There’s this is a hard lesson I’m learning. Like I’m actively learning it as we speak. Look, we have to take life seriously right? We have to treat the people in our lives with respect, care for them, give a shoulder and a listening ear? I mean, that’s the way I’ve always lived my life, and up until now it’s yielded a lot of amazing friendships, adventures, and stories.
Twelve years ago, my gross anatomy lab partner and I were waiting for the bus in Grenada after class. I’d known him for only three weeks, but we had already spent a ton of time together in the first few weeks of medical school. And he said something that resonated with me… forever. He told me, “You are completely incapable of having any sort of friendship or relationship that isn’t intense.”
I didn’t know what to say because he was right. Fuck, he was right. (Ironically, him and I went on to have the most complicated friendship for the next ten years of life that ultimately culminated with a phase out, but that’s for another chapter). I dissect people, take them apart, try to help them get to the bottom of it all, share in their failures and successes. I really have no idea what a “casual friend” is like I have no idea what a “casual hook-up” or what “casual dating” is. So, I lived that way for a long time. A long, long time. Because it was all I knew, and what’s more, it felt right.
But here’s the thing that I’ve recently realized – as you get older, priorities change. And people change. Life gets stressful and complicated. You realize that not all friendships and battles are worth fighting. Not every person you come across may be worthy of the energy and heart that comes into making a real friendship. Self-preservation becomes a real thing, especially as a single female in your mid-30s.
And I’ve realized that something I’ve got to learn is when to give a shit. And what’s more – how to give less shits.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that it’s ok to treat people like crap. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to get to understand people. It just means that judgment, like anything else in your life, is important when it comes to who you share your friendship with. Not every connection is worth your time – not that they aren’t worth it as people, but they aren’t worth it as an added value in your life.
So, I went to bed last night and promised myself to give less shits in my life about certain things. Because there is just so much more in this world and in life to invest our energy into. At the end of the day, people will come and go, and the ones that are worth your time and energy and love and dedication, well… well, they stick. Everything else is background noise.