I recently started a new job. Leaving my old job was really hard because I loved it and met so many amazing people who touched my heart and changed my life. It got me thinking that life is too short for people to just come to us randomly. I truly believe that everyone we meet, we meet for a reason. A friend of mine said that people come to us for a season, a reason or a lifetime, and I believe this to be extremely accurate.
The people that come to us for a season are people we meet through mutual friends, through work, through extracurricular activities or through some other means of a short term relationship. Often, we really like these people but when the employment ends or the activities that brought you together stop happening, the friendship gets put on the back burner. It doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be friendly with those people if you saw them again; it just means that they weren’t meant to be with you for a lifetime.
Then there are the people we meet for a reason. Sometimes the reason is a great one. It could be meeting someone who shares the same values as you, who helps you see the good in yourself, someone who pushes you to do more and be better. These people are the ones that come to us when we need them. I recently made a new friend (Hi Amanda!) who came to me exactly when I needed a person like her in my life. We share so much in common and have similar values and beliefs and have had very similar situations with raising our children. She is my soundboard and often the person I vent to about single motherhood because I know if anyone understands, it is her. We met through very unconventional means but she came to me when I needed someone to relate to and is a friend whom I feel so lucky to have.
But the people that come to us for a reason don’t always push us to find the good in ourselves or to become better. Sometimes we meet people who try so hard to tear us down. They take delight in our misery and go out of their way to hurt us. A few years ago I was working at a job and I worked with a woman who was practically old enough to be my grandmother. I knew from the moment I met her that she was going to be vile because within two hours of meeting her she was trashing another co-worker to me. A few weeks had passed and before I knew it, she and I ended up in a disagreement. I thought it would blow over in a few days but it carried on for months. She took absolute delight in making me feel as small as possible. She would whisper within earshot of me, give me dirty looks, make accusations about me trying to sabotage the plants she kept on her desk and would go out of her way to be mean. I remember one day she was talking to a co-worker about a computer upgrade and I heard her misquoting information. I thought it would be helpful to tell her otherwise and after I said it she loudly said, “I wasn’t speaking to you, I was speaking to so-and-so.” I said something like, “Oh I’m sorry, I was trying to be helpful.” When she didn’t respond that’s when I knew that she was the problem and not me. There were days I would leave work in tears, so desperately wanting to quit but not being able to and that’s when I realized that she was sent to me to teach me about strength and endurance. I toughed it out at the job for as long as I had to and even though there were so many days when I wanted to spit in her water bottle, I didn’t, because I am better than that. In the end I killed her with kindness and while it only mildly made a difference in our relationship, it made me sleep better at night. She gave me an important lesson in who I am what I stand for.
And then there are the people that stay with us for a lifetime. These are the friends that we treasure but don’t always get to see every day. Sometimes months or even years can pass but it doesn’t matter because those friendships are always able to pick up where they left off. These are the friendships that will always be there. I have friends that I haven’t seen in years but I know if I needed them or if they needed me, we would be there for each other in a heartbeat. These are the friendships I value and cherish. These friendships have withstood the test of time and will continue to do so. I have friends that I keep in touch with that I have known all of my life and others that have come to me in recent years. These are the people that I connect with. The people that understand me and get me and love me for who I am, imperfections and all. These are the people that I choose to have in my life and as luck would have it, they choose me back. I count my blessings every single day for having such an amazing network of lifelong friends.
Sometimes when we meet new people, their purpose isn’t revealed to us right away. That is why it is so important to continue to be yourself. Because if they are worthy, they will love and value the true you and will be with you till the end of time. And if they can’t accept you for who you are, that’s okay. You don’t need them anyway. And if for some reason, they shake you and rattle you and leave you doubting your true self, just look to your lifelong friends. They’ll remind you of just how fabulous you truly are ❤