Friday, 18 March 2016

Your Time Is Expensive

Last week I received a belated birthday card and present from one of my oldest and closest friends. Over the past six years she's grown more than anyone I've ever met in my life and it's been such an honour to watch her blossom into the person she's always wanted to be. She never fails to be there when I need her no matter how busy her life has become because of all the amazing opportunities she's created for herself and rightly fought for. This I know from hundreds of occasions when she has dropped everything to make time for me when I've needed her, most recently in November when I needed a weekend to escape from everything. It's never even been a question for her - when I need her the answer is always yes.

Knowing how I'd been feeling the last time I saw her, she wrote in the card "your time is expensive, so don't let people who don't deserve it to spend it for you". A week later, I'm still thinking about those words and how true they are. It's hard today to discern who is worth your time and who isn't, be it at school, university, home or work. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have led us to feel the pressure more and more to be liked. I've especially felt this since starting university, at the start of the year I'd somehow got it into my head that it was important to be friends with everyone and for everyone to like me. But that was so unrealistic and, more than that, it was completely the wrong attitude to have.

If you go around thinking that everyone has to like you and that you have to be friends with everyone, you'll quickly find yourself unhappy. We're human and we all have such different personalities, it's inevitable that you'll click with some people and others you just won't. That doesn't mean you dislike them or they dislike you, it simply means they're not your kind of people. We aren't compatible with some people romantically and the same goes when it comes to friendships. But spending your time with people who you don't feel comfortable around will end up weighing you down and giving your self-confidence a knock. And that's just not worth it if you're not getting anything out of the friendship - a friendship has to be a two-way street, just like any healthy relationship.

They say you're the product of the five people you spend the most time with. Isn't that crazy?! It sounds it at first, but I've seen it in myself. I've seen myself change depending on who I've spent my time with, either becoming a version of myself I love or other versions that I just don't recognise. And it's scary when the latter happens. Choosing who to invest your time in is not only investing time in those people, but also yourself in ways I'd never realised before.

But now I know. And I hope you do too. If you're not feeling happy around the people you're spending your time with, give yourself some space and you will naturally gravitate towards the ones who truly deserve your time. At least that's what I've found. Above all I think we should remember that our time is expensive, it's worth a lot and it's important to reflect on who we're letting spend it.

Have a lovely weekend everyone - here's hoping the sun stays out as it has been in Exeter this week!

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