the family you make

It’s funny how I used to care so much about whether or not people liked me.  I still do, of course, (I always will more than I should, probably) but i’ve found that, more important to me is whether or not people respect me.  Not fear me, not simply do what I ask or suggest of/to them… not even finding me talented or capable…but that they respect me.

I am far too tired to go into the aspects of this topic that have been rolling around in my head allll day (and even if I were alert and itching to write, I doubt that I would have my feelings properly summed up enough to write a post about it), but I’ve found that I care a great deal what my close friends think of me…not just that they like me, but they respect me, that they EXPECT good things from me, not just hope for them.  I feel like their respect was mine to lose, whereas, with some members of my family (specifically my father) I haven’t ever really had it at any point in my adult life (the deck was stacked against me from the start, it feels like).  All the while hoping for my success, believing I was CAPABLE of it, but when any success was achieved, it was viewed less as an Allison Win, and more of a sigh of relief, or luck.  Which is the epitome of someone not really respecting you, IMHO.

But friends…at least MY friends…are there, day in and day out.  They have been my cheering section, my tough love, the ones I share my failures and successes with first.  They aren’t in it just for the Allison Cliff Notes, they get all the footnotes and details and unabridged.  Who I will happily share every aspect of my life with because I know any feedback (positive or negative) is coming from an informed place,  from a loving place.  These are the people that have been my saving grace through the last 2-3 years of particularly unstable waters, not to mention feeding me and taking care of me far more than they ever needed to if it were solely due to social graces (On top of which rarely if ever have made me feel like helping me is an inconvenience).  Which is why, when I fail or falter, I feel like I am letting them down.  Because THEY have been there.  They’ve put in the hours.  They are the ones that have invested in me when no one else did.

This subject of respect (why I crave it, what I’ve earned, what I’ve lost, etc) was heavy on my mind today.  And I know, especially after talking to my two best friends respectively throughout the day today, that they DO still respect me.  That they haven’t given up on me.  But it makes me sad that they worry about me the way that they do.  I don’t want to be THAT friend…the one that never quite has their life together.  I never want to come close to a point where they might start viewing me as a lost cause.  Because, unlike stigmas that have been placed on me by family members (and seem impossible to shake off no matter what I do), my friends’ respect, admiration, and support has been mine to lose from the start.  (Even Billy, someone I have been friends with for awhile, and the man I love and will marry someday, doesn’t factor into all of this simply because he’s in love with me, and his expectations of me don’t even come close to the expectations I hold for myself.)

So, to my friends (You know who you are)…I do not want to let you down.  I know you will love me regardless, and I’m not worried about losing your friendship.  And isn’t that what family is?  Where you never have to second guess if someone loves you and accepts you?

I don’t think I fully realized until today just how important that is to me.  I’ve often said that I never want anyone to regret doing me a good favor (and goodness knows I’ve been given a lot of favors in the last year by a wide range of great friends), but with you guys, it’s not just a way of saying thank you for the help.  I do not want your love and support to have been in vain, but more than that:  I want you to be proud of me.  REALLY proud of me.  WE deserve that.

(and thus ends one of the few blog posts I’ve ever written while crying like a big emotional girl – because when I love, I love hard)

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~ by Alli on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

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