What Really Matters

Last Monday, my boss told me that I only needed to work three days that week because the summer is winding down and we’re almost done with camps (and my internship). She let me pick what days I wanted to work. So I asked my sister for advice, and she suggested that Friday be one of my days off and that I drive down to Evansville where she is. Originally, she suggested I just drive down for a day and we go to Holiday World. However, as we discussed it further, we decided that I would just spend the weekend with her.

Now, my sister and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. We’re 5 years apart and have totally different personalities. We didn’t always get along when we were younger. However, as we both have gotten older, we get along better than we really ever used to. This past weekend was good for both of us, at least in my opinion. We went to Holiday World, played with cats, played a couple rounds of mini golf, watched a movie, and painted canvases.

As I drove back home, I got to thinking. Those arguments that my sister and I have had in the past don’t matter. What matters is that our relationship is still intact. I’ve seen several siblings firsthand who can’t bring themselves to talk to, let alone look at, each other. I’ve watched people who, once they get my age, never talk to their parents again.

I know this is a little heavier than most of my posts, but it’s been on my mind lately. You get one family. Make the most of it. Don’t waste time on petty arguments. I know not everyone has a “perfect” family, but that’s what friends are for. You don’t get to choose who comes into your life. But you can choose how you react to them. You can choose what kind of connection you have with those in your life. You only get one biological family. It’s up to you to make the most of it. The arguments, fights, and harsh words don’t matter. What matters is the memories you have and the relationships you maintain. A family can be a blessing or a curse, but it’s up to you to make the most of the situation you’re in when it comes to your family.

Now friends can be a totally different story. You usually have a choice who you befriend. But the thing is, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into. I’ve been hurt by friends and I’ve been encouraged by friends. While you can’t control who or what hurts you, you can control how you respond. You can use every experience as a learning experience, or you can deal with it forever.

This is kind of a continuation of last week’s post. The quote under the title of my blog perfectly describes this. “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.” Life is gonna hurt. It doesn’t matter who you are. Life sucks at times. However, scars are simply things that tried to kill you but failed. I’ve had friends hurt me, and I’m much more guarded because of it. But the thing about scars is that they usually do not hurt. They are just memories. Bruises, at least the ones I get, usually hurt to the touch. It is not until the bruise heals that the pain goes away. Scars, on the other hand, hurt once the wound is first inflicted, but afterwards usually has little to no pain, leaving behind just a memory. Scars can be unpleasant, but they serve as reminders for what could not beat you.

So back to the whole friends and family thing. It doesn’t matter who hurts you, be it friends or family. What matters is the relationships you keep, and the scars that serve as a memory for that which cannot break you. You don’t get to decide who hurts you, but you do get to decide whether you let it be a painful bruise that doesn’t get better, or a scar that holds no pain but serves as a memory. If you keep touching or prodding a bruise, it will not heal. It will just remain as painful as it was.

Let the wounds heal and learn to move on. I promise you that someone cares about you. And if you feel that no one does, I do. I care, Please feel free to contact me. I’m always willing to talk or to listen.

I know this post is short and different. That’s okay. My challenge to you is this: love the people close to you. It may be 2 people, it may be 200 people. It doesn’t matter the number. If they mean something to you, make sure they know. Life is too short and too painful not to make sure people know you love them. I love you. You’re amazing as you are, and I care about you. Who do you care about? Make sure they know! Collect some memories and maybe even some scars, knowing that either way, it’s still part of life.

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