Choosing Yourself is Okay

Self-care in all aspects is all the rage these days. From skin care to mental health and everything in between, being kind to yourself is said to be the root of genuine happiness. I can testify that starting my self-care journey last summer has completely changed my life in a lot of ways. The love that I’d look for elsewhere became so prevalent in myself I didn’t need it to come from anywhere else. In turn, I began to open my eyes to those relationships that simply weren’t serving me on my journey to loving myself.

One of those relationships was with my best friend.

My best friend and I went through a lot of things together during our first three years of undergrad. I leaned on her and she really leaned on me. To be honest, even when she refused to lean on me I would be right there next to her to help her through whatever. I’ve always wanted the best for her as a performer, choreographer and young Black woman.

I think we unknowingly enjoyed sulking in our sadness together. There are a lot of garbage experiences that come with growing up and we constantly picked each other up from our respective rockbottoms. It became routine to coach each other through walking to the top of the hill, only to prepare ourselves to roll back down again. Two years in, it was second nature to know the signs.

“Oh, she’s just going through a thing.”

Last summer I was unhappy, no doubt, so when summer solstice rolled around I felt inspired to change my narrative. I wanted to bring my best friend on this journey with me! We both deserved it!

You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

It was painful to see the results of my dedication in myself while watching her refuse to join me. As I strived to move forward, our relationship moved backward. We started growing further apart and although we shared a wall at home, we started talking less and less. She shut me out, which was another familiar sign of rolling toward rockbottom, but unlike every time before that I didn’t have the emotional energy to roll her back up the hill.

So, I didn’t.

It’s incredibly hard to sit down with someone you love and tell them that they aren’t honoring you. It’s even harder to watch the conversation spin out of control and turn into them yelling that you’ve done nothing for them. The hardest part, is realizing their pride is stopping them from doing the work with you to repair your relationship. Then it’s over.

Just because you have history with someone doesn’t mean that you can’t out grow them. It’s hard to stand in your truth and say, “This relationship is no longer serving me,” but it is so important to make that call for yourself. Life is too short to feel as if you have to be okay with carrying someone’s baggage just because you used to be. If someone makes you feel stressed and unhappy more than anything else, their season in your life is over.

And that’s okay.

We only have one life to live, and I say that we live it for ourselves. Allow yourself to grow, change and evolve. That means you may lose a couple people along the way, but you’ll gain more too. An ended friendship doesn’t negate the amazing times and things you’ve learned. It just means it’s time to move on.