One of the neat experiences that has presented itself to me, as a relatively new blogger, has been the opportunity to collaborate with others outside of my normal circumference. Until I connected with so many of my peers online from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I’m not really sure I had ever “made a friend” on the world wide web. (Did you y’all know there are A LOT of people on the internet? Mind blown.) But over the last year or so though, I have made many, and I’m always eager to support their awesome ventures and budding enterprises. Monarq, a new social app designed to connect women in their respective cities, is one of these fun partnerships. I guest blog for Monarq once a month, typically on topics of interest to the modern day female… the kinda gal that just wants to embrace life for every ounce it’s worth. She’s authentic, inspired, and carries a certain luminosity to brighten every shadow she faces. Lucky for me, I have a few of those types of chicks in my squad… my besties… my BFFs 4 eva. p.s. I am so not cool, but that’s what the cool kids say these days, right? Help me out here, folks.
I thought I would also post here, on BBN, what I wrote for Monarq– because I think the topic of friendships, as adults, often gets overlooked. Coincidentally, one of my very dearest friends, Kate, turns 35 this week and this also seemed like a good way to honor how unbelievably remarkable she is. My heart would be empty and my path would be lost without all of the wonderful friends in my life. (By the way- that’s Kate, the bday girl, and Misti, one of my other most treasured friends, in the pic. They rule and would totally bail me out of jail if ever needed.) Before you check out my thoughts I offered to Monarq’s readers, I was hoping y’all might be able to do me a small favor. Kate, in the most Kate-the-Great unselfish fashion, has requested zero gifts for her big day. Instead, she would much rather appreciate a small donation be made towards the all boys charter school she helped establish this past year. So if we could all help Kate’s birthday wish come true, and help a young man get a new school uniform, I would be eternally grateful for your kindness and contribution. Here’s a link http://www.baltimorecollegiate.org/donate.h.tml .
Okay, here’s my post for Monarq…
A few weeks ago I was working from a coffee shop, and as my Attention Deficit Disordered riddled mind wandered (as it frequently does when I have a deadline to meet), I couldn’t help but latch on to the conversation between two women sitting at a nearby table. As I was being Creeper McCreeper and eavesdropping, I listened to the two discuss the elevated challenges women face in their friendships as they reach their late 20’s, and beyond. One of the women lamented the numerous friendships she felt she lost, or simply let go by the wayside, since her college years. She wistfully recounted her younger days, when her mental “besties” list was long, and ever growing. Today, she said, she could really only count her true friends on one hand… maybe two if she stretched. She just didn’t have much in common anymore with those girls she spent the wild nights with back in college, the championship lacrosse team that celebrated joyfully together, the girls she stayed up late talking about boys with in high school– even the ones that dried her tears and stitched together the hole in her heart after the break-up with her first love. Of course she was still close with one or two of those girls, but…it…just…wasn’t…the…same.
I wanted desperately to jump in at this point, but I had already invaded this personal conversation enough, at least mentally. So, I’ll share with you what I so badly wished to tell these women.
That handful or two of friends you still count? Cherish them. Whether they have been your friend for 20 years, or 5, these are your soul mates. Not in the romantic sense, of course, but in the space that despite the evolution of your lives, locations, interests, and goals— your hearts still connect. And perhaps even more poignant, despite all of your faults and misgivings that usually accompany this same progression, they still love you… and you love them.
Previously, when I would recollect who I was in my formative years, my initial reaction was to squirm with embarrassment, which I don’t think is entirely uncommon amongst most folks. More often now though, as I’ve practiced a bit of self-acceptance, it’s simply just harder to identify with myself at that age. Sure, my interests were totally different back then- whose aren’t? But who was I? What did I stand for? I think the obvious answer is that I really didn’t know who I was at that stage in the game of life. And frankly, no one else really does either. And, that’s perfectly fine. It’s called “growing up”.
The beauty in friendships that survive our paths to self-discovery is that the ligature that connects us is grounded truly in love. No longer, as busy working women and moms, do we have the spare time to leisurely coalesce with people that don’t support our dreams, ambitions, struggles, and failures. Pardon the cliché, but time is of the essence. One of the greatest pleasures I’ve experienced as an adult has been the opportunity to witness my close friends uncover their own passions. Watching them create beautiful businesses, families, or even just cultivating a new avocation, has brought so much joy to my life. I can only assume from the unconditional support they have extended towards me, they would echo the same sentiments. I am so thankful for this small group of women in my life. The there is no numerical value you can attach to the friends that encourage you to challenge your fears, to chase great things, and that always whisper “you got this” when everyone else remains quiet.
THESE are your friends. And they will be always. If they aren’t, and there may be some along the way, remember them fondly as a missed connection and wish them well. But cherish with all your might the ones still standing.
Lots of love to y’all! Go treat your BFF to a glass of wine, celebrate your friendship, and then go misbehave somewhere ; )