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Saturday, January 06, 2018

2018 - The "Be Your Own Best Friend" Year

Well, we're already one week into 2018.  How has it been for all of you so far? 

I have to say that given what happened last year, I see 2018 as a new opportunity.  A new chance to reinvent myself.  To say goodbye to past mistakes and have the opportunity to create new ones.

(Wait.  That came out SO wrong.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that 2017 taught me a lot about myself.  Not only that, but it taught me a lot about other people.

In fact, I've already declared 2018 to be the "Be Your Own Best Friend" year. 

All right, all right.  Maybe it's only applicable to me, but I will explain why I have done that - and what exactly that means.

You see, 2017 was a year in which I saw the absolute best of humanity, as well as the absolute worst.  It was a year in which several things happened in which I could really tell the difference between who was a real friend and who only wore the "friend hat" when it only seemed to benefit them.

Frankly, I'm over it.

There was a situation that I can remember clear as a bell.  I think I had to have been around thirteen years old.  It was just before the band was set to go on stage at my elementary school, and I was supposed to go on.  At least that was until one of my friends and I got into a disagreement that stemmed from - well, I can't even remember what we were fighting about now because it seems so long ago and it was that insignificant. 

Of course, it prompted a classmate of mine named Rob (and yes, I probably won't ever see him again so I don't mind referring to him by his first name) to really get in my face about it even though he had absolutely nothing to do with me or the friend that I was fighting about, and he basically blasted me by saying that I didn't know what a friend was.  I'll admit that it stung quite a bit, and my reaction was to fake a stomach ache so I didn't have to play in the concert because I was that upset. 

But as much as I hate to admit this...all those years later, Rob did make a valid point.  Granted, I still think Rob is a jerk, but he was right.  I didn't know what being a friend was because I had a hard time finding and keeping friends.  Obviously I made a huge mistake with Rob because I actually invited him to my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party for my 9th birthday only for him to befriend a new group of kids who absolutely despised me. 

But looking back on it, I think I've had that issue my whole life.  I don't have a whole lot of friends who I can say that I've known since kindergarten and who I am still close with today - maybe only two people fit that description.  They are clearly the exception to the rule.

It seemed as though whenever I tried to be friends with someone, it ended one of three ways.  They either moved away and we never talked again, they found a new group of friends and didn't talk to me again, or they became my worst enemy.  As a kid, I didn't understand why this always happened.  Looking back, I think there's equal blame to be found.  I could have done more to try and keep the friendship going, but they could have also made up their own minds and not succumb to peer pressure either. 

I guess it's why I hesitate to call someone my "best friend".  I've mentioned that I was leaving 2017 feeling jaded, and part of the reason why is because I feel as though many of the people I considered friends have bailed on me.  Whether it's on me, or on them, I don't know.  All I know is that my relationships with people who I thought were on solid ground felt as though they were hit with a landslide, and it's made me feel as though I couldn't count on anybody.

I guess that's ultimately what made me come up with the idea of being my own best friend.  I guess in a way, you can't really respect other people if you don't respect yourself.  And honestly in 2017, I put myself last a lot.  In some aspects, it couldn't be helped.  But in others, it most definitely could have.  I left 2017 feeling incredibly defeated and alone because I didn't think I was good enough for people to associate with me.  And, I guess on my part, I got fed up with people trashing each other behind their backs or who gossiped every minute of the hour to even want to associate with them. 

2018 is the year in which I declare myself to be my own best friend because I think I deserve to have someone positive behind me - even if it is only me.  I got to the point where I almost started to accept toxic relationships for the sake of just having somebody to talk to, and that is incredibly dangerous behaviour.  Now I realize that I would rather be alone with my own thoughts of positivity instead of at an entire table of people who will never be true friends.  So, right off the bat, I think that's a great start, right?

Eventually, I hope that I can use this new outlook on life to experience some new adventures on my own - even though I have a really hard time trying new things without someone there to experience them.  I'm thinking that once the snow melts (because let's face it - the winter of 2018 is definitely hibernation weather), I might continue my "see my hometown through the eyes of a tourist" mindset and showcase various parts of my community the way that someone outside the box of normalcy would.

I'm also not going to count on people to make me happy any longer.  If I want to treat myself to a DQ Blizzard because it makes me happy, that's what I'm going to do.  If I want to buy an iTunes card to download some of my favourite songs, that's what I'm going to do.  And if I want to wear underpants that make me feel sexy even though I feel anything but, then that's what I'm going to do.  Heck, it's not like anyone's going to see them anyway!

Yeah, 2018's going to be the year that I finally start to treat myself the way that I deserve to be treated.  And if anybody else has a problem with that, they simply don't have to come and join in.  They can continue along on their merry little way and I'll bid them a hearty "Bye, Felicia" as they pass.  Even if their name isn't Felicia.

And maybe...just maybe...if I become my own best friend in 2018, then in 2019, I can start focusing on finding others who are their own best friends...and then maybe our best friends will become best friends, and then we'll start a knot of friendship that is built on the foundation of love, trust, kindness, and strength.

Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to spend a night in with my best friend Netflixing and chilling.  In fact, this opportunity has me thinking of a new feature that I plan to start later this month.  But more on that later.  For now, it's time to bond with my bestie.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

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