Saturday, October 17, 2015

words from the fridge - a thank you

The Back Story: On the side of our fridge there can be found a saying that speaks to me. I change it out whenever the mood strikes me and leave it for the kids to discover. Usually they do at dinner time and it always leads to a conversation about how it relates to each of us and how we interpret the meaning. They are interesting and fun convos indeed.

The Latest:

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This is a variation of something the oldest will tell you I tell her constantly - You have to find your people. She's 13 and finding herself, her voice, her funny, her convictions and her friends. New school, new mix, new opportunities. It's a lot to process. Here's the thing though, I was a 13 year old girl once upon a time as well and I didn't find my people.

Making friends was never an easy thing for me. Anxiety will do that to you, so I didn't find my people, I would wait for people to find me and sometimes the ones that did were not the best people for me. They just weren't "my people", but I was so grateful that anyone included me, that I put up with, probably, more than I should have. Sometimes though, I got incredibly, unbelievably lucky and some really fantastic people found me. I don't really want that for her.... for either of them, I want her to find her tribe (or squad, if you will).

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As I got older and learned to manage my anxiety better, making friends became easier. I found my people and that is a really wonderful thing. I also read a book, quite by accident, called MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. Very basically, the author moves to a new town, leaving her besties behind and decides to go on 52 "lady dates" to find a new best friend. I admit I don't remember much about the "dating" part of the story, but the science of friendships really kind of stuck with me. Again, very basically, women are healthier/better versions of themselves with a certain friend structure - So many very best friends, secondary best friends, friends because of something (eg volunteer friends, work friends) and then acquaintances. I read this quite a while ago, so I don't want to quote the actual numbers. It was an interesting take and given how terrific I have felt in the past few years and how my social circle has increased to meet those numbers...... well it made perfect sense to me.

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I guess the lesson am hoping they both take from this is that you should never settle, but just because a person you meet isn't your instant BFF for life, that doesn't mean there isn't value in that relationship and by extension, you should always be kind and respectful. I think it's helpful to understand how your friends fit into your life. I am probably not going to say the same things to a volunteering friend as I am to one of my very best friends.

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Lest you think I am constantly rating and judging my friends, I'm not. Who has time for that nonsense? Friends fluctuate through out your life, based on so many things, need, time, life stages, interests, geography and a million things more. Maintaining and cultivating relationships, of any kind, is a never ending journey.

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To those people in my life .... and they know who they are..... thank you for a million things, things both known and unknown. For lifting me up when I needed it. For the laughs and the hugs.

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For daily texts of randomness. For being the people I can say just about anything to. For making the work stuff fun and the fun stuff funner!

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For stepping up in ways I never expected and a million more things I can't even begin to articulate. You have made my life infinitely richer and I am so very grateful we found each other. Much love to you all xo


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