I’m not saying that at all. But what I am saying is that we have to be careful with who we give our energy to. Energy is everything. Energy is how we get out of bed and face the world each day. When you work as much as I do, you don’t have energy to waste. Everything in life is a choice. You just have to decide for yourself which path is right for you. For me, keeping my circle small has been a blessing in disguise. And all this time I thought it was a curse.