I ain’t talkin about no retirement. I wanna talk about friendships – those investments. REALationships. Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

I’ve always been that girl who has a best friend and then a gaggle of girlfriends to hang out with and bum around together with. I’ve also always been that girl who is an open book, to those who are honest and trust worthy – even though I’ve made plenty of mistakes trusting the wrong person when it came to my heart.

After high school I went a very long time without someone whom I would consider my BEST friend. The one who I told all my secrets. I had best friends whom I still care for and love to this day, but I kept part of me closed off, part of me was hidden and too scared to come out because of how my previous “best friend” relationship had ended. Which was this: I was pretty much broken up with. Left to feel unworthy of this persons time. Left to feel like garbage.

Those are some strong feelings for a naive me who loved with 100% of my heart and trusted with 150%. I’ve guarded myself from this kind of hurt for most of my life. Not in a “poor me” kind of way – more of a “survivor” kind of way. That’s just how I got through the day. Alone.

I still find it incredibly difficult to let people in beyond a certain point in my life. I find myself continually bumping up against the same wall and continually scaling it, one brick at a time, until I peer over it and see that it’s OK over there.

I now would consider myself rich when it comes to relationships. I have a gaggle of women whom I consider extremely close. Who know the deep insides of my heart, who know the scary things about me, who love me any way. I have best’s now, not just one. But I’ve ended relationships in the past few years as well. Or they’ve ended organically or moved on – or things have happened that have proven the relationship to be untrustworthy and I’ve cut ties.

It’s still hard to stand on my own two feet some times. To make these decisions, to continue to invest in these relationships and not hide away and hermit for the rest of my life. It’s difficult for me to face the “others” of my life without anxiety or fear but I do. It feels like I’m walking up hill, both ways, in a foot of snow – without shoes. Isn’t that how our parents got to school every morning?

It’s trudging my way through every day remembering that despite past experiences in any form, despite a pattern or a person, despite history, that maybe this is a lesson I’ll be learning for the rest of my life. How to weave a successful relationship throughout my life with courage and love, with tears and fears, with hugs.

With you.

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