As a young woman I always found myself making friends with guys easier than chicks.
Less drama? Probably.
But mostly I just wanted to be me & I never felt like other chicks my age “got me”.
You know those questions that go around that are like: “if you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?” Man, my first thought is I couldn’t just tell her one thing, I have SO much she needs to hear!
Here are a few:
Your laugh is a symphony, don’t quiet it for anyone.
You may hurt easily, that’s not a flaw, sensitivity is a super power.
People are just people. Just like you, they want to be loved & accepted. So keep speaking up & loving loud.
You will not be alone forever.
Feminity does not equal fragile & weak.
My mind is constantly seeing a subject & then spinning 180 degrees to see the other side of it. This can feel like a blessing & a curse. So there’s a part of me that wants to share all the lessons I’ve learned through the years with my younger self. Then I immediately wonder if my younger self would listen? Would she appreciate the information given? Would she even be able to grasp the power of the lessons learned without living them? My guess is probably not.
Life is meant to be lived, mistakes & all.
We can’t dodge the tough experiences & expect to grow. So maybe you’re in the middle of a difficult time right now. Or maybe half a dozen experiences popped in your head that you have come through on the other side. That opposition you experienced or are currently experiencing is necessary. It’s not just strength training it’s faith training.
Flexing our faith muscles is necessary, although uncomfortable.
I’m sure you have that friend on social media who posts pictures constantly of them in the gym showing off their progress, documenting their journey. It can be inspiring for sure. It can also make you wonder why the heck you’re scrolling through their pictures while stuffing your face with tacos? Okay, I guess that’s not true because tacos are life. BUT you know what I’m saying. These friends that used to be just average Jills have now become inspired & hooked on working out. The pain is more bearable than that first week. But when the pain does come it’s welcomed because it’s just a sign that the exercise they are doing isn’t a waste of time. Results are on their way.
I can’t help but apply this to my faith journey. Admitting I’m wrong isn’t fun. But it gets easier the more I do it. Having faith in uncertain times can try & invite panic in. Focusing on keeping inner peace & trusting God REALLY flexes my faith muscles. Being kind to someone who treats me poorly or misunderstands me can feel like someone is pulling my teeth out one by one. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but it can FEEL pretty close to that sometimes. Succeeding in remaining kind is humbling in the best way.
The tough situations strengthen us if we stand firm & refuse to let them defeat us.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Life is tough my darling but so are you.” Stephanie Bennett-Henry
So this week I texted a friend a picture of myself with my messy morning hair drinking my coffee. To which she replied with a picture of her messy morning hair drinking her coffee.
We have plans to hang out with friends tonight & although I LOVE hanging out with people, I’m constantly wanting to cancel plans or feeling relief when others cancel our plans.
So I sent an honest text to this friend: “How can I want to hang out with you guys so badly AND want to cancel so badly at the same time!? 🙊🙈 I need intervention!!!”
To which she replied: “Bahahaha I’m having the same feelings! 😂 it’ll be good for us both to keep the plans!”
These are the kind of friendships I’ve always longed for. Messy, honest, with friendly pressure to do what we know will be good for us. This kind of friendship may not always be “pretty” but my goodness is it beautiful.
My life experiences prepared me for these friendships [& others] & I couldn’t be more happy. It was a long painful road to get here, but it was worth it.
So if I could tell my younger self something? It would be the same thing I’m telling myself today & what I would tell all you beautiful people.
Darling, it my hurt like hell, but learn! learn! learn every step of the way! & keep moving forward. It’s going to get better, I promise.