What are the things that make you different? The things that you do best without even trying? Those things that you do and other people stare at you with wonder. This is your niche. As I would like to call it.
The funny thing about your niche is that you can either blossom in it, or become shriveled up because of it. The things you do without any thought, or which comes naturally to you, can be a tool to make you grow, or it can make you feel completely incompetent. Let me explain by using my own life as an example.
I’m a people’s person. It’s in my heart to love people: young and old, kind and unkind, popular or unpopular. It comes naturally to me to make friends. I didn’t always know how to use this “tool” though. I felt rejected a lot, felt unworthy of friendship. The times I put my all into a friendship that I dearly valued, a friendship that I knew could be amazing, and then received nothing in return. It feels like working really hard on a project that you feel proud of, then showing it to someone and all they can say is, “Oh that’s nice.”. Please, don’t use the word “nice” to praise anything. So you get the idea?
It took a few hard falls from me to start to realize what true friendship is. I had people misuse me because I was always so eager to help people, just wanting friendship in return. I started to look at people’s hearts and their intentions rather than the fake facade of friendship that they tried to offer to me in return. Whilst starting this new way of “finding friends”, I became friends with the most unusual people. People I’d never choose as my friends, just because I started seeing the pure hearts. I was no longer looking at the clothes, hairstyles and music-taste that we had in common, but our look on life.
I have the most amazing friendships now. Nothing’s set in stone, and it’s bound to change. It’s not always easy and I do get mad at them sometimes, but I choose the friendship above my feelings, because I know its worth. I realized that I don’t have to be everyone’s friend. Though I’d probably love to be everyone’s friend, that’s just impossible, right? I made peace with myself, that I can be me without my friendships defining me.
Some people cross your path for only a season, then their roads take another turn. I’ve learnt to love them while we share the same road, and let them go when they need to grow into a different direction. I’m sure I’ll spot them one day. I’ll give a smile, a wave and a hug. Catch-up, then continue on my road. Other people walk a parallel path with you. They’re not necessary on the same road as you, but they’re always kind of there. These friends I’d keep in touch with on a consistent basis, even if it’s once a year. True friendship has no expiry date.
Friendship isn’t easy, but you need it. We need people in our lives who can hold us accountable when we’re doing something stupid. We need people who can support us through the tough times. Surround yourself with people who build you up, who know your worth and appreciate you. The most important thing to remember: you can be the friend you’re seeking to someone else.
Questions to ponder on
What friendships do you need to let go of?
What friendships do you need to find?
How can you be a friend to someone?