It’s so easy to overlook the importance of good friends. Especially for women.
Let’s be candid: it can be difficult at times to start and maintain valuable and meaningful friendships – even more so for women in my generation. Things can get catty; people can be thoughtless or just plain rude. Even more so, envy can play a big part in the destruction of a friendship. Or how about gossiping instead of taking your issues up face to face with the person? That’s like a flame to a good friendship.
I get a wrap for being superwoman a lot of times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “How do you do it all?” – That was in part the fun of making ABD. I wanted to be frank about the fact that I am by no means perfect or “together,” and I want to further illuminate the fact that I don’t do it all alone.
I don’t think there is a woman you could find who can say she built her empire alone. Just to name a few, Oprah, Beyoncé, Martha Stewart, Virginia Woolf, none of them built themselves up alone. NO woman has or can do it all alone. I don’t mean that they don’t have the master plan, or the innovative ideas, or an impeccable work ethic. I would be a fool to deny them that, but no one person has all of the keys to success.
There is an African Proverb that I’ve found myself clinging to, writing it again and again in different journals: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” I have found it helpful to consistently remind myself of the importance of other people, not for some tangible thing that they can give me, but because I acknowledge that I don’t know it all. Alone I can do a lot, but with the help of others, the ability to create and progress grows exponentially. This is important to understand in general, but I think more than ever it’s important for us as women to grasp.
I have an incredible group of friends and I would credit them with more than a little bit of my ability to get things done. When I scrapped my ideas for this blog more than once, they put their boots to my butt to get it finished. When I was a basket case Bridezilla, they shook some sense into me more than once. They made favors, stayed up all night making invitations and ABD’s Lola even made the Bouquets. They've been an integral part of many crazy collaborations, from making cakes to painting minions on soda bottles for hours for my kids' birthday parties. They are my mirrors and know how to set me straight when I’m losing it, which can be more often than you’d think. They’re my sounding board, my team! And my team is constantly growing.
My point is that this silly idea I’ve seen floating around of “no new friends” is absurd. The idea of keeping your circle so small that you talk to yourself is even sillier. My friends push me and I push them right back. We cheer each other on, we hold each other up when need be, and we’re not above a good old fashioned lecture or intervention.
My friends are certainly not the same as me. Some are more relaxed, a couple are more neurotic, they don’t always see the point in my six inch heels in the grocery store or why I need personalized cups. That’s what you need.
Someone to balance you and ask you if you needed a 36th shade of red lipstick. You don't.
Someone who tells you to shut up and go home and apologize to your husband. You Should.
Someone who will let you know your being a little obsessive or that they hate your hair. Harsh but true.
In today’s world, distance doesn’t matter. You can maintain meaningful relationships across the country. Instead of competing with the woman next to you, take her hand and find your common ground. We would all do well to have a strong circle to lean on when the road gets a little rough or to laugh with even when it’s not.
I am most certainly not perfect; or superwoman, for that matter. I mostly run on coffee and a prayer. I do get a whole lot done, though. My life is pretty crazy, but I get by with a little help from my friends.