It plays a big part in who we become.

When I was younger, my parents always told me that who I hang out with influence me; in my decisions, who I am, the way that I act. I always brushed it off and told them that I am an individual who makes her own choice. While this is true, they were also speaking the truth. Subconsciously we become the people who we surround ourselves with.

Growing up I hung out with people who were always in drama, I too became the one in drama. I got arrested with a group of people because we all started hyping each other up to do bad shit. I hung out with people who partied and I started heavily partying. Even with my own body, I hung out with people who were having casual sex and I began having casual sex. Don't get me wrong, I had every ability to say no and to be fair, I too became a bad influence on others - I started a lot of people on smoking pot. The point is, without realizing we start to adapt characteristics of the people we surround ourselves right down to slang and the way you speak.

Since I met my best friend Autumn in 2016, I immediately realized what a good, true (best) friend was like and how you treat your friends you love and care about. Ever since, I've really raised the standards of who I want in my life. While trying to be cautious, I still let others in when I shouldn't have. Not to say they're bad people, everyone's living their own path. But they didn't have the same fundamental views as I did.

When I was younger, I thought quantity trumped quality and I realize how that is not the case. Don't get me wrong, I am nice to everyone and I haven plenty of acquaintances and people I enjoy spending time with. However, people I consider my close friends, or people I put the most effort into has diminished greatly.

Since being on my journey, I've realized a lot about listening to my body. There are some people I used to spend time with that drained my energy completely. I felt physically tired at the thought of spending time with them and it was as if I was forced to converse, it didn't come naturally. Again, not to say these were bad people - however, they just trained my energy and it made me want to only surround myself with people who don't do that.

I prefer to surround myself with only people who encourage me to do better, rather an enable me. People that make me laugh, accept me for who I am, value me. People I can be honest without the fear of them getting upset. People who I don't have to censor myself around and think about what I'm going to say. People who make me genuinely happy and people who make good decision and care about their passions, futures, and selves. People who are open minded and open for conversation and realize that all disagreements don't equate to arguments. People who stimulate my mind and my emotions in every positive way.

Part of growing up and working on a better you is in fact, who you surround yourself with.