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  • Writer's pictureAnna Lauri

Want to figure out who your friends are?

Not the going to the brunch or the bar friends… the my car broke down an hour away from where you’re at and I need your help friends. The I need a ride to the airport friend. The yea, come over… but please don’t have fancy clothes on because I’m still in workout clothes, but haven’t worked out... but sweated doing life maintenance friends.

Do something bold. Do something questionable. Do something wild. Do something that pushes what societal norms might be. Hell, you don’t even have to actually DO it, sometimes it’s enough to just talk about it.

Do something they wouldn’t do. Do something they couldn’t do. Do it and see how they show up.

When I came home from the jungle I knew there was going to be a big shift in my life. And instinctively knew there was already a big shift within me, and the energy around me. Over the course of the last several months, I began telling those closest to me that I wanted to make a big move. I wanted to take a year…maybe a year and a half… and live abroad. It was something that I’d dreamed about, written about and had regretted not doing sooner.

Initially, I was telling people so it wouldn’t come as a surprise, so they wouldn’t think I was having a mid life crisis…maybe so I didn’t think I was too. Maybe I was just floating the idea? Maybe I was looking for their support?

It was an interesting response. Some were thrilled, excited for me and eager to help me do what I needed to put my plan into place. They began dreaming with me, what my adventures might look like. They proclaimed they’d visit when I got settled.

A lot of people didn’t understand it - why would I just leave my business? What about my mom? My dog? My car? My house? When these were the questions in response to my plan, I took note of the signals my body was sending. These people didn’t ask about me… and why I thought I needed this move. Anna’s well-being wasn’t even on the list of their concerns... but the Model Y was.

With some others, it was clear there was either a disapproval, or maybe it was jealousy?

In my life, I’ve found that so many people look outwardly at others and compare their lives. It’s easy to do, especially with social media giving us the highlight reel of everyone’s lives. The good parts, the pretty parts, the big smiling parts. I’ve had many friends tell me how envious of my life they are - that I can just drop everything and travel, that I have the freedom and the finances to do this. What I wish they’d see is what they have in their lives, and be thankful for that.

I have the “freedom” to leave… but it comes at the cost of working my ass off, sometimes working 18 hours a day, working weekends, and honestly… working on vacations. I have disposable income, because I’m not paying for childcare, dance lessons, soccer camps or new wardrobes every 3 months… but I can tell you, that’s something I’d happily welcome.

The grass is not always greener.

Friendships will always change and evolve. Our lives change. We get married. Have kids. Get divorced. We lose our parents. Lose our jobs. Get new jobs. Start new hobbies. Get sidelined with injuries. Move to new neighborhoods, cities and states. I’ve seen my own friendships shift because of all of these things.

But I think the most challenging and confronting shift in my friendships came when I decided to make this move, embark on this adventure.

People whom I’ve shared holidays, life milestones with… suddenly gone. People I’ve celebrated new life, new love and new homes with. People who I’ve cried tears of joy and grief with, just gone.

For the first time in my life, I decided I just needed to be in my own flow. Only concerning myself with what and whom made me happy. In the past I might reach out to these people, grasping at the remnants of a friendship. I’d still try to coordinate a dinner, a happy hour or something. I’d continue to text them on holidays or birthdays to let them know I was thinking of them.

A funny thing happened when I stopped…

I was happier. I felt more supported. I felt more connected to those who put the effort into me. There was room for others who were more aligned with where I was at and where I was going. As my friend group contracted, it simultaneously expanded.

There wasn’t a big to-do when I left. There wasn’t a happy hour or a send off party. There were quiet nights at home, and those friends who mattered most popped by with wine, with food, with their tools to help finish the last of the projects with me. There were messages from afar asking how many days left…how was I feeling…if I was excited, if I was scared, where I’d be going first…were the projects, listings and closings all wrapped up.

I left for Europe on June 23rd, knowing exactly who mattered in my life. Who were the people who’d pick me up if I were stranded, wire money to my captores if I were abducted and who will be there whenever I need… wherever I’m at this world.

Y’all know who you are. Thank you for loving me the way you do. The amount of gratitude I have for you is immeasurable and I’m thankful for each of you.

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1 comentário

05 de jul. de 2022

I get this Anna. I have lived it too. Woohoo! What exciting opportunities to clarify what and who matter in your life. I love what you are doing and how you are doing it!

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