Maybe it’s a side effect of trying to make it in sport. Maybe it’s a side effect of going to university on the other side of the world… maybe it’s a side effect of growing up. Maybe it’s a side effect of my personality. Realistically it’s probably a combination of all those things, and those things have led me to some great people and incredible experiences. But they’ve also led me to this: the realisation of the things you’re giving up if you want something badly enough. I’ve met some amazing people in every stage of my life. I’ve met a lot of people that I don’t have much time for too, but for every 20 that fill your head with doubts and mistrust there’s one or two that make it all worth it. The trouble isn’t just finding those people though; it’s holding onto them. Because how are you supposed to hold onto people when you know you’re always going to go your separate ways? The US college system is probably the best and easiest example of how the biggest benefit can also be the biggest drawback. Ask anyone who is there now or has been – without wanting to sound cliché, the friendships you can make out there really are special. You practice together, you live together, you eat together, you take classes together; every single day for months at a time. You can’t just come home for the weekend or decide to take a week off. And when you spend that much time with people you are going to get closer than you ever thought possible. But in the college system, what happens after it’s over? When the 4 years are done that phase of life is over, and everyone goes on their own path to be successful in whichever way they want to. You’re all forced to remember that being from countries 5000 miles apart makes continuing the same level of friendship very difficult. Two people can have the best intentions in the world, and skype and facetime and snapchat and the endless list of other ways to interact do make it easier. And there are always friendships that do last and people that do stay in your life forever. If you’re lucky enough to have that, take the time to appreciate it. Because that slow process of slipping out of each other’s lives is almost inevitable in so many cases – unless you get comfortable doing the same thing day in, day out, your life isn’t going to stay still forever. And that’s something I would never want. It’s one of my biggest frustrations – watching people with the potential to achieve so much more settle for what’s easy, or what’s comfortable. I understand why people do it, and I’m in no position to tell people how to live their lives. But don’t sit and complain about how nothing ever changes in the world if you live a life where nothing ever changes. My point isn’t to tell people to stop being comfortable. (I already wrote that blog…) And this probably sounds a lot more depressing than it’s supposed to. I’m not bothered about not having people in my life that are going to drag me down. I don’t want to be around people whose conversations revolve around highlighting the flaws of others; I want to be around people who are trying to make themselves better. When you want something badly enough, you know whether the time you’re spending is going towards achieving it. If you’re not spending the time wisely, someone else is. What do you want most? That quote about people never being too busy for the people that are important to them – I don’t agree with it. The people that are important will understand what your time needs to go on and why it does. Why you can’t go out on a Saturday night; why you want to stay an extra hour at practice. Why you can’t meet them for dinner during the week or why you’re too tired to Skype. Don’t get me wrong it’s hugely important to have time out from whatever it is you’re chasing, and it’s hugely important to have people in your life that give you time out from that. There are still people I would drop everything for in a heartbeat, if they needed me, and if someone has their trust in me, they will always have it. Chasing success, chasing a dream, chasing a life that makes you become what you’re capable of becoming is something worth doing. But don’t expect everyone to hang around to understand it.