Girl Power Series: Lifting Up One Another

It can be so difficult to make friends as an adult, like, way more difficult than it needs to be. Not just to make “friends” but to truly find YOUR people. We all have our people, but under different circumstances, those people may not be physically with us day in and day out. There are people you can go out and have a fun night with- but it takes a while to find your genuine group. Especially with women, we can be so secretive and catty. I wish I could say that ends in your early twenties, but unfortunately, in most cases it still very much exists until your late twenties. That’s when I think we all cut the BS and let go of our own insecurities that are holding us back from making meaningful friendships with other women. Women let insecurity and jealousy of other women and their successes get in the way- even if someone else’s successes aren’t measurable the same way in their own lives. As women, we not only let this get in the way of friendships but we let this get in the way of our own happiness. I am a firm believer that comparison is the thief of joy. I love this example of comparing flowers to Christmas lights- both are beautiful and nothing alike.

One of the toughest parts of making new girl friends is letting our guard down and opening up. Vulnerability is difficult and we don’t want to seem weak or less than perfect- who wants to lay out their dirty laundry for everyone to see?? But we need women to band together, now more than ever, we need to have a strong united front and stand up for one another. We need to know that it’s okay to ask for help or when we need someone to lean on in a tough season. We all need a safe space, someone you can vent to and talk through your struggles- you will probably realize you have more in common in the struggles department than you thought.

I’ve lived in Austin for almost three years and within the last six months I can honestly say that I have found my girl group- and we are a forced to be reckoned with. These are the most intelligent, silly, thoughtful, strong, talented, kind and incredible women and I get to call them my friends. Some of us may get together or talk to one another more frequently than others, but we all genuinely care about one another. Our circle is so empowering because we are cheerleaders, we celebrate successes and we call in emergency girl’s nights when someone is need of support.

A woman who is inspiring me today is Stephanie May Wilson, Author of The Lipstick Gospel and Host of the Girl’s Night podcast. Y’all should give the podcast a listen, she has an episode for everything. With the Girl’s Night theme of friendships, she offers so much great advice on how to navigate friendships as an adult. One of my favorite quotes comes from her latest episode, ‘How to find (and be) the big sister you always wanted.’

“You do not need to be friends with people who are mean to you. You just don’t. I was probably twenty- six before I realized that and now a requirement to be my friend is to be kind to me. All the time. You can’t talk behind my back. you need to be safe. You need to be kind to me.”

I first learned of the idea for this sticky note exercise from her podcast. She participated in The World Race, one year spent in third world countries on a missions trip with complete strangers. One of the exercises they did together as a team was this sticky note exercise- basically where each person writes down something nice on a sticky note about everyone else in the group. She kept all of her sticky notes above her bunk bed year round and read them every single day and at the end of the year she actually started believing that those nice things her group members had to say about her were actually true. And I thought that was beautiful. That’s something you might not even know you need to hear. Or that your friends need to hear.

So, when we got some less than excitable news from a friend in our girl group we all pulled together for a night together, in the living room, accompanied by wine to support her. We listened to her, offered advice if we had it and participated in the sticky note exercise. I thought our friend really needed these sticky notes just to help lift her spirits for the evening, but I had no idea they would mean so much to everyone who received them. Each person took their time crafting several sticky notes with nice messages about each other and it’s really comical how our different personalities followed through. Three of us read them right away, opening each one like it was Christmas, two read them in tiny increments throughout the day like they were little secrets. I keep mine on my bathroom door and read them every day while I’m brushing my teeth. These sticky notes make me smile everyday, knowing that these are the nice things my friends wanted me to know and that our girl group is here to support one another.

This was kind of the foundation for the idea of a podcast. A friend and I love to get together throughout the week for a calm wine night at our kitchen table. We usually drink a bottle, each, and talk about whatever is on our mind that day… sometimes we go a little off the rails. We decided these things that we were talking about and sharing with each other are things that most women have in common, but don’t talk about. We really feel like these topics we talk each other through could help other women too. So, we crafted the idea of starting a podcast! Below are our ideas for episode topics for season one.

  1. Insecurity and Comparison
  2. Time Management and Organization
  3. Horoscopes, Meyer’s Briggs and Enneagram Types
  4. Relationships, Friendships and Letting People In
  5. Know Your Worth, Then Add Tax
  6. Struggles at Work and in Your Professional Life
  7. Health and Fitness, Fueling Your Body with Proper Nutrition and Workouts
  8. It’s Not About You

If you are particularly excited about a topic and would like to contribute, or if you have any ideas or suggestions for future episodes you would like us to discuss- please let me know!

 

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