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Sonya Esman's *NEW COLUMN*: "People are my everything..."

"People are my everything. The relationships I built and maintain with them, is everything. However, when you’re trying to take full advantage of your freedom, the endless places to be discovered, and people you still have yet to meet and learn from, your relationships suffer, hard.

Let it be known that as I’m writing this, this is genuinely the only thing on my mind. This is currently my problem that I have to work on: relationships. More specifically, maintaining the relationships that mean everything to me.  

It was my life goal to travel and see the sun set in a different city every week, and because I spent years on trying to achieve that goal, I inevitably achieved it (law of attraction, Google it...). The beauty of being single when you’re young is that you can put all of your energy into your dreams, and while you’re on your way to getting there, you’ll meet people who are walking the same path as you, and you'll walk together. I couldn’t resonate with majority of my school peers, but once I stepped outside of the circle and went into a more creative workspace, I wanted to learn everything about everyone. For example, the best part about being at a photoshoot is not feeling beautiful and coming home with a new Facebook profile picture; but the creative individuals you meet at the shoot. If you take the time to ask people questions, you can learn more about the world, other people, and yourself, than probably more of your high school courses could have taught you.

Sometimes I look around at the people that surround me, ask myself who my best friends are, and I’m in shock at my own truth. Mostly because most of these people, I’ve only known for a year, maybe even less. But when you meet people who you feel are your soulmate, how long you’ve known them is the least of importance. You can know someone for a lifetime, but only gossip with them and go home feeling empty; or you can talk to someone once and pour your heart out so much that you feel you’ll never be the same person without them. For example, I met my best friend through a mutual friend during this past Milan Fashion Week, and within one week of knowing one another, we spent every day going to shows together, walking around the city, sharing thoughts, ideas and dreams, drinking cappuccinos in random cafes until sunrise. I would check my phone randomly, and realize it was already 6 am. When time ceases to exist, you know you’ve found the right person to spend it with. I’ve known her for maybe 5 months, but I’ve never been so close to another girl in my life because our stories and goals are probably spot on- but beyond that, there is absolutely no jealousy or rivalry between us. I would support her and help her with anything she needed, and I know it’s mutual. That’s the beauty of going after what you love to do, you meet people who are like-minded.

The issue is, once you start going after your dreams, and at some level, achieve success, you’re going to meet a lot of people who are interested in you. Beyond all of the amazing souls I’ve met during fashion weeks, or on social media, I could also give you a solid list of people who straight up, blatantly want to use me. You have to be extremely sensitive and analytic when it comes to your first conversations with people. When someone, right off the bat starts talking to me about followers, my instagram verification, PR, how I became this way or that way, I run. I’ve literally talked to celebrities, people who are famous in their respective countries, and one would assume a celebrity doesn’t use a blogger for PR and more fame, right? Wrong.  They got mad and stopped talking to me because I refused to advertise them or do a “PR stunt”. Sometimes, girls I’ve met just twice in my life and was friendly with, message me fifty times a day, and that in itself makes me extremely suspicious. We barely know each other, but you publicly tweet me twice a day to make it seem like we're best friends? Odd. When I'm with my real friends, we barely even take pictures together or announce it on social media, because we're so immersed in the moment. You have to learn to keep a distance, and feel for people’s intentions with you. If your friend's first sentence isn’t “how are you?” but “let’s take a selfie together!”… run.

Maintaining relationships is a whole story in itself, because as odd as this may sound, I’m against online relationships. I can’t sit on my phone all day and try to put together letters to convey my emotions. I want to speak! I want to see people’s reactions and emotions and feel their presence. Which is why I’ve been circling the globe for the past half year. Sure, there is some work involved in my travel. But mostly, I want to divide my time between all of the amazing relationships in my life that give every day a purpose. I have a terrible habit of not texting people back. Not because I’m ignoring them, or don’t want to talk to them, but because I just can’t dedicate my time to sitting in my phone and typing when that already feels like 99% of my day. I also feel like when I first read a message, I reply in my head and assume the person got the message telepathically. Sorry in advance if you hate me for this!  In a dream world, I just want to gather all of my friends and family and put them in one city and divide time amongst everyone. Which is what I’ll be working on this year, I know and believe that I can achieve anything work-wise if I set my mind on it. But I want to challenge myself to sit myself down in one city, with the people I love most, and not leave to the airport again in one week, leaving them confused..."

READ MORE: Straight talking Sonya talks the online world vs. the IRL world...

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