Choose who you are. Be yourself. Putting on excessive shows of opulence won’t make you happy. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a lot of wasted effort. Happiness comes from yourself, what you are doing in the world and who you choose to surround yourself with.

No one really cares how many shoes, watches or rooms you have (and if that’s all they give a crap about than they might not be deep meaningful connections for the long term — just my opinion). The people that have stuck by me through all the twists and turns of my little life thus far are the ones that have not ever once gave a damn about how big or small my bank account was or how many dinners out I could go to or not go to.

The ones that you want to keep close are the ones that will be ride or die pals. These are the ones that will laugh and cry with each other through the goods, the bads and the in-betweens. They will be the first to congratulate you and the first to come to bring the tissues, the wine or just the shoulder to lean on. They would go to jail with you. They would drop everything and listen.

They will laugh and find the humor in even the darkest of times. These people  will stay up with you as you pull those all-nighters even if it is across the country or through some digital platform. They will fly coach to come celebrate with you. They will count quarters with you and they will feel for you and share the same deep animalistic cry and the same hearty belly laugh.

They won’t ever question your passion or your personality or the way you talk to yourself, have to have something blasting in the background at all times, or the way you overuse your hands when you talk (totally me here). Bottom line, they don’t care if you are wealthy or broke.

They just want you to be happy. And you them.

They are also the ones  you can just sit in utter silence with and completely understand.

If you find even one of these friends in your life — you are blessed.

The people you want to steer clear of are the ones that run at the first sign of hard times or the ones that only come out of the woodwork at the first blip of success. You can smell that shit. Just like how you can feel the thick heaviness of those that secretly celebrate when you are in the shitter or going through a tough time. They will fake caring and say all the right words or send all the love that can be mustered — digitally or physically- but secretly, they are glad you are falling. They don’t want to see you shine or outshine them. They don’t want you to leave them behind. They will do whatever they can to keep you on a level playing field. Overtime, you can learn and pick this kind of fakery out. It smells like the “just like ___” fragrances. Cheap, yet trying to imitate the scent of something else.

When you go through the ups and downs, you quickly discover who your true friends are and who is just a mere acquaintance or a passer by.

What Matters More than Your Things:

• Connections Matter.
• People Matter.

Remember:

• Things are Replaceable.
• People Are Not.
• Experiences Are Not.

Look at your life. Look at all you own and what you do. Is it true for you? Is it an accurate representation of you + what you believe in? Who is a ride or die friend, and who is just one of those “just like Calvin” fragrance friends?

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Ashley Yannello

Ashley Taylor Yannello is the hostess of a refreshing daily podcast, Real Talk with Ashley and the creator of supportive courses to support you wherever you find yourself in life. Ashley offers up a fresh, real and fun approach to transforming your life. She blends spirituality, personal development and life lessons with a dash of no nonsense humor, and brutal honesty. Ashley has a huge heart, is a ENFJ and loves authentically connecting with people all over the world! Ashley believes energy is everything. She has been seen on Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Cafe Truth, and Wild Sister to name a few.

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