I have always envied those that make friends easily. Those life long friendships that they had since elementary school. Its an area I have always struggled in. When I was younger, we moved a lot and when we finally settled down a state away I was in the 5th grade and awkwardly taller than everyone else. Thankfully I settled in at 5’7″ but being that tall in the fifth grade was tough. I was clumsy and shy. I was never one to speak up first, always afraid I would say the wrong thing.

Funny story behind that. We had just moved from Utah to Idaho and it was my first day in the new school and I learned that there were different words for many different things. Not only that, but when you said something different people really made fun of you for it. So when I asked for a pop or maybe it was soda pop instead of soda, my whole class of 15 all laughed at me. By the end of the day the fourth grade was too and everyone on my bus. I was the butt of many jokes all because of my word choice. That was the toughest lesson any fifth girl in a new school could learn.

To add mortification to my shyness and anxiety, I had to learn the fake it until you make it motto at a young age. I was in choir in my middle school. I was in 6th grade and it I was wearing basketball shorts that day. All the girls had to stand up to sing the girls only part in choir and a girl from behind me depants me in front of everyone. In that same grade I was also the girl with DD boobs and no normal sixth grade girl shirt would fit. I would wear a normal tee-shirt and be sent to the office with cleavage. I was very awkward from there on out.

What most don’t admit and I didn’t like to until I went to counseling is that past experiences mold all our future choices if we let it. We have to imagine what we want to work towards it. As an adult I always struggle to speak up and when I do it always backfires in my face. I had felt bad about not going to a friends birthday party. I felt guilty because the main reason I didn’t go was my anxiety and fear of COVID. Her party was at a jump place for the kids and we are in the heat of covid. Shortly after the party ended she had started posting these memes on social media about fake friends and liars. It made me feel even worse and I wanted to address it so we could be okay. Instead of it being okay I lost a friend. I failed as a friend in that moment. I will say I am thankful I didn’t go though, COVID isn’t pretty and they haven’t been so lucky.

My goal in life is to work on the few friendships I have and build new ones. Learning to branch out is going to be hard but I am also excited. It will never be like it was in my 20’s when I met Sarah in training at a job. We clicked instantly and no matter how far we drift apart we are always there when it counts. Man I can’t believe its been so many years of friendship at this point.

Other friendships I have walked away from because I realized they only want to see me fail. Don’t let the those that are unable to be happy for you bring you down. I learned that when I decided to take my writing fulltime. I had many discouraging voices but also many uplifting ones. The discouraging ones showed true colors. They have never read my book or my blog. That is how I know this is safe to write. Walking away from those that bring you down will keep you sane. It will keep positive energy in your corner.

As women we should be building each other up and encouraging their dreams. It may not seem obtainable to you or feasible but the right thing here is to be happy for your friends. We shouldn’t be shaming or downplaying any dream of others. We are the example our daughters see and the only way for them to walk a path of happiness is to see it modeled from us.

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