Never forget who you are—
Strong, majestic, fearless,
fierce, protective, at rest
This handwritten note sits on a shelf in my office; it’s from one of my dearest and oldest friends. I always seem to notice it at the exact moment when I need to be reminded of these simple yet profound truths.
It epitomizes why I need a tribe of women in my life: they unashamedly remind me of who I am.
Trying to go through life on our own is both exhausting and lonely. Allowing ourselves to need others may feel like weakness. However, it’s in those moments where we’ve reached the end of ourselves and receive a supportive hand that we can begin to experience freedom, depth, perspective, grace and transformative love.
We need people in our lives who are committed to friendship — some for short seasons and others for the long haul. Friends who see us, fight for us, call us out and help us course-correct when we’ve lost our way.
The tribe of women in my life remind me who I am when I need it most. When I feel lost, overwhelmed, tapped out, overjoyed, or heart broken, my girlfriends meet me in the midst of it all and hold space for me.
When I was too stubborn to admit I was settling for mediocre in a bad relationship, the women in my life sat me down (on multiple occasions) and courageously said they wanted more for me than what I was accepting. My community opened me up to the idea that we all have blind spots, and we need others to help us see them so we don’t crash.
Living this way is not easy or glamorous. In fact, it’s a road filled with a lot of bumps. To allow ourselves to been seen in the depths of who we are means there’s going to be pain along the way. Because no one is perfect. And we all have our own issues—like André 3000 said, “I know you like to think your sh*t don’t stink—but lean a little bit closer—your roses still smell poo.”
We’re all human. We blow it countless times every single day. Growth doesn’t mean perfection; it’s typically slow and full of fumbling forward.
Sometimes we try to do the best we can, while at other times we’re lazy and selfish and don’t want to put in the work. And sometimes even when we’re trying our best, our best is still painful — not only to ourselves but to those closest to us. Having a close community means there will be collateral damage on both ends at some point.
I’ve had my feelings hurt and been disappointed repeatedly by the people in my life I love the most. But I have hurt and disappointed them too. And we’ll probably be doing this to each other for the long haul.
There are some friends who have said really hard things to me—risking our friendship by taking a stand for me—because they loved me fiercely and wanted more wholeness for me than I thought possible for myself.
As we’ve leaned into the discomfort of hard conversations and miscommunications and fumbled through conflict we’ve come out on the other side stronger.
Real community takes lots of work, time, and an abundance of grace. But being known, seen, accepted, loved, fought for—even when there’s mess and tears — is so worth it.
I am who I am today because of the fierce, strong, feminine and gracious women who have gotten in the trenches with me over the years.
Happy National Girlfriends Day to the Women—Mom, sisters, aunts, cousins, Grandmas, friends— with whom I have the honor of doing life.
Shoot + Vendor Info:
All Wardrobe c/o Anthropologie
Stylist // Florals // Event Production: Kelsea, East Olivia
Food: Fig + Pig Catering