I've always been quite curious in the tiers of human relationships. When does a person cross from being acknowledged, to being an associate, to being a friend, to being more? Is this progression ever reversed? It's a very intriguing subject to analyze on a broad spectrum as well as in our personal lives. Along with all of the pleasures of getting older and learning more about what makes us tick, one inevitable fact is that we tend to gain and lose a multitude of friends along the way. It's inevitable! As much as we'd like to think we'll still be as close to everyone whom we once were, the truth is, we won't. The real question is, who will stand the test of time in our lives?
They say we are the company that we keep. They ACTUALLY say (then again, who is "they" anyway?), we are the sum of our 5 closest friends. Upon first hearing this statistic, I wasn't sure if I believed it. Upon second hearing of this statistic, I realize how true it just might be! The article I linked to gives some really great insight about how fleeting and surface friendships with very little substance don't challenge us to live up to our fullest potential. Now, this doesn't mean by any circumstance that we shouldn't ALSO have a few fleeting friendships here and there, variety is the spice of life! But we should absolutely keep in mind how much time is spent around those who don't share our drive...our purpose.
This past week, as soon as I got back from the west coast (actually the reason I came back the day I did), I went to my very first Youtube space workshop! I have no idea wtf has been wrong with me this whole time. Why have I never tried to go before you may ask? I'm not sure who told me this, but I always thought you had to have a billion subscribers to go. Turns out, they have different level access depending on your subscriber count, and I had JUST enough to be eligible for the workshops (another lesson, always investigate things for yourself). Walking into the building, I was super excited, but I tried my best to keep it cool. I wanted to take photos and videos of everything around me, but I refrained (slightly). When I got to the workshop room, I met with a bunch of other YouTubers... People doing what I'm doing! People passionate about the same things I'm passionate about! A room full of these people! I had never before been around a group like this (again, wtf is wrong with me?). The workshop was run by these 2 guys who have a fairly successfully run channel. They talked mainly about how to craft a narrative in videos (which I definitely need help with). After a brief presentation, we split off into a roundtable style "writers room" where we each shared our own vision for our videos, and got to give each other feedback, advice, and suggestions. It was freakin' awesome! Whenever I usually talk about my vision and ideas to people, they give for the most part a generic, "Oh cool, that's awesome." Honestly, sometimes as do I when I'm less passionate about what a person is discussing.
Being in a room full of creators, having them genuinely relate to the things I was going through, and offering suggestions on improving, was one of the most fulfilling experiences I've had in as long as I can remember. This was a small window into the kinds of connections I should probably begin to seek, as oppose to seeking people to go party with me during the weekday. Both serve their purpose in a well-rounded individual I think. Getting older, we learn to better navigate who to keep close and who to keep around in a more casual way. I've even had people slowly filter ME out of their life. Which, sure, stings a bit at first... but I get it!
When I was working at the hotel lounge a few years back, I had some of the best friendships I could imagine. Nowadays, I barely talk to any of those people other than a 'happy birthday' Facebook post. I always wondered why that was. Why I never managed to maintain those close friendships after moving on. It's not because I like those people any less than I did, or vice versa. I'm sure if I were to go back and see them, we'd click like an old Polaroid camera shutter! But hanging out and talking every day is another story. Our friends are our friends for many reasons. Sometimes we can't even explain the connection that we have. We should absolutely keep in mind though, that we are a reflection of the ones we keep the closest, as they too are reflections of us. Help to build with your friends. Help them grow. Encourage them to be better, and hopefully, they do the same for you. No one will judge you if you find yourself distancing from those who don't align with your purpose. This does not mean cut them off and declare "never speaking to you again" status but use your own judgment about how much energy is being given out and to whom. Sugar is amazing, but having it with every meal can be detrimental to your prosperity.
P.s. This also brings to mind how this past week alone, FOUR, count em, FOUR people whom I haven't seen in years...YEARS...recently texted me out of the blue trying to see "what I've been up to". If anyone is truly trying to get in my good graces though, they'd read my darn blog and know "what I've been up to". It's all I ever talk about!
P.p.s. I'm actually meeting up with 2 of the people I met at the workshop later this week! One girl wants me to be in a curly hair video series she is doing, and another guy invited me to the debut of his documentary! I really have to start going to more workshops.
P.p.p.s. This is by no means a way of telling anyone who they should or shouldn't have relationships with, but merely an opportunity to evaluate if we are living our best lives with people who uplift us as much as we do them.