There are two kinds of people in this world: Givers & Takers. The definition of these groups is self-explanatory and the characteristics of each are night-and-day. Takers never give. Givers never take. However, it was brought to my attention during a conversation a few days ago that sometimes Givers need to take which is a foreign concept indeed. Givers make very reliable and loyal friends, but in order for a friendship to stand the test of time, Givers must take every now and then. The perfect equation for friendship seems to be Giver + Giver, but as we all know by now, that doesn’t always happen. Takers need a Givers in their life, with the my hope being that the giving part will eventually rub off on the Takers, but does a Giver need a Taker?
Last night two Givers played hookie from their workouts and stayed out a little late for a ‘school’ night for some quality friend time on the patio of my infamous Starbucks. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it, and who better than these two Givers to give back to themselves and to one another. Afterall, Give & Take. Take & Give. If I can say so myself, it was the perfect way to spend a Wednesday evening and as always, I left my fellow Giver, Stef, feeling refreshed and inspired. Another great conversation between two girls from Hampton soul-searching in the Windy City. While I want to write about every last detail, I’m going to stick with a concept that stood out to me the most and see where that takes me.
“It’s exhausting,” Stef explained about her own lifelong search for happiness and love. Especially love. From one single girl to another, I agree 1000% that this motif is downright draining- in every single aspect. (Pun intended.) Now I am speaking from my own experience and others that I know share my perspective, so you may not agree with what I have to say. To each his (her) own. But frankly, I don’t know that many females (single more than not) in this age range that are not exhausted by the never-ending world of soul-searching.
You give, and give, and give some more until you feel as though you have nothing left in you to give…but you still give anything you can muster up, and give again. You give everything you have in hopes that there is meaning behind the giving. As all Givers know, it’s not about getting something, but it’s knowing that your effort means something. You want to know that you’re at least getting close to something, whether it’s the dream of living in (insert city) that you’ve had since you were a little girl or perfect job that you’ve been working to achieve since college. And when you’re single, well, you want to know that love is finally near. You need to know that it’s not only possible but that you’re deservant.
Life as a twentysomething during the Quarter Life Crisis is far from glamorous. The To-Do List seems never-ending and you can never find a pen when you go to cross off an item on your Personal Check List. And, if you’re single, well it’s just that much more aggravating as you try to provide yourself with the additional love & support, that would could from a significant other, as you venture through your trial-and-err0r twenties. So besides being the protagonist in your story, you must also play the role of the Best Friend, Best Parent, and Best Boyfriend each and every day (to yourself). Simple, right?
Once a Giver, always a Giver. A Giver only knows how to give. A Giver gives to everyone, even those who are not necessary deservant of such kindness and generosity. A Giver never expects to get anything back from their giving, and truth to be told, a Giver sometimes has a hard time taking something in return. See a Giver gets pleasure from giving and for the most part that proves to be enough. But there are a few things that every Giver needs, and one is LOVE. Everyone needs love. It’s so easy to love a Giver, but for some reason I know a lot of Givers that without it these days.
So what gives, people? (Yes, another intended pun.) Seriously? Givers need love to AND are certainly worthy of it!
Spoken from a Giver and one without love-love, my rationale tells me that we, Givers, are so used to being everything to everyone that we fail to let ourselves in on the action. You know there’s something that Givers can learn from Takers: To be selfish, to put yourself first every now and then. Last night I told Stef that one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given, as well as something that sounded so illogical to me at first. My aunt, who is a Taker, told me upon moving to Chicago, “This is the time in your life where you need to be selfish.”
As a daughter of two Givers, a sister to Giver, and a friend to many Givers, that idea sounded quite foolish to me. I’ve spent my life condemning selfishness so why would I try such a foolish idea? But once I figured out what ‘be selfish’ mean in this scenario, it was plain as day. She was right. In this context, being selfish doesn’t isn’t an intention of harm nor deceit. Instead, it means allowing yourself to get a little in return for all of the giving that you’ve done.
Once a Giver, always a Giver. But why not be a Giver who gets a little back in return every now and then.