By Natascha Jones, IATG ContributorMay 17, 2016
I’d known my best friend since I was 13 years old. We were very close, but as years went on, she became irritated that I was “changing.” As I got older, I wanted to be called by my full name, rather than my nickname, I was making new friends with people she wanted to be friends with, and I was very social. I was transitioning from the person I was in high school, to the person I wanted to be in my early 20s, and Chloe* didn’t like it.
I believe our purpose in life is to grow, change, try things out, and see how they feel. For me, that meant hanging out with a new group of people and becoming more open-minded. It took several steps and several different versions of me to get where I am and to find my true self.
If I had stayed friends with Chloe and put her feelings and fears before mine, I would still be drinking heavily, feeling shame, looking for acceptance, not fulfilling my purpose, and living a false life. I would have married my high school sweetheart and taken a job that didn’t fulfill me. Luckily I chose myself over the years.
Sometimes we have to break up with friends.
I still find myself transitioning out of friendships that are not contributing to my life. As friends we’re supposed to stick together through the good and the bad, but if someone is always down and always wanting to bring you down, it might be time for you to reconsider how much of a friend they really are.
Last year was a difficult year for me, and when I came out of it, I decided to hold on extra tight to my friends who were working on making their own lives a positive place and loosen my grip on the others. I recently decided to let another friend go. It wasn’t dramatic. It wasn’t hateful or explosive - I just wished her well and never heard from her again.
As time goes on, you learn to understand when a relationship isn’t serving you, and when to gracefully set it free.
Whether you want to all of a sudden go by your real name, become vegan, or come out of the closet, your friends (the real ones) will be there to support you, so don’t be afraid to live authentically.
It’s time to examine the relationships in your life. Take some time today to decide whether the relationships in your life are lifting you up or pulling you down! Don’t be afraid to have some tough conversations. You deserve the best!
*name has been changed
While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.