“Birds of the same feathers flock together.” Growing up I would always hear that phrase or saying and roll my eyes.
My friends were their own selves and they had nothing to do with me. I represented myself, my friends didn’t speak for me. I figured that just because my friends were doing drugs or stealing cars (just a crazy example), doesn’t mean that I was too! In my younger mindset, it did mean I could still hang out with them because they were “good” people! They were still fun to be around, and I enjoyed their company.
I soon realized not all company is “good” company. Eventually, you mold into the company you keep. No, I didn't participate in the drugs (okay, well not ALL drugs) or the car stealing (a grand theft auto charge was never a part of my 5-year plan), but I did hear the stories. I saw what they did and they were only pouring into me more negativity. They were showing me they didn’t care about their future, and soon enough I would lose sight of my own if I allowed it. If you are surrounded by chaos, you will soon see chaos in many areas of your life. If you are surrounded by people who always complain, eventually you will find yourself complaining more than normal. Same with someone who swears, eventually you will find yourself more comfortable with foul language. The list goes on, it's an inevitable truth.
Now to the second part of this well-known phrase, which is not often acknowledged, “and when they flock together they fly so high.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals does you a whirlwind of good. Those who think like you, who have the same goals as you, who are also striving for what you are striving for, create healthy systems and good patterns that you can grow from. In my younger years, I found myself always being the leader of the group, getting my not-so-like-minded friends to think like me. Time and time again I found myself stooping to their levels to be accepted and not outcasted as “too good for them”. I had to keep proving that I was “down” and okay with breaking the law, because hey we all break the rules sometimes right? They were cool! They were my friends!
As I get older, I find myself appreciating those who meet me in the middle. I don’t have to go low, but rather I can continue to aim high. Those like-minded friendships taught me the importance of finding your own tribe that resonates with you. Finding your designated flock that helps you learn and grow. My new tribe pours into me. They help me along my journey, and vice versa. Instead of me always having to uplift those below me, I can now travel alongside those who are for me, and together we will rise. Together, my tribe and I will aim big and go higher.
If I could say this to my younger self, or to anyone, there is actual power in friendships and connections. Be intentional. The people you surround yourself with speak volumes about who you are and your character. Don't be afraid to leave behind those who don’t resonate with who you are or who you are trying to be. Not everyone is meant to be with you in the end, and that’s okay. Always know and understand that birds of the same feather do indeed flock together, and when they flock together, they fly so high.