See, I decided that I no longer wanted to do things that other people expected me to do. I was going to do the things that I wanted to do and be happy with it. Well, suddenly I had all sorts of peole asking me if I was ok? Telling me that I didn't seem happy anymore. Mentioning that I wasn't the same Jessica I used to be. All of this seemed odd to me because I was thinking "that's strange, I'm happier than I've been in quite some time. I'm doing things I want to do and I'm enjoying every day of my life." But a funny thing happened. When enough people tell you that you "seem down" you start to second guess yourself and before you know it, you are down. Right about that time, everyone (well, all of *those* people) disappeared. They weren't concerned about me anymore, I was left off of several invitation lists, some people started gossiping behind my back and suddenly I was even further down in the dumps.
(I should pause here and mention that I'm a member of a fairly large chapter of MOMS Club and the power struggles that go on there are unbelievable, but entertaining to watch. And to have that many women, in one group, competing for power....well, you know how that goes)And then I looked around me and saw the people that were still there. People that never once told me I didn't seem happy. The people that called or emailed me daily to see what my plans were and did we want to grab lunch, or join them for dinner? The people that just let me be me and loved me anyway. They didn't love me because they thought I'd do something for them. They didn't love me because they thought they could manipulate me. They loved me because of who I am and the type of friend I am to them. And I realized, that's all that matters.
Studies have shown that as you get older, and once you leave college (specifically) making life long true friendships gets harder and harder. At this age I realize that most friendships are formed out of convenience or simply because our kids hang out. To be able to find a friend that really gets you, at this age, is golden. And not something to take for granted.
While *those* people are still in my life (and will be for the forseeable future, the joys of living in a small town) and I still consider many of them aquaintences, I'm able to see our relationship for what it is, or what it was.
And I guess that's all part of growing up, right?