Friends... how many of us have them?

One of the hardest parts of growing up is realizing that everyone can’t come with you on our life journey, as it is only yours to trek. You start to understand that you can only carry yourself; you evolve and mature, thus outgrowing old things, people included.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have strong, tight-knit circles with years of foundation. A friendship that has weathered the tests of time is a rarity and should be cherished, especially in an era where everything comes fast and leaves even quicker. However you’ll find as you grow, so will your tastes in everything. Food tastes differently, your clothing style might change, and those people you once called your ‘besties’ aren’t really the best at anything in your life.

And it’s okay.  It’s literally in nature to part with what you can’t adapt to. It’s not your job to hold onto people who don’t fit your lifestyle, views and standards. No one gets rewarded for holding on to dead weight.

When I had my daughter, a lightbulb came on and it made me realize that so much of my life had to change. I had to get more serious, more focused, and put aside things that no longer served my highest good. In order to be the best mother, I had to be the best ME.

With that, I had to give up friendships that I had already been giving the side-eye to anyway. If you ever have to look around at your circle and see question marks instead of definitive periods, those may be some loose ends you want to cut. It’s almost like going natural from getting chemicals in your hair your whole life. You have to cut off the dead hair to fully see your natural hair’s potential.

This goes for people as well. How can you fly when you have dead weight holding onto your wings? There are a few signs to gauge what I consider dead weight.

One thing I appreciate about my friends is the ability to understand: understand that sometimes I’m not my happiest self and I may retreat for my own happiness, or that I may not be able to come out like I used to, or that we may go days and perhaps weeks or longer without speaking, but that the love is still there. Those that refuse to understand you as you are (if you’re not being harmful to others) may not be the friend for you.

Also, note who claps for you when you get good news and who rejoices in your trials. Some people are around you just to bask in your glow without bringing any light of their own to your life. I’ve had friends who accused me of trying to outdo them when I was merely being myself. Beware of those who claim you’re ‘too much’ when in truth, they feel that they aren’t enough.

With growth comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes change. As life takes its toll, just pay attention to who’s there to lift and support—much like a good brassiere. Don’t hang on to the leaves and branches that sway when a harsh wind blows. Pay attention to those who have put roots into you and the things you love. People who invest in your passions, those who don’t always ask of you but never give.

Protect your light and your magic, because the wrong people will strip you of both.

Amen? Amen.