Someone once told me that the friends I chose would either raise me up or drag me down, so choose wisely.
The more I think about it, I’m sure this nugget of wisdom came from my mother as she chastised me for the “hoodlums” I chose to hang around with in my teen years. As most things our parents try to teach us, this statement rings more true the older I get.
When we’re younger, we strive to fit in with a certain crowd, to find our place. The friends we choose are often a part (whether the choice is conscious or not) of a plan to help us reach that place. In my case, the “hoodlums” were a rebellion against my parents and their idea of the “good girl” daughter they wanted me to be.
As we get older (and wiser), we start to look for people who fill some sort of need in our life. Again, I think this is mostly subconscious. Certainly I can’t recall walking out into the world and deciding that I needed to find someone to fill the void left by my brother’s passing. But somehow I knew when I met Nolan that we would be forever friends. And yes, he mirrors my brother in many ways.
This morning, while scrolling my Facebook timeline, I was struck by the amazing people I have in my life. And my mother’s words came back to me.
Women who give of themselves freely. Mothers who fight for their children. Women who are devout in their beliefs without judging others. Kiddos who show me what it means to be a superhero. Spoonies who lift others up while fighting their own battles. Military spouses who sacrifice so much so that our country can be safe and free. Creative minds who remind me to never let my spirit die. Men who raise other men’s children selflessly. Bloggers who use their words to raise awareness and change the world.
I’m blessed to be able to call these people friends. While some may scoff and say that they’re not really my friends, they’re just people I know online, I know I can call on any one of these people at any time of need, and they would do anything in their power to help me. These people inspire me to be a better person, each and every day. They surround me with their love for me, and others.
They raise me up.