If you think this post is about you, it isn't. Actually, it's about me.

I'm not arrogant enough to think that anyone noticed or cared when I stopped writing real posts and started posting cute pictures of my kids with little captions underneath.

If we're being honest, we all want to be included and recognized to a certain extent, it's in us by nature. I was not the popular girl in school, after all, who would want to be friends with someone who wore dresses to school everyday? I wasn't even the popular girl within the group of girls that all went to the same church. I was a few years younger than them all, and most of the time I tagged along with my sister when my mom said she couldn't go unless I was included, but I don't think I was really invited on my own merit. I became okay with that when Jason and I got together and I had a boyfriend (a cute one whom the girls drooled over) to hang out with every weekend. I had friends at school, but I lead such a different life than they did that we really only hung out when we were at school. Jason loved me and was smitten with my personality, quirky laugh, and something about me having a nice butt (aha! there is something someone likes about me) :) I learned that it was all a matter of finding people who I could relate to and had a similar sense of humor and that was the key to making friends. I also realized that I was not going to force myself along with people. Simply put, if they didn't like me for me I would get over it and find people who did.

Eventually I learned that there were lots of people I could relate to, but very few people I would want to tell my secrets and insecurities to. I made friends, and I cared deeply about them. They like to tell me that I am the friend who is always prepared to say or do something to cheer them up, and I like to think so. I love to go out and shop for the very perfect gift that would suit that particular friends personality, and any one of them could call me at any given time if they are sad or lonely and I will take that call and talk to them as long as it takes to work through the issue to the point where they feel better about it. I am your fiercest cheerleader when I call you my friend and I love to be there when I'm needed. I will never fault anyone for coming to me for encouragement or cheer and I would never feel to busy to listen, period.

So I know eventually this post is going to have a point and I am trying to articulate it just right because the purpose is not to offend anyone, but to maybe make people aware of a new outlook that I have for my own life and that you might understand my reactions to things a little better. I really don't want to hurt people, but on the same token I don't want people taking advantage of me either. I have people that want to be my friend, I don't intend to fake it with those that don't.

There are some people that call themselves my friends, and really don't have an ounce of concern for me or my family. I have had a lot of friends that I give the benefit of the doubt over and over and over again, and of course history always repeats itself and I end up hurt and frustrated. Really, I am interested in people and happy to have a conversation with most anyone. I will tell you that I will pick up on it if you don't like me (and obviously you win some...you lose some)and that is pretty much fine with me. I will guarantee you that if I think you are someone who is genuine and I think we could be good friends, I will reach out to you and try to make it happen. What I have an issue with is people who include me when it benefits them, but leave me out of the equation when the fun stuff rolls around. I really have no desire to fake it and pretend that I am your "real" friend, and I won't. It's either a mutual thing, or it's nothing...and I'm sorry if that offends anyone.

I've noticed since I stopped writing, that I'm bottling a lot of junk up and it manifests itself in tight shoulders, migraines, insomnia, and major stress. One of the things about the blogosphere is we all feel like we can give judgemental comments or insults about how we could be doing this or that better, but we add a little smiley face on the end to indicate we were kidding. I would find it hard to believe that I am the only one who is hurt by those kinds of comments, or sometimes it's an insinuation that we are or aren't some certain "socially superior" something or other. Our competitive natures as friends and mothers and students and wives kick in and now we are trying to prove to the world by what we say and post on our blog that we are "better" than someone else, that our lives are cushier...our plight worse than someone else's. I think I am merely pointing out what other people are feeling as well, and regardless I wanted to put out there why I haven't been writing. Honestly I am trying to work out some things and make some changes in my life that suit ME.

In all this soul searching I came to the realization that I don't really care what you think of me or if you consider me your friend or if I'm included in your little parties and get togethers, just don't send me the invite to your in home sales pitch either. I'm not about to force myself into any one's life and I'm not into fake friendships anyway.

I have realized in all this that the close friends I do have, well...you guys are awesome. I realize that I would rather suggest everything is cool and not burden anyone with my stress or worry or frustration, but the ones that really know me? They pick up on it and they are there. So I guess what I'm trying to get at is...the girl who always has it together, doesn't always have it together. Sometimes I need people to ask how I am, and for those of you that do...thank you. :)

Anyway...I have let go of a few relationships that weren't beneficial to my well being, and I am feeling better. I have started to tell people how I feel about certain things because when I bottle it all up it eats at me to the point where I can't stand it. I'm reaching out to people and saying "when you do that, it hurts..." and to others I'm admitting that I need to vent and they let me and I'm grateful. I feel like in doing that I am learning to appreciate the really awesome people I have in my life and intend to focus on the people who care about the relationship as much as I do. If the feelings aren't mutual, then there really isn't any point.

