Friday, March 16, 2012

quote of the week

via pinterest

I remember as a teen, people would always talk about how your peer group influences you (the infamous bad influence line) and it would make me so mad because I was above all of that. Whatever. No, I wasn't stupid enough to jump off the bloody bridge and my friends were there for me and understood me, etc, etc, etc...

Can you tell I was a teen with a lot of attitude?

Looking back over my teen years though, I can see a distinct line that redefined my life: the time before and the time after a particular group of friends. And the transition was gradual as I rebuilt my life after a serious of stupid, troubled teen moments/decisions. But the group of friends that I made (or remade) post transition definitely influenced my life for the better and set my course in a different direction (one that led me from being an almost high school drop out to a grad student) all because they redefined what I cared about.

So now I think that the people you surround yourself with absolutely shape your life, sometimes without you even knowing it.

When  I was in India, oh, about 5 years ago now... sigh... must go back soon... I remember sitting in the cafe in my hotel, looking over the Ganges, watching the rain (side note: I love the rain. I love the meditative quality that can come from watching the rain pour down. I know, I'm such a west coaster! End side note). So I was watching the rain in Varanasi thinking about life, an ex, and some of my friendships:

Varanasi & the Ganges: It looked like this, but with pouring rain!
And I realized in that moment that I'd been keeping attachments to people in my life who actually made me very unhappy. I am perpetually challenged by the fact that I have a very hard time letting people go, even when I know that I should.  So I decided to let go. That when I got home, I was going to rebuild my life to look more like what I wanted it to be.

Fast forward 5 years...

Since returning, I have worked on either redefining old friendships or letting them go. It's been a challenging process. Some of the friendships that I had hoped would survive and vice versa. But I get that this is part of the process and it's what has led me to here. And I'll be honest, I wouldn't change for anything. People always say that your 30s are your best years and in many ways I couldn't agree more. Yes, the partying and soul searching of my 20s were great in their own way (and I did it all... ) but my 30s have been all about my post India quest to redefine what and who I share my life with in order to build a better, healthier sense of self.

But when I look at my life: my spirituality, my marriage, my career, my friends, my spiritual community, my creative community, I see how finding the right people (sometimes in the most surprising places) has made a ginormous difference in who I have become today.

Those people, and one amazing, cranktankerous cat:

This is my cat, this morning, sitting on my lap while I type this.
As I take this photo she's probably thinking, seriously? Enough
with the pictures and more with the petting already! 


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