If You're Not Rowing in My Boat, Get Out!
I read a quote that said, "make sure everybody in your 'boat' is rowing and not drilling holes when you're not looking."
I had a friend that I had known for a very long time, since I was about fifteen. She and I had a tumultuous friendship, and I think to some degree we both felt like we were going to "reform" the other person. And I am not going to deny that there are some ways she improved my life. But one thing she often said to me - especially in our twenties when we were still really finding out how to do life - was, "I feel like I just always need to bring you down a peg or two. Bring you back down to reality." In short, she was in my boat but she was not rowing!
It was an odd thing to continue reiterating with me when I was defying that very warning every day. As a kid, all I wanted was to grow up and move to America. Before I turned nineteen, I was living in Texas. Nineteen years later, I am still grateful every day that I am here, with all of the opportunities that I have had, living a life in a place I really love. It was a dream that didn't just come true, it comes true again every day when I wake up here.
This was the same friend who explained to me that she didn't really see me as cut out for business. And it wasn't because of that, but it certainly poured fuel on the fire - I went and got my master's degree in business and a job in management that I enjoyed and did well at.
It may not be much on paper that I own a little house all by myself in Texas, that I work a job that I find fun and challenging, that I have published 3 poetry books (and have another in the advanced stages!), that I have a private gym where I am a badass Viking warrior queen, proving that even a thirty-eight year-old middle-aged, "damaged" divorcee can be strong as hell. That I have total freedom and independence in my life, but it comes at the cost of doing it alone. It is a dream come true, every damn day.
And while I can thrive for a long time on proving the haters wrong, I need a supportive inner circle. It is so important to take stock of the inner circle and make sure they are helping us reach our potential and not trying to poison our mindset. Fun times and a long history are not good enough compensation for someone who is trying to "knock you down a peg or two." The world is always going to try to knock you down.
The people you share your life with should be lifting you up. They should be rowing. They need to be helping you get where you want to go. And if they aren't, you need to throw them out of the boat.