As a 26-year-old, I often think that I have everything figured out. That I'm the woman I'm going to be when I "grow up." That I've reached my maximum point of maturity. That I know everything I need to know to be a successful adult. That the friends I'm friends with now will always be my friends. That the plan I have for my life is right on track and everything will go smoothly from here on out.
I have brief moments of sanity in between all of these absurd thoughts of me "having everything together" and I see clearly. One of those brief moments happened a few weeks ago when my mom mentioned something profound to me. It's been on my mind ever since.
While I was talking about recent friend goings on with my mom..."Rachel, you know what? I think you may be outgrowing some of your friends. Not because they're not good people, and not because y'all don't love each other, but just because God has you on different paths."
At first I was defensive and disagreed. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was true.
She then went on...
"I want you to learn something early in life that it took me a long time to grasp. Your happiness is what matters most, as selfish as that sounds. You can't base your worth on what others think of you. You can't let people walk all over you just so you can assure that they're happy with you and what you've done for them. You'll waste your life doing that if you don't learn it early. And these 'friends' of yours aren't making you happy. See that, please, and do something about it."
Sure, I've outgrown friends in the past. Those friends from high school that were never meant to last...the friend from a freshman class who you never saw again. But what about those friends who have been around for years? Can you really "outgrow" them? Or do they outgrow you? Maybe I'm just clinging to the nostalgia. It's something I've been pondering on a lot lately. And I'm not sure of the answer, to be honest with you.
I really think these years in our life are important ones. They may feel meager and less than thrilling now, but I believe these years post-college shape us for our 30s, for the years where we settle down and become husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. The years when we learn who we really are, deep down. The people around us shape us, whether for the good or the bad--and I guess that's our choice as to which side we land on.
Maybe it's not that I'm outgrowing them, I'm just on a different path, like my mom said. it's cliche, but I see myself at a crossroads and am not sure which way to go.
I do know one thing--I desperately want to make myself into the best version of myself, into a woman who loves the Lord and shows it through her life, who finds joy in the little things and is content with her life. The kind of woman who is uplifted and encouraged by the company she keeps. And I think that answers my question for me.