One of my mad skills is helping people I love come to terms with reality. Though, I’m okay at giving criticism and not so great at taking it. I’m working on it & clearly the first step is acceptance. However, there are some harsh truths that even I am capable of accepting that I feel other people just can’t.
I’ve interspersed pictures from (what feels like a very far away) trip to Essex & Suffolk in the summer with mum.
There’s no such thing as never too late. Of course, everyone knows that you can be “too” late to an event. Doors shut, the act is over, the food runs out, people get annoyed and leave. I’m talking about a delayed emotional response or connection in a timely and sensitive situation. There is such a thing as being too late to wish someone a happy birthday and ALL of us have been guilty. JUST WRITE DOWN YOUR LOVED ONES’ BIRTHDAYS. Just do it. Think about how good you feel when you’re flooded with sentiments of love and gratitude on your birthday even if it’s just a text message. That alone should help you to remember to reciprocate.
I digress (as per usual) because the real emotional lateness that I wanted to talk about is expressions of gratitude and appreciation. When someone sends you a christmas card or New Year’s Eve text, that’s great. It’s nice that they took that time out. But that’s kind of where it ends. It’s just nice. They’re also sending those things to a whole slew of other people. It doesn’t cheapen the sentiment, but it doesn’t exactly help the timeliness and intentionality of their actions.
When someone texts you completely out of the blue at 9pm on a Thursday night when you’re maybe feeling a bit guilty for baking brownies for no occasion and then proceeding to eat all of those brownies, that’s when the words or actions seems to stick out. Show your love when you feel it. After you’ve parted ways and maybe even moved out of the country, your friend might start to miss you and months later attempt to reach out to you. They could even say kind words about how they wish you could meet up and how they have grown to appreciate and miss you. Or they surprise you with praise or compliments for aspects of yourself that you never knew they noticed. Great, but why didn’t you tell me this when I was there?
I’m not upset. In fact, I am very glad that people can be big enough to admit that they might’ve taken someone for granted or not been able to see a piece of beauty or kindness before. It takes a lot of balls to reach out to people later on in life, especially if you’re admitting you were wrong. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s too late.
I urge you to tell the people you love why you love them and why you want them to stay in your life. NOW. IN PERSON.
This is how we make sure that our team (#squad) is supported through life. You never know what’s going through other people’s heads and you cannot assume that they know how you feel about them unless you tell them. I support Instagram posts on people’s birthdays because they are just so much richer and more wholesome than a simple “happy birthday!” wall post. But there should be more of those everyday.
So yes. Everyday gratitude. It’s a thing we don’t promote enough of. It’s so important to be face to face with someone while you tell them what you love about them. And not necessarily qualities you think they have–be specific. Here are some helpful examples:
“I just wanted to thank you for helping me out of that awkward family situation by taking me out for frozen yogurt. I’m glad that I didn’t have to ask you and you just anticipated my needs from my awkward texts. That was very conscientious and cool of you. Love you”
“Last night when you told that guy at the bar that he needed to back off was a really stellar moment. I’m grateful you noticed my pointed eye contact and came over to save me because everything I was saying wasn’t working and I felt helpless. Thank you.”
Notice how these things are somewhat small but really add up to create a friendship & bond you’ll remember? But most of the time go un-thanked for or just brushed off with a simple “thanks, dude”? Anyway, I’m still learning. I don’t know much, but I knew these few things: Be authentic. Be specific. Be helpful. Be kind.