First of all, I’m not a know it all. Nor an expert, I learn something new from others everyday, but I really feel God had a hand in helping surround me constantly with empowering women. I have no explanation for it besides God truly speaking to me to keep some of the best women I know, and continue to meet, in my life.
Don’t laugh but I’ve seriously had a person tell me that friends are too much work for that period in their life. I instantly made the crooked dog face. Friends are your serious soul mates, they are your best supporters, accountability holders, and strongest shoulders to lean on in the best and worst of times. And for my women that feel their husbands or boyfriends should be ALL of that…..call me crazy but no mam. Yes, they are a lot of things for us. But making your husband/boyfriend your absolute everything can really be crippling to even the best relationships. Sit on that for a bit.
A little background of how I came to realize what a good strong woman is and what they projected into my environment, my mother is currently one of my best friends, growing up she showed me strength in work ethic. She also showed me self love and self care. My mother never dieted constantly or ragged on her body, she DID exercise, she DID choose healthy options. But was she so obsessed that it influenced my own self image? Absolutely not. She showed a love and support no matter what phase I was going through in my life. My stepmother that I’ve known since I was 9 had this ridiculous goal digger mentality before the term goal digger ever became popular! Conquering her under grad and masters AFTER she had three kids. These women are my foundation. These women not knowingly showed me what to value in myself and other women.
I currently have three friends that I’ve known for longer than 15 years, one of those goes back to 3rd grade. I know, in my heart I can call each of these women with WHATEVER I may need in life. Are we all the same person? No way, we actually all lead pretty different lives. But I have never stopped VALUING these women. And I think that’s one strong point of keeping those people that make you feel good in your life. Tell them you value them, as a friend, as a woman, as a person!
Aside from the lifers I have friends from college, from my stint in California, my previous work and my current “work” (high five to the stay at home mommas!) also my family that I consider close friends as well! I’m absolutely not bragging about it because I used to feel overwhelmed on how I was going to be able to keep these awesome women in my life. When I look back over my twenties it really isn’t some kind of magic trick. It simply required communication and serious honesty, for example, hey girl I haven’t seen you in like a year doesn’t mean I don’t value our friendship!! Please know I’m here for you if you need me and let’s meet up soon! With all the serious social media commitments we have there is absolutely no excuse not to send a simple message.
This was already longer than I wanted to write but my final advice is to be careful of who you surround yourself with. Sometimes being desperate for friendship can bring people in your life that are not any of those traits I described in the beginning, they are judgmental, they are not supportive, and they will not be there when it truly matters. While everyone deserves some grace it’s pretty easy to tell who is truthfully a good friend. Set boundaries with those people because you want a feel good environment. Not a toxic one.
Hoping this made y’all realize how incredible your current tribe is or maybe a sign of needing to move on! Remember it takes a friend, to be a friend.
Love and abundance