Unlike family, our friends are the people in life in which we choose. Often, they are a reflection of our maturity, ambitions and, sadly, sometimes our vices. As we age, we tend to realize that some friendships aren't as stable as others. In time, as we get to know ourselves, we realize some relationships weren't based on anything solid or meaningful, but shared bad habits. Not all friendships are based on solid ground, but out of common misery.

For years I managed to share in the common misery of a friendship. I didn't know the relationship was unhealthy until I found myself. Our friendship consisted of making a slew of bad decisions then blaming the results on every external force we could name. We would cry, vent and then pat each other on the back and exchange praises. Yes, we looked very good on paper, but lacked any type of self-esteem. We were educated, had good jobs and were physically attractive, but we did not value ourselves. Our lives were full of messy tea in which we would exchange among each other. We accepted horrible treatment, but it was never our fault. It was them, the men we chose. Our bad decisions forced us to view the world based on our experiences. We became slaves to the mentality that all men were bad.

Although it took years and some isolation, I eventually woke up. Through authentic self-reflection, I realized that I was responsible for my bad decisions. My newly found obsession with yoga aided in my increased self-esteem and awareness. I started to view the once hopeless world as a bit more forgiving. As my outlook on life began to shift, so did the premise of my conversations. My close friend/venting partner was starting to irritate me with old negativity. When I tried to spread some light on her venting, it was addressed with reverse irritation. She didn't understand where my positivity was coming from, and she was offended because I wasn't entertaining her behavior or praising her positive attributes

In time, we eventually started to resent each other. Our once comforting self-loathing exchanges turned into more of a debate.

A few arguments later, I learned our friendship was built on a weak and shallow foundation. We uplifted each other, but only as a reminder to aid in our bad decisions. Correction rarely, if ever, followed. I came to realize that all relationships should be accompanied with a bit of discomfort and challenge. Discomfort and authenticity forces you to avoid stagnation. Adult friendships should be aided with tough love and a desire to level up. If the foundation is not solid, the relationship will not last.

In the midst of the mess, I learned that you attract who you are. If your relationship with yourself is lacking, your relationships with other people is a reflection of that. Your friends are your mirror as well as your representation of growth.