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There is a Spanish saying that reads “Dime quienes son tus amigos y te diré quien eres” which translates to “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”. For a long time, I believed this to be untrue. I thought that even if the friends around me did not directly align with my morals, it did not affect me personally. I found myself in friendships that could be considered toxic that not only brought me down, but began to bring out a mean side of me which would lead me to feel poorly about myself. This is why it is so important to hold friendships with people that you want to be like because, at times, some friendships can hold you back and mold you into a person you might not be happy with.

It is not to be expected that friends will think exactly like you and in differences, friendships can be extremely interesting to offer varying insights and be able to enrich your life. But at times, there might be a friend going through a different path in life where you might not picture yourself going and it is totally normal to outgrow some friendships and it does not make you a bad friend, but rather, just means you have changed and there is no way or desire, perhaps, to continue to be in each other’s lives.

There are many aspects of holding a healthy friendship and one of the most important aspects is uplifting each other. This goes for both people in a friendship- it is necessary to be able to feel joyful about your friend’s success and never to feel envy or wish bad upon them. As human beings, it is natural to compare our lives at times but it is important to realize that your path to success is not your friend’s path to success. Everyone has experienced different hardships and obstacles and put in time and effort differently for the things that they want to achieve and it is only normal that everyone’s path looks a little bit different. Putting out supportive and positive energy into friendships only builds those relationships and offers you a positive environment for the same energy to be reciprocated. When you are being supportive and uplifting towards a friend’s life and you do not feel that you are receiving the same in return or you are being put down, then it is time to rethink the friendship and possibly part ways.

Politics modernly have intertwined with the relationships being held because of the gravity of their impact and the way they are affecting people. When it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, Hispanic rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement and so on, these issues are more important and it is difficult to have friends with varying opinions on these topics because they can be harmful to an entire group of people. For example, having a friend that does not believe that LGBTQ+ people should have rights or are content with this group of people being turned down for medical assistance because of their sexuality is a harmful belief and it is understandable why someone would be hurt and offended by someone believing this and therefore being unable to hold this friendship.

The most important thing to keep in mind in a friendship is to feel seen and heard by friends and genuinely uplifted. Our family is the friends that we have been granted but our friends can be seen as the family we choose. Build a support group that you know has your back and wants you to be the best version of yourself.

Diana is moved by writing and the ability to piece thoughts together freely on paper. She is an avid lover of travel and exploring new places and their culture. Her favorite show is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and enjoys spending time with loved ones especially when they all come together in the holidays. Her favorite holiday is Christmas and waits all year long for fuzzy socks, hot chocolate, and decorating the house in ornaments.