When I was 13 years old, there was a 1300 mile change in my life. My family moved away from the place I grew up, the only hometown I remembered, and the place where your friends were your friends because they were practically there from day 1. These are the friends that you are given first and then you choose to be with. These were the friends I left behind.
When a 13 year old girl has to start all over again, it’s a bit messy. I think I was always a shy girl and prone to hiding in the shadows more than being in the spotlight. But for some reason, when I had to make new friends, I got it stuck in my mind that those friends needed to be the popular kids, the “cool kids”. If I didn’t fit into the “in” crowd, my life would be over. So, I made some choices. I attempted to be a cool kid, when in fact I was still the shy kid, which made friendships even harder. I started the vicious cycle of being who others expected me to be, and not embracing who I authentically was.
When we are growing up, we don’t have the introspection to see that we are basically torturing ourselves. There isn’t a lot of clarity around the repercussions of some of the choices we make. And when it comes to making friends, we don’t get to look in the crystal ball to find out the true intentions of a person. This is one of the reasons teenage girls can be a nightmare.
In my efforts to fit in with the cool kids, I created a mindset of not being enough. I tortured myself daily with thoughts of, “I don’t fit in. I’m not wearing the right clothes. My hair isn’t like the other girls. I should wear more makeup. I should wear less makeup.” and on, and on went the self doubt and insecurities.
For 30 something years this is all I ever said to myself.
It took years of personal development, life coaching, and inner work to realize that I don’t have to fit in with the cool kids, that I have friends who are the cool kids and they accepted me just as I was.
I got to spend about 4 hours with one of those friends last night. She is my friend to confide in when I need help. She my friend that I have confidence in. She is my friend that is the cool kid, the one I never would have dreamed to be a friend with. She is one of my closest and best friends. No judgement, no comparison, no sugar coated pretender. I can have 4 hour long conversation with her about kids, husbands, and animals. I can have a 4 hour long conversation about spirituality, self-worth, and the bigger picture. We can dream together, we can take on the world together, and we can be scared together. We can hang out every day or we can hang out every month. The time in between doesn’t make a difference.
When you have a friend who is like-minded, purpose driven, and values your viewpoint you need to hang onto them. These are the friends who can come in and out of your life with ease. They are the friends that can move away for months or years but when you reconnect, it’s like you hung out just yesterday.
We all need those kinds of friends. The ones who don’t judge. The ones who have no expectations from you. The ones who will listen, process, and offer suggestions.
Today, I am grateful for my friend, for her confidence and her strength, for her wittiness and her sunshine up your ass guidance.