My Circle of Friends: Now and Then

Most people would tell you that I have a lot of friends. That I’m social, I talk to a lot of people and I’m easy to talk to. I would say these are all true, but my inner circle is small.

In my 20’s and early 30’s, I had a large circle of friends and more to-dos than I could manage. I juggled a part time college schedule, a full time work schedule, 4 kids and our household, along with finding time to keep all these friendships alive.

When my children were school aged, I left my full time job and became a stay at home / homeschooling momma for 12 years. My circle of friends expanded even further. I added in several volunteer positions and slowly launched my own business adding in even more people to my circle.

I look back now and ask myself why.

I barely survived that season, if we’re being honest. I lost myself to what others needed and wanted out of me. I tried to please people who were just using me to push their own agenda

Instead of putting my focus where it was needed and doing my own thinking, I played a part I felt I was cast and my #selfcare was nonexistent.

Then it all came crashing down.

One small conversation was the catalyst that spun my entire world on its axis until it fell off. I divorced my husband of 20 years and started over. I learned the fast and hard lesson of drawing boundaries and saying no with no explanation. I’m more guarded with my time and what and who I allow in.

My circle of friends shrank till it was almost gone. The people I thought had my best interest in mind showed me where their true priorities where. Instead of supporting me, they criticized me with their limited knowledge. They did not clap for me when I achieved success. They did not cry with me when I was broken.

After five hard years of growth, there are very few people that I trust and allow close. I count on people that I know understand my ups and downs in my history. They stuck with me while I worked through this difficult time. They are my people.

I recently had someone ask me what it takes to get into my circle. And I had to sit back and reflect on it.

My circle is small for a reason.

Your inner circle doesn’t care if you aren’t wearing the perfect clothes. They don’t care if you work out every day or if you don’t. What you drive, how you vote, what side of town you live on, what church you go to, what extracurricular activities your kids attend, and where you volunteer your time …. None of that matters to them. These people are open minded. They don’t fit in a box and they don’t put you in a box. They water your soul when it’s needed, they love freely, and they toss out little thoughts that challenge and help you grow. They make you laugh, allow you to vent when you need, and celebrate everything with you.

I’m glad for the journey and the circles I sit in because they make me stronger.

Carlie is a divorced mom of five. She moved to Lafayette 22 years ago from a small town in-between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. She has four young adult children from her first marriage that ended after 19 years, Christopher, Cara, Clay and Cade. She has a one year old daughter, Poppy Mae with her significant other, Joey. She is a work-at-home mother who is a freelance writer and photographer/owner of Carlie Anne Collective. Organized chaos and tons of lists are her style. Carlie loves to workout, travel, visit with her friends, bike with Poppy Mae in their neighborhood, attend outdoor concerts, eat out at local restaurants, walk aimlessly through stores looking for good deals and swing in her hammock while chatting about her BST addiction with her online friends. She keeps an active Instagram account as a photo journal of her days.


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