By Eric

Have you ever had one of those weeks that makes you really re-evaluate yourself? Not a bad week per se, but just a stretch of days that really makes you think?  This is obviously a rhetorical question, because if you say “no” you are a dirty, rotten liar. In which case, kindly leave. (Kidding…mostly.)

Lately, I’ve had a lot of time to think because I’ve been jobless since September and essentially left to wallow in my own subconscious, which clearly has its pros and cons. I’ve been known to drive myself a little crazy with my over-analyzing skills from time to time.

The past week or so, however, the time to think has certainly been a good thing. As I’ve watched the people and world around me change on a daily basis, I’ve become more and more aware of how much I am changing as a person.

Even in just the last few months I feel like I have changed. A lot.

Some people embrace change. Some people fear change. Some people are so unable to change that they spend their entire lives doing essentially the same thing all day every day.

No matter how much or how little your day to day life shifts over time, there is one thing that will remain constant: your relationships. Not romantically, necessarily, but just the notion of surrounding yourself with certain people. The interactions within those relationships will change, and the people who you consider closest to you will likely change, but having people around you never will.

Trying to decide where you fit, and who is most important to you isn’t just about deciding where you fit, but deciding who fits there with you. I’ve always struggled with that, because I’ve always struggled with forming legitimately close bonds.

Looking back, everyone can think of friendships that have stood through thick and thin, and everyone can think of friendships that have fizzled. Not by design, but just because life forces people in different directions. People change. People move on. People drift apart. It’s a completely natural progression of life.

The fact is, someone you have known for six months could know you better than someone you’ve known for six years. Figuring out who is important in your life isn’t about quantity. It is it about quantity of time, and it certainly isn’t about quantity of people. Surrounding yourself with as many superficial relationships as possible isn’t going to make you happy. And spending your time with people you’ve known forever isn’t going to make you happy if that is the only reason you still hang out. Quantity doesn’t matter.

It’s all about quality. The people you know, trust and respect. The people who know you the best. 

As I sit here thinking about the people in my life, I can’t help but think of a quote from an essay by Mary Schmich that was turned into the song “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” by Baz Luhrman: “friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.”

The key is deciding who those precious few are, and realizing it isn’t just how long you’ve known them, but how well.