This past weekend I had the chance to spend some time with a handful of really amazing friends.
I'll be totally honest, usually the idea of getting together with a bunch of girls for a long weekend, isn't typically what I'm the best at. Don't get me wrong, I've always had lots of great friends, but growing up... most of them were guys.
Around the second year of high school I realized that the male specimen was much easier and less confusing to get along with... until you started liking them as more than a friend, and then things always flew out of wack, FAST.
Ready for some truth?...
For most of my life, I've been extremely intimidated by other women.
I'll admit right now, it was definitely a self esteem issue on MY part. It's hard to feel confident, happy and content when you have things in your life that you feel are out of control... and for some reason, women can pick up on other women's insecurities a lot easier than men can. So I would tend to avoid them, or at least super close relationships with them.
For the past two years I've been on a mental, emotional and spiritual journey to find out who I REALLY am and what I really WANT in life. Last year, as I finally took some RISKS, made the commitment to lose a bunch of weight and really take blogging on as a full-time job, Cason also challenged me to do something else. He told me to sit down and write out a list of what kind of characteristics I'd want in the perfect friend. When I looked at him like he was crazy, he explained... and it went something like this:
"You need more women in your life. They make you happier, when you find the RIGHT ones. But something you've got to stop doing, is hanging out with the kind of women who aren't going to build you up! You're SO awesome, so stop being intimidated by other women who are awesome too!"
It was like a light clicked on in my brain.
I hurried and wrote down a list of characteristics that some of the greatest women I've known in my life have had, and came up with this.
ack!, I pretty much have the worst handwriting ever... sorry!
Ultimately, I wanted the closest women in my life to be really similar to the kind of person that I, MYSELF was working so hard to be! Along with taking tons of risks in 2012, I also decided that I was going to be genuinely happy and confident in who I was, no matter what shape, size, height or overall talent level I was at, so that I could start attracting the same kinds of people... and guess what? It TOTALLY worked!
As women, we are our own best AND worst critic. If you feel GREAT about yourself, it shows... if you feel NOT-so-great about yourself, THAT shows too! So I had to consciously try to always have the best attitude about MYSELF, so that it not only made ME feel better, but also the people around me feel happier and more comfortable around me too. Nobody wants to hang with the sad, self conscious, negative girl, am I right!?
I've had the above paper shoved in a drawer for a little over a year, and have to say that these standards still hold true. I don't want to be around women who think they aren't good enough, who talk bad about themselves and others, who don't understand that just because I'm super busy and don't call you for a month DOESN'T mean that I'm mad at you, or like you any less. I need a friend who is passionate about life, who can take a joke, laugh at herself when she makes a mistake, knows that nobody is perfect, and also be secure enough to prance around town running errands with no makeup on and in a pair of sweats, fully aware that her wardrobe doesn't define her.
In the end, I realized that I needed friends who are happy, confident and AWESOME just being THEMSELVES!... but I knew I couldn't expect that out of a good friend, until I was willing to be all of those things too.
I know that nobody is completely and fully satisfied in every aspect of their lives, but I strongly believe that being able to make the BEST of what you have, is something that everyone CAN do.
This last year was such a huge milestone for me.
I learned how to listen to my body, I challenged myself to do things that were hard, scary and uncomfortable and I finally stopped caring about what everyone ELSE thought of me and started to focus on what I thought about MYSELF instead.
I feel like in the race of life, at this point in time, I've already jumped over the biggest, hardest and most emotional hurdles... and I feel great!, but I've still got a LOT of the race to go. So when a few of my new friends asked me this past weekend "What's your word for 2013?" it really only took me a few minutes to come up with it...
to be even more awesome than the person or thing that is awesome; the act of making more awesome.
So maybe it's not a "real" word, but for me, it's PERFECT.
After a LOT of hard work I'm FINALLY on the fast track to being the happier, healthier, more confident person that I always wanted to be and for that, I feel AWESOME. But this last year ended too fast, and I feel like I have so much more to learn and work towards, so now...
I'm in the act of making MORE awesome in 2013.
. . .
Do you have a word/goal each year that you try to achieve or stick to? If so, I'd LOVE to hear it! I've never been one to make "New Years resolutions" but in a way, I guess that's what this is.
So... what's yours!?