It’s difficult to be the person everybody leans on. There is a certain pedestal the people you hold closest put you on. Each person has you at a different level, but you’re there nonetheless.
You are expected to know what to say at all times. And don’t you dare say anything wrong — don’t be too honest but make sure you’re honest enough. Don’t tell them what they want to hear, but make sure they’re hearing everything that they want.
You cannot make a mistake. If you make a mistake, you are sure to hear the phrase, “I just never thought you of all people would do that.” You are held to the highest standard in which everyone else is excusable but you are held accountable. You must be on your game at all times.
Do not show weakness. Do not share things about yourself, because nobody wants to hear that. However, if you do not share enough, it is offensive because how could they share with you if you do not return the favor?
Be poised. Be presentable. Make sure you are always the responsible one. But, make sure you’re able to let go and have a blast at the same time. You have to be the best of both worlds that no one else can achieve. You are the rock.
Being the rock, being this unattainable soul in the group of people you do life with, is exhausting. It’s unachievable, it doesn’t exist. You think the people around you create this idea of what you’re supposed to be that isn’t real. You try your best to uphold this but fail every. time. You will never reach this high point they have put you on but damned if you don’t try.
You start to believe you are obligated to be all these things. You understand that you are here to serve a purpose — you exist to help others through their lives. You imagine yourself to be the one that people come to when they are hurting, when they need a physical diary to write in. You hold the secrets of others that they entrust to no one else.
It will kill you. Trying to be this perfect person that everyone expects, it will kill you. It will drain you physically, emotionally, you will give everything and take nothing for yourself until eventually you are a walking husk of a person.
If you continue on this path, believing that this is your means of existence, you ultimately will fail. You will let people down, you will crash and burn in a beautifully disastrous way that is much larger than anyone else could. If you and others hold yourself to such a high point, you only have that much farther to fall.
Realize that these standards, these crazy ideas you hold yourself to, they aren’t real. Nobody actually expects you to be perfect quite like you expect yourself to. It’s admirable, it’s nice that you want to be the rock that holds everyone down, but you just can’t.
You cannot only give and take nothing for yourself. As much as you try to convince yourself that this is the only thing that works for the kind of person you are, it’s not. You are the one holding yourself on those pedestals. You are the one who thinks you have to be perfect all the time. You create these expectations and than believe yourself able to fill them.
Believe it or not (and I know you won’t believe me right now), people want to be for you what you feel you have to be for them. Friendships, relationships, interactions are an ebb and flow process. They have to go both ways otherwise they will eventually dry up. Your relationships with these people will dry up. You will dry up.
You can be some of these things, and you can be a wonderful person that people want to confide in and hold to a high standard, but that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. It only means you might have to try a bit harder than others.
Being this rock is knowing you have committed to a life full of pressure, full of keeping secrets, full of attempting to be the best that you can be. But it isn’t about being perfect. It’s about loving with all that you have. It’s about sharing that love with others.
It’s about being a good friend, and sometimes that’s hard. But know that the people around you want to hear about those hardships. Learn to share the load, and you’ll find that pedestal to be a little lower than you might think.