Find Your People
Find your tribe. Find that group of women (or men!) who will stand by you through it all. Find the people who will support you when you face trials, encourage you when you fail, and grab your booty during wedding photos just because they can!
In my short 23 years of life, I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of women who have been a constant support system for me. It has made a world of a difference having friends who will speak truth into my life and not shy away from hard times. I'm talking, the kind of friends who have seen me at my absolute worse (I'm lookin' at you Meg!) and still love me. The kind of friends who will sit on the kitchen floor at 2am with me to have those hard conversations that need to happen. The kind of friends who are just as goofy and crazy as I can be.
I don't know where I would be without these friendships, I really don't! Even in starting my own business, there have been times I have wanted to quit because let's be real, it's hard! But every time that thought creeps into my head I am reminded of the conversations I've had with my friends about this very subject and the encouragement they have given me. And somehow I am able to keep going for another day because of those words, and I am so grateful for that.
These friendships have been wonderful, but they have not always been easy. One thing I've learned about developing real relationships is that it takes time and it takes effort. When I went off to college I expected to make friendships as deep as the ones I had known, within the first month. I honestly thought I would make deep and lasting friendships almost instantly and that it would take little to no effort on my part! Then, half the friendships I made in my first semester were over by the end of the second. Don't get me wrong, I do have some lasting friendships as a result of college but the majority of the relationships formed right off the bat did not last, and it was because I didn't give them the effort needed to form a lasting relationship!
The other ingredient to a lasting and deep friendship is vulnerability. There are a lot of relationships in my life that have stayed very surface level because I have not been willing to show them my brokenness. One of the deepest desires of the human heart is to be fully known and fully loved, but that is an incredibly scary jump to take. I'm not saying you should run around showing everyone you meet your innermost heart simply because not everyone deserves to see your innermost heart. But when you find the right people, don't be afraid to let them see your passions, your dreams, and don't be afraid to let them see your brokenness because you are afraid they won't love you after that. I've found that it can be incredibly healing to know that someone has seen you at your worst and they choose to love you anyway.
Life is hard, there is no way around that, and it's important to know that it is going to be even harder if you are trying to do it alone. I'm serious when I say having a community can lighten the burdens you feel and can make the trials you face feel a little less scary. Life doesn't feel as hard when you have a community you can lean on for support when you need it. It's also incredibly rewarding knowing that you can offer that same support system to others! So don't be afraid to let people in to areas of your life you haven't shared with them before. Don't be afraid to share your dreams and passions or to let people see your brokenness because it is often out of those moments that the richest of friendships are formed.
P.S. here is a throwback picture from high school, these girls are still some of my closest friends!