Want to know what I love? New friends. I love them.
I love learning about their lives, their kids, their work, their strengths, and their fears. I always find it fun figuring out what makes them laugh, what makes them feel empowered, strong. Mostly, I love connecting with other women and realizing that no matter how old you get, there’s always room in your life for more friends.
Quick caveat: as long as they’re quality ones adding to your life not taking away from it.
I live in one of the best neighborhoods. We’re not the richest folks out there; we don’t drive fancy cars or wear name brand clothing. In fact, most of us struggle every day to makes ends meets and often show up to school drop off in sweats and ponytails. There’s a camaraderie there.
So, what makes it the best neighborhood? Lots of things. There are a ton of kids all around the same age, so that’s pretty dang awesome. We live right by the school they all go to so they play at the park all the time. And, most importantly, everyone watches out for each other’s kiddos.
I can have 7 kids in my house at a time or not know exactly what house my kids are at. But, I know they’re safe. I know they’re taken care of. That’s what best neighborhoods do. They watch out for one another.
But, that’s not what makes my neighborhood so magical. What makes it magical is the women in it. My kids’ friends’ Mamas. Women who I now consider to be my new friends. Women I didn’t know a year ago.
They’re the magic. Why? Because these women have decided (or maybe it just happens naturally at this phase of our lives) to rally around me and support me as I strive for World Domination. And why is that magical? Because…they did it before they even knew what I was really doing with my company.
Shockingly to most of you, I’m ridiculously shy so it’s often hard for me to make new friends. But the women in my neighborhood…they don’t seem to care about how shy you are, they just kind of force themselves on you. In a completely loving and positive way, of course. It starts with small talk, leads to backyard bbq’s and wine and now somehow, we’re at a place where their support means more than they know.
With these women, I’m just me. Raw, shy, scared me. And they don’t care. They accept my vulnerabilities and they support and love me in ways I didn’t know I was lacking but apparently, desperately needed.
They ask questions and oddly enough, they’re genuinely interested in what I do. Even better? They value me as a person and they honor my feelings. They celebrate my successes, they lift me when I doubt myself, they care if I’m frustrated and they make me feel smart and…inspired.
It is so completely and utterly unexpected. By allowing me to be me they’ve fostered a place where I’ve been able to quietly discuss my business, my dreams, my ideas and somehow, also quietly, guided me towards answers I knew were there, somewhere. They don’t know the gift they’ve given me, but I can tell you, they are the greatest gifts I’ve received in a long while.
The amazing part of this is that I didn’t expect the all-out support I receive from them. It’s pretty incredible to be asked about your day by women who actually listen to the answer. It surprises me every time they ask what I’m up to and then actually take the time to listen as if my answers matter. They ask questions about why and how and when.
Sure, business people ask questions (all day) and I get questions via social media, but when you get asked a question for no other reason than for interest sake? Or knowing they’re interested because they care and not because they want something? Well, that’s a whole new ball of wax. Unfortunately, when you reach a level of success it seems people only talk to you because they want something. But nope, not my neighborhood friends. They just want…me.
Their recent support has given me the confidence to keep adding to the demands I have already placed on myself. Not only do they care about what I’m doing, they care about how I’m coping. They ask great questions and they help me focus my thoughts. And these conversations happen in the less than five-minute walk from school drop off to the bottom of my driveway.
Wait! It gets better! I’m invited out! For tea and coloring or for backyard bbq’s and fires…I get invited! And for a shy person, invites mean the world. If I show up, they seem genuinely happy to see me. And if I don’t because my work schedule is absolute crazy beans…they’re the friends that really don’t mind and don’t talk shit behind your back. They accept that I’m building an empire and that takes time…and sometimes work calls…or something I’m just tired. No eye-rolling. Just…acceptance. It’s incredible. I am so grateful.
Jeez…all this to say…maybe it’s time to start reaching out, Mamas. Maybe it’s time to stop and listen to one another. Genuinely listen to the women around you. The women, no, I get to call them my friends now, in my neighborhood have opened my eyes to the fact that you can make new friends at any age. And these new friends, they’re essential to your growth as a woman, a Mama and a person you never knew you could be.
So go on, reach out. And listen.
To the Mamas in my neighbourhood (you now who you are), my gratitude is astronomical. Thank you for allowing me to be me, for inviting me out and for honoring my dreams and hard work. I am forever thankful for you and all of your support. xo