I can proudly say that all the loved ones in my life bring joy to it.

All relationships require work, and it isn’t always easy maintaining healthy ones. Sure we argue sometimes, but we have a respect for one another and want to see each other achieve our dreams. However, the difference between my friends and family now is that they aren’t draining me emotionally, like some relationships from my past. My core group of support encourages me to grow and never makes unrealistic demands.

I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about this because it is the start of Spring. There is hope in the air and a passion for minimizing the clutter we’ve accumulated over the years.

Most of us are spring cleaning our closets, homes and cars. We are already in the decluttering mindset, focused on clearing out our surroundings. So why not declutter our personal lives, too?

As brutal as this may sound, I don’t care to spend time with certain types of people anymore. I think it is normal to eventually feel this way.

I’ve reached this point where I don’t have patience for drama, and I don’t have time for toxic people. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten busier. I’ve also gotten more mature. This coupling of busyness and maturity has resulted in a lack of patience or need for those who don’t add something positive to my life. When I’m not working or navigating the nuances that come with adulthood, I want to focus on positivity.

Compared to younger me, I now have higher standards about everything, including my personal life and who I choose to spend time with.

Throughout life, I’ve been in close proximity to a lot of personalities. My younger self spent time with some people who were exhausting. Some family members have tried to make me feel insecure or have told me my dreams are unattainable. Some friends have needed a lot of help working through their problems, without being able to help me through mine. Some boyfriends have wanted me to spend all my time with them and gotten upset when I hang out with other people.

Through the years I’ve let go of those people, like tattered gym shorts and outdated shoes. At one point, or for what feels like a split second, they brought me joy, but now I’ve outgrown them.

I’ve learned the warning signs for those who don’t add to my happiness, but rather take. Now, when I recognize someone is draining me, I respectfully move on. It feels even better each time.

This isn’t selfish, which is how I used to brand myself for feeling this way. This is healthy. This is having high standards about those I let into my life. Everyone is entitled to that.

Through failed and successful friendships and relationships, I’ve found my core group of people. I have support from those who matter to me and am only interested in adding to that. So when I meet someone who makes me feel stronger, better and happier than I was before I met them, I add them to my list of loved ones.

And I must say, like a clean house, my personal life is so refreshing.

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