Adulting and Relationships

I’ve noticed something happening within myself over the last little while. In November, I turned 40 and it seems like since then there has been a shift in my mind. Things are different. I don’t see everything the way I always did. Let’s see if I can make sense of what I mean…

When I was young, I remember thinking that 40 was so old…and not in a really mean or negative way, more like a dang, they are so mature and have it all figured out sort of way. I always assumed that your late teens and early 20’s were the time to have fun and be crazy and impulsive. In your late 20’s and into your 30’s you get more settled and start to ‘adult’ as it’s put today. Once you hit your late 30’s and into your 40’s, you had hit that point where you were set…you were settled in your career and your family, your relationships were well established and you knew what was up.

You were well into the ‘adulting’ portion of your life. There wouldn’t be anymore drama filled friendships or cutting people out of your life because of a disagreement. I mean, after all, by your 40’s you have been working on building or maintaining relationships with lots of different people. I’m sure for some people, this is exactly how their lives have gone…unfortunately, that is not how my life seems to be.

I’ve been married for well over a decade, I have two kids, I’m a daughter, sister, friend, niece, cousin…however, more of the relationships in my life are broken than not. Is it me? Is it them? Is it just personalities clashing and causing these rifts in so many of my relationships? I’ve heard a lot of people talking about ‘oh just walk away from relationships or people who no longer serve a purpose in your life’. Really? I mean, yes, there are definitely some relationships I would totally agree you just should walk away and not look back. There are others though that I just can’t get on board with your first response being to completely cut that person out of your life because there was a disagreement or because you don’t agree with everything that person does or says.

Let’s be honest here, I do know that I can be distant and closed off at times in relationships. I can be selfish and not really even think about the other person in the relationship and what they may be going through…but I can’t be the only one who does this though…am I just a really horrible person?

When did relationships become so disposable? I realize that people change and grow closer or grow apart, but in my mind, relationships should be something that is valued and given the room to grow and evolve before it’s just tossed away. I am sure that over the years, I’ve done my fair share of tossing relationships…tossing people aside. Because let’s be real, that’s what it is…when you decide that relationship no longer serves you, you’ve decided that PERSON is no longer important or of any value to you.

Wow, this got deep, fast!

I would love to think that I’m a great friend, sister, daughter, wife, mom, niece, cousin; just a great person in general. I do know that I am not without my flaws though and I’m sure that there have been situations in my life that I handled WAY wrong that cost me people…relationships. I’m not perfect. I’ve made wrong choices, I’ve not let people grow and evolve and instead continued to see them as the person they used to be instead of who they had become, I’ve had bad attitudes that have come out of my mouth in hurtful words that can’t be taken back.

Something that not many people know about me is that I don’t come from a big family, but I wish I did. I wish that I had close relationships with cousins and aunts/uncles, I wish that we had big, loud, crazy family dinners. As I got older, I wished more than anything that since I didn’t have that kind of family, that I would have those kinds of things with friends…for whatever reason, that’s not the reality of what my life is like. I do have friends, some I’d consider best friends, but none so close that we make getting together with our families a priority, or even just us getting together a priority. It’s more like we are just friends online…you know, as long as we have that internet connection, we are friends. You take that away and there’s no real relationship. It makes me sad and I feel like it’s probably mostly my fault. I don’t really let people in…by the time I’m ready to let them in they are tired of trying I guess…

I never claimed to be all sunshine and rainbows, in fact, I’m probably more dark and twisty than I’d ever admit to most people in real life. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that you don’t have the relationships with people that you so wish you had, mostly because of your own shortcomings and issues.

So, to kind of wrap this up… there are some things I’m realizing about myself and am working on. Maybe it comes down to the golden rule after all…treat others how you want to be treated. If you want a friend, be a friend. Interesting. Hmm, apparently you can teach an old dog (me) new tricks šŸ˜‰