**I realize most people are genuine, and anything in this post that seems like it could pertain to you, but really doesn't...then it doesn't. For the rest...just think about it, and if it does and you feel like it's in order, change it. My intention isn't to come off all rude and make people assume I think everyone is a jerk. I am just trying to get some things off my chest and the relationships I've severed in the process of realizing some people really couldn't care less about our friendship unless it benefits them, well, those people don't read this blog...so I'm not aiming this post at anyone just getting it out :)


Anonymous said...

You can't see me right now... but I'm standing up and clapping. I almost lost my balance because I have something in my eye (that's my story). And if you were here... well, I'd actually want to hug. Don't tell anyone.

You a whole bag of awesome, with skittles on top.

Ben, Heather and kids said...

I learned alot about friendship (the hard way) as a teenager. To this day, there is only ONE that has maintained our friendship from 'years ago'.

my advice... hang on to that Alaina girl :) (Is it childish of me to get a teeny bit jealous knowing that you two are best buds, when in my pre-married days, it was me and her being the best buds?) Either way..I'm glad you can have such a great friend like her!

Heather T said...

i like genuine...the fake stuff is SO last decade...;0) i think part of being genuine has to do with growing up and accepting/loving people for who they are rather than what we or anyone else thinks they should be/do/think/say/feel/wear/read/etc...when u find friends like that, you know they're worth holding on to:0) i'm holding on to mine with both hands;0)

Lindsay said...

ditto, heather! amber, you have a knack for words... awesome post! there are a lot of parallels to my own experiences. weird- i just got to know you a whole lot better. :) if you ever get bored and have nobody else to chat with, i'd be happy to fill in... if you can tolerate my social awkwardness, lol! seriously, though- best post yet :)

Tim and Melissa said...

Well said. And good for you...doing what is best for you=a happy, stress-free you.

Maggie May said...

Blogging to me feels like a freedom because it's MY PAGE where I can say what I need/desire to say, and if someone was rude to me I would just unfollow them and forget about it. I hope you find a happy medium and love to blog again because I like reading your thoughts.

Amber said...

Thanks for everything..and MAGGIE: I totally would be your friend in real life if you weren't so far away. I love your realness. I'm glad you enjoy reading what I write :)

Keisha said...

Awesome post Amber! I have recently distanced myself from some people who cause un-needed stress! Thanks for this post!

Neisha said...

amen sister!

I was "used" as a friend back in my high school days because I had a hot brother. How very hurtful!

Wish I could be more honest like you in telling people what I think.

Anonymous said...

encore encore ;-)

Anonymous said...

yay!!!!!! way to go amber ;) you know i love your posts like this. glad that you are doing what makes you happy. btw...i think i need to make another trip to ste and sarahs...we can do a REAL girls day (or night) and let the men watch the kiddos ;)

Sam said...

FYI- I did notice you stopped posting but thought it was because of school.

lanae said...

I know you have no idea who I am - besides someone who just stumbled onto your blog from somewhere! But I have always appreciated your honesty and how you don't sugarcoat things. I did miss your 'writing' posts and I did wonder why. But I can relate to much of what you wrote today - and yes, if a friendship isn't genuine, or a relationship is toxic somehow, then it is much better to distance yourself from it. True friendship is a very special blessing, and I'm so glad for the close friends I have - tho I don't have as many close ones as I do more casual ones. So anyway, I think you're wise in your perspective/actions.

bella said...

i want so much to reek of awesome. you are a writer..i hope you continue to use it for your own benefit...sometimes if you're such a good listener ( as i'm betting you are) people simply forget to ask you about you...cuz..well, they need you to hear them! writing, then , is a great outlet for you and your feelings! i'm sorry you're having some ick feelings lately. so am i ( probably for different reasons) but, i have found i NEED to write. it's a need and not a want. best wishes to you. thanks for letting me reek!

Dayna (Caden's Mommy) said...

I just started reading your blog and I'm glad I didn't miss this post. Friends are so important.

I had a run in w/ some one who used me...she didn't really have the mental capacity to know better. It involved the well being of a child the same age as Avery. Because of her disability I had a hard time just cutting it off. But I realized that she was making my and my family's life worse. Since then I have really appreciated my friends. The ones that give and take. The people we surround ourself with effect us so much that there is just no place for people that make us feel bad about ourselves or use us. I'm glad you have the good kind of friends and the wisdom to weed out the bad kind.

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