“Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.” – Anna Taylor
What does friendship mean to you? When you think of connection, what comes to mind first?
We all have a yearning, on some level, to connect with others. We endeavor to build friendships and create our own circles of people we know, like, and trust. Creating these communities not only staves off loneliness and sadness, but exposes us to new ideas, builds a support network, and allows us to fulfill an inner drive to bond with others in varying degrees.
Who’s in your circle? Who supports you, and who do you connect with or support?
Take a moment and think about your own friendship circles. You likely have one group of friends with whom you are extremely close, followed by a second circle of good friends but not friends who are like family, followed by acquaintances, followed by business connections… the list could go on and on. When you pause to examine your connections, you probably have more acquaintances and casual connections than good friends or best friends, but you have more people in your network than you might initially think.
Some of my most valuable connections have been with the amazing women I’ve met over the years. My two closest friends are incredible. I’ve known both of them now for more than a decade, and over that time, our friendships have evolved to allow for us to grow individually. Michelle was my college roommate and at first, I wasn’t sure she and I would work out very well – she was loud and blunt, whereas I was quiet and shy. Yet somehow, we each rubbed off on the other, so I tempered her while some of her forthrightness seeped over to me. We grew together and changed each other for the better.
Casey and I are also very much the introvert/extrovert pair. We met in college, but despite our personality differences, we hit it off right away. I was still coming out of my shy shell at the time, whereas she was outgoing and social. She and I have seen each other through the worst life can throw at us, and we’ve come through the fire to the other side. We didn’t so much change each other over the years as we have supported and stood by each other.
I know I am not the same person I was a decade ago, but neither are these two friends – yet my friendships with them are stronger than ever, even accounting for three states being in the way with one of them.
Women supporting women goes beyond personal friendships as well. While writing this blog, I realized that all my mentors in business are women, which is more of a happy accident than an intentional occurrence. I certainly would not be where I am without their guidance and support, and over the last few years, these connections have blossomed from solely business relationships and more into the realm of friendships. I know I can go to these women when I have a problem to ask for advice, and we share our failures and successes with each other.
A strong community of women supporting women is one which inspires, supports, and transforms. Over the last weekend when I attended the Be Creative retreat, I realized my personal community had expanded again. Women who I had just met that day were welcoming and kind, and as a group we cheered successes, embraced our faults, and assisted through mistakes.
Today’s blog is written by one of our alliance partners, Kira Tregoning. Kira is the owner and founder of Maia Media Management, a local marketing business. She offers social media management, consultations, and trainings, as well as video services, proofreading, editing, and manuscript critique services. Kira is also a published author with two fantasy novels available on Amazon and more on the way. Learn more about her at www.maiasocial.com