Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Best Friends

Illustration by Inslee Haynes
After several years living in Boston, I've made some incredible friends- friends who are essential to my well-being and sanity, and who each bring something a little bit different to the table. It will be hard to leave them in a few weeks as Neal and I embark on our Austin adventure!

I recently read a great article on The Everygirl about the 7 Friends Every Woman Needs. Here's my take on the different types of women we should strive to include in our circle:

  • The Straight-Talker: I have a couple friends in mind who tell it like it is. Not in a malicious way, but in a no-nonsense way that allows me to see things from a different perspective. It's humbling to hang out with these girls. They keep me grounded and constantly striving to be my best. 
  • The Listener: If you've got a straight-talker in your circle, you probably also need a listener. This person is your shoulder to cry on. She'll make you cookies and let you go on and on about you-know-who for hours, while simply nodding and providing comfort. It's great to have this cheerleader in your group, always rooting for you, but make sure you root for her once in a while too. 
  • The Far-Away Friend: I've collected lots of friends in faraway places, and the great part about these friends is that you always have someone/somewhere to visit! We've all had weekends where we just need to get away, and what better way to de-stress than to see a familiar face in a new city? Keep these friends close- it takes work to keep a long-distance relationship going, but it's worth it!
  • The Mom: This friend doesn't necessarily have to be a mother, but she should be at a different life stage than you. If you're single, she's married. If you have kids, she doesn't. It's refreshing to socialize with someone who can show you (or remind you) what it's like to be in their shoes, and although it might be difficult to find time to get together, you'll be surprised how great it feels when you can finally connect.
  • The Childhood Bestie: Not everyone keeps in touch with their childhood crew, but if you're lucky enough to be in touch with some of your girlhood pals, keep them close! Shana is one of my oldest friends, and although I don't get to see her often, she knows my history which gives us a special connection. It's fun to see her and reminisce about the good 'ole days, playing My Little Ponies in her room, but it's even cooler that we've both been present for each other's major life milestones.
  • The Social Butterfly: This lady is easy to spot- she's constantly trying new restaurants, exploring new places, and meeting new friends. In a group of friends, she's the connector. Although you might not always have the energy to keep up with her, she'll help you learn to work a room, talk to that cute man at the bar, or expand your circle of friends.
  • The Sorority Sister: Not everyone was in a sorority, but this category accounts for your college friends. College is a time of change and growth.. and probably some crazy nights partying. This friend was there, and will help you recall those silly stories and embarrassing moments, for better or worse. You may have moved to different places, taken different career paths, etc. but it doesn't mean that you can't keep this special gal around.
  • The Mentor: I love surrounding myself with people who inspire me, whether it's professionally or personally. A Mentor doesn't have to come from a formal business relationship- she could just be your kick-ass career-ladder-climbing friend who motivates you to reach for the stars and offers great advice. Maybe you ARE this awesome lady. In that case, spread the love and find a Mentee!

If you're missing some of these friends in your inner circle, get out there and expand your horizons!

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