|Our Wonderful New Year's Day Dinner|
Speaking of New Year's, I had a wonderful relaxing holiday yesterday. For dinner, I made us this delicious ham I got from ButcherBox with black-eyed peas, country greens, and mac on the side. I took the day off and spent the great majority of it relaxing. The latest and last season of A Series of Unfortunate Events went up on Netflix, so Seth and I started that, as well as continued with our rewatch of Mad Men. I spent some time working on my language lessons. The ColourPop palettes I ordered during their after-Christmas sale arrived on New Year's Eve, so I created a very pretty (and contemporary) look with those after my morning workout as well. It was a great day and a terrific way to start a brand new year.
The more I continue to work on my health and my looks, the more I'm getting back to being my old self again. Part of that has actually meant being more social (at least online) and actually talking to people again the way I used to. In many ways, that's been great. I've found some great groups online where I can talk to other people that are into things I'm really interested in at this point in my life (e.g. fitness, beauty, tarot, or astrology).
Somewhere along the way, I also seem to have started befriending more women than men. For most of my life, I actually had a really hard time relating to other women. Some of that had to do with my upbringing and the strange, disconnected relationship with my own femininity I developed as a result. The rest of it just had to do with who I am. I'm something of a tomboy inside, so I often come across as "one of the guys" to those who know me really well. However, I also come in a package that's considered conventionally attractive by contemporary Western beauty standards. That combination of qualities together made me someone men very much wanted to be around, especially when I was younger. They thought that if they were with me, they'd be getting the best of both worlds -- the pretty, well-kept girlfriend they could be proud to show off to others and the fun "best friend" they could actually be themselves around. It is also a combination that inspired a lot of jealousy and resentment in other women because of how appealing men found it.
But things are changing now that I'm older and now that others in my peer group are older. When you're in your 40's, it really doesn't matter how hot you are. You just don't attract that many men willing to pretend they value your friendship while they wait in the wings for a possible chance to get into your pants one day, especially when it's also very widely known that you're in a happy, healthy, long-standing relationship already. They're just not here for the bullshit anymore and they know you're not either. That in turn causes other women to see you as less of a threat. They no longer see you as someone who's competing with them for men, or jobs, or anything else in life. Instead they see a sister who's just trying to live her best life, same as they are. It's been a nice change.
|My New Year's Day Makeup|
Friends like that eventually start pressing you for money, help, or advice when they're down on their luck. They also feel completely entitled to it, because friendship. They expect you to sign off on all their bad decisions for them and enable their poor life choices on an indefinite basis as well, because to them, a good friend always agrees with them and tells them exactly what they want to hear 100 percent of the time.
I'm realizing that I'm no longer a person who's willing to put myself in uncomfortable positions for other people, even if I genuinely like them. I've become someone who makes decisions based on what's best for me and those I'm responsible for first, friends and acquaintances second (if at all). I'm also realizing that I don't really want to get terribly close to anyone who's habits and values are not in line with my own, online or otherwise, but especially offline.
Ideally speaking, real-world friends that are actually part of my life would be people that are active, hard-working, responsible, and serious about ongoing self-improvement. People that will encourage me to become even better than I am, not drag me back into the bad habits and negative thought patterns that made my life so hard before. I no longer want friends that think it's OK to be lazy, overweight, or unhealthy. I don't want friends who don't know how to have a good time without alcohol/drugs being involved or who like spending all their free time partying and bar-hopping. I don't want friends that are chronically unemployed and constantly down on their luck despite also being over 40 (or damn close to it) either.
I want friends like myself. Friends who read, watch foreign films, and occasionally decide to learn something completely new just for shits and giggles. Friends who care about taking care of themselves and are more likely to suggest a hike or a trip to the museum than they are a night sitting at a bar getting drunk when they feel like hanging out. Friends that are self-starters who solve their own problems instead of expecting me to let them cry on my shoulder all the time and listen to their excuses for still being fuck-ups at their age, often for what feels like the millionth time. As I will it, so mote it be. I hope.