Friends are people who have taken the time to get to know you and then expect you to be who you are, not who they want you to be.
(Note: I wrote this with a contemplative tone of voice... I hate how the internet can change the tone of something.) :D
In modern times we are expected to "be somebody, to make something of ourselves." It used to be that we could live each day "being" ourselves and serving others. Men served their families by providing food and shelter for them. Woman served by nurturing and caring for them. They also did a little of each other's job to help each other out.
I have spent too many years trying to "be" somebody and not enough years "being" who I am.
The last time that I was truly myself was as a very young child. I was also more like myself during the summer when no one was trying to get me to "be" somebody.
What has been wrong for me all of these years is the idea that I am not "enough." Of what? I knew not.
So I have been living my life trying to "be" and not "being" who I am. Endlessly working on improvement brought a lot of compulsion into me. I had a list, I was always making lists, of who I wanted to "be." These I suppose are "Goals." Goals that are broken down into ever more manageable smaller goals all working towards the bigger goal of which I needed to have many of.
So I've spent my time working on goals, trying to accomplish them. But the thing about goals is that they will never end, you finish one goal and then become aimless, so you set another goal. I guess a lot of people accomplish a lot in this manner and people all seem to think that setting goals is a good idea.
I suddenly think though that it is not a good idea. Why? Because you are setting your self up. Up for failure, up for aimlessness, I think it accomplishes the opposite of being.
What then should we do? I think that we should drop everything that we think we need to accomplish and perhaps look at what we like to do, what we want to do. The opposite of what the success guru's tell us to do. I guess I could spend my time in allotted segments 10 min. cooking breakfast, 1 hour studying Spanish, at 2 I should go to the dentist... then the problem becomes slotting in time to sit with our kids and appreciate their laughter. Or thinking about anything at all, our lives become an endless monotony of appointments.
Thus had mine been allotted for so many years and I felt like a failure, even graduating from college Suma Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in Accounting failed to bring me any joy. It was an odd feeling marching down the aisle to "receive" my diploma, the last check off of my college career.
Now... the ball has been dropped. The bottom fell out of the economy and so did all of my plans, our 401 (K), our paid off truck, Sam's job with the regular pay check, all vanished in the wind. For the most part I have been floundering around, dumbfounded as they say (and terrible at meeting appointments and getting things done...)
Now though, now that I find myself in this place in time, I am finally free to just be myself and now I am finally finding friends who are taking the time to get to know me.
What is funny is that now that I am myself, I feel a lot better about accomplishing my goals. My goals are learning how to do what I like to do better, and taking care of others and myself. Plus my mind is a lot clearer for meeting appointments and other things because I have gotten a bit more of the past cleared up.
There you have it... some observations. A complete reversal of my previously stressed out self (who could tell you a lot about making lists and the 7 habits of... perfect people). :D