On Sorting Out Your Priorities

We all have tons of things that guide in our decisions in life, be it our personal views, our faith, past experiences, what have you, but nothing shapes us more in life, in my opinion, than our priorities. What someone chooses to put first in their life can have an effect on nearly anything that they touch and can honestly be a source of conflict in many different relationships.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the control issues that I have in my life and the constant frustration I have when people do not handle situations in the way that I would (I know, I’m the worst). One of the things I’ve realized is that, while not having the same priorities in life as someone does not make them a bad person, it does not mean you have to keep them in your life.

For example, my main priority in my life at the moment is my friends. Nothing comes above my friends (although my career is a close second). Love isn’t even on my radar at the moment, money not as much of an issue, and fame, pshaw. This is not to say I don’t put my all into my work (trust me, no one can say that) and am not open to romance. I’m talking about the things that keep me up at night and where my heart truly lies.

But, for other people, even ones that I love so much, their priorities may not line up with mine. This often leads to a lot of heartbreak, especially because I place my friends so high up on my totem pole.

I’ve had a lot of time (and wine) to think about this, and at first it really, really pissed me off. Why was I spending time on people who didn’t deserve it? If they didn’t value our friendship as much as I did, what was the point? A million of these kind of silly teenager posts popped into my head and I indulged my anger. But, upon thinking about it further, I’ve realized that while I may mean a lot to these people, it does not mean that their priorities are in line with mine.

What does this mean? It doesn’t mean that they’re not good people; certainly not. They are good people, that’s why I love them. But, one of the hardest things in life is realizing that love is often not enough. It seems silly and trivial to not be close with people just because you don’t rank highly enough in their lives, but is it? Is it so silly to want to not only be friends with amazing people, but want people who give as much as they take?

I don’t think so. For me, it’s the same as any other belief system. I enjoy being close with people who hold core values that are similar to mine. Why should I continue to keep people so high up on my list of priorities that don’t believe that friendship is the most important thing we have?

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a couple toasting their glasses with white wine

It might seem a little rash and a little juvenile, but I think it’s honestly better for everyone in the long run that they have people who respect their priorities and have people that respect mine. Why would my career-minded friends want that one asshole friend who doesn’t understand when they can’t make 9:30 p.m. drinks for the ffith time because a “work thing came up?” Why would my love-minded friends want to be friends with someone who gets her feelings hurt when she wants to spend yet another Saturday shopping and brunching with her boyfriend? Why would I want to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to take some time to lay in Union Square with me and just talk?

I think our priorities are also completely a timing thing. Maybe one day I’ll be a super-serious career-woman, or maybe even in love, and my priorities will change. But, for the time being, I think that I, and my friends, deserve people in our lives who understand the way we express love and are better people for it.

So much of love, romantic love and friendship, is about timing. These people and I will have our time in the sun together, I’m sure of it. It’s just not now. And that’s OK.

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