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Not long ago I was what you might consider somewhat restricted in who I allowed myself to spend time with or commit energy to. Being selfish with my time was what I was doing.  During that time I had little desire to make friendships work even when people would reach out to me. My excuse was I’m just too damn busy and honestly I don’t have the desire. There’s the kids, work and the family life that I needed to focus on. I guess those were somewhat legit excuses but I think too that I felt a real lack of ambition to nurture friendship. Over time I started to realize though that it’s not good to lose sight of what friends are, how much value they can add to our life.  But I did lose sight of that years ago for reasons I won’t go into detail about here.

Eventually I decided that I needed to reach out some even if  just a little and even if I didn’t want to. It was hard at first felling strained and awkward. Honestly sometimes I felt like, “I really don’t want to be here right now” so I would flip flop on it for a while pulling away and reaching out again. But I knew that I needed to keep testing the water while changing my way of thinking too and as I tested the waters more, made a change in my mind, I started to appreciate time with a friend or friends. It felt less strained over time too and eventually I would look forward to getting together.  Now I have people in my life that I know I can depend on and I consider great friends. There are still times when I pull back a little but it’s not in a way that prevents me from having those friendships it’s just that I lose focus once in a while.

A few years ago is when I started to work on growing those friendships. At the time I didn’t know it but that effort would one day become a game changer; I’d come to depend on those friendships more than I could imagine . Having friends to talk to and that really listen to you. Not just listen because they feel like they have to but listen and offer support in a way that makes me think they really do give a shit. I like that. When you have friends close enough that you could tell them anything and they even share your sorrow for a moment,  it’s hard to put into words how much that means to me. If I had not forced myself to allow it to happen I don’t know what I would do right now.