I’m a very goal-oriented girl, which means that when New Years rolls around, I’m all over that resolution bandwagon. Most years, I include a lot of the usual- lose that last 10 pounds, find the love of my life, read more, get organized, drink more water… But this year, I didn’t do any of that. There’s nothing wrong with using the new year as a motivator/convenient start date, but resolutions felt redundant to me this time around as I already have a clear idea of what I want and the person I want to be.
In the spirit of the season, though, I will let you guys in on a few things I want to do better in 2015. These ones aren’t all about me or making myself happier, though that is a part of it. It’s inspired by the fact that I’ve lost quite a few good friends this year. Graduating university was a big part of the reason for it- you know you’ll lose touch with most of your circle, or at least hardly ever see each other unless you’re lucky. I lost some through a breakup, and others through moving away. My social circle shrunk en masse this year. I’ll keep in touch with the good ones as much as I can, and of course I’ll create a new group of friends, but some of the ones I lost really inspired me to be a better person. This year, I want to honour the impact they had on me and try to steal a few of their best qualities so I can be that kind of friend to someone else.
The Compassionate One. We all know that being selfless is a double-edged sword. No one wants to end up forgetting about themselves because they’re so busy taking care of other people. The kind of compassion I saw in this friend removed all my fears about becoming that kind of person, though. They were constantly being truly thoughtful to the people around them. They were really able to see life from another person’s perspective and relate to that- they were genuine, not just nice, and they made others feel appreciated and listened to. People responded to that. What I saw in return was a genuine desire to help from everyone from close friends to office secretaries. I always felt like people would do whatever they could to help him out because they felt like it would be appreciated. If I could be half that thoughtful to the people around me, my relationships with everyone would improve, and I think it would open doors for good things to happen.
The Passionate One. I only knew him for a couple of months and we don’t talk anymore, but I still think about him every now and then. He was getting his PhD in biochemical physics, and is probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. While I’m not much of a physics geek, the way he talked about his work was infectious. His whole face would light up when he talked about it, and the way he explained it made me excited too, even though I usually wouldn’t be that interested. It was obvious that he was incredibly passionate about what he did, and his enthusiasm was contagious. I love to talk about what I love, but my journey with my passions hasn’t been all sunflowers and unicorns and skipping down the yellow brick road. I don’t want the hard times I’ve had to taint the way I feel about those things, or to hurt the way I talk about them. If I could be half as contagious as he was when talking about those things, I’d be a happy girl.
The Silly One. I didn’t know her very well, but when I did get to know her just a little, I was shocked at how I wrote her off. Backstory: I went to an ivy league school, and took the kind of program that just begs for me to be surrounded by those girls. You know who I’m talking about. Trendy hair, drunk every weekend, a new boyfriend every week, huge collection of designer bags (and only designer), three starbucks runs a day… I would regularly hear girls complaining about their constant trips to Europe/Hawaii/insert vacation destination here, and how all they wanted to do was get a tan and shag the hotel staff. I didn’t think girls that shallow even existed outside of movies/California. Boy, was I wrong.
In the last year of my program though, the classes were small, and we all had to talk and try to get along just for the sake of making class bearable. I got to know some of those girls. Some of them thought I wasn’t worth their time, but others… well, they were alright. They were nice, and welcoming, and even if they were a bit silly and shallow and didn’t have many real world problems, I feel like I missed out on what could have been a fun friendship because I judged a girl by the way she talked. I feel embarrassed at being so wrong, and I don’t want to judge and miss out again.
I’m a good friend in my own right, and I have my own strengths. I want to be a better one next year, though, and these people I lost definitely inspire me. Who in your life inspires you to be a better person?