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I'm at a stage in my life where I cut off negativity quickly, without hesitation. I used to be a long suffering friend; the guy who would put up with the bullshit because I loved a person and I valued the fact that we built a friendship together. But now I realize that those were wasted opportunities to better myself. I was generous with my time, money, and my love. I'm not like that anymore. Over the past several years, I've severed ties with people who I thought would be in my life until the day I died; friendships that were decades long. I've spoken to my best friend a grand total of one time in the last 3 years. I saw signs of us going in different directions, but I never thought we would not be speaking to each other, and all over a misunderstanding. A part of me wants to find a happy medium. I'm no longer the guy who will let you walk all over him, but I also want to be able to forgive and salvage friendships as well. It shouldn't be one extreme or the other. Friends should be able to talk things through and work things out. Real friends should be willing and able to do that.

I think I watched the reconciliation of Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas on NBATV at least 10 times. The candid conversation they had in front of cameras gave me hope to try to at least reach out privately to friends that I've fallen out with.They still loved each other, even after years of publicly berating each other. Their foundation was somehow still intact, and they recognized that in time so that they could begin the healing process. Their friendship may not be the way it was 35 years ago, but at least they saved it and can begin a new phase with some of the old love.

I hope that I'm able to do that. In order to succeed, changes have to be made within my own life first. I can't be so quick to just dismiss things when it seems like it's going south. Friends don't quit when things get rough or no longer seem ideal. I was so hellbent on carving negative things completely out of my life, that I failed to realize that I was the one to change some of that negativity and give it a positive outcome. I recognize that now. Self evaluation is key to bettering one's life. Owning up to my mistakes as a friend is the first step to making things right.

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