Several weeks ago, a few coworkers and I were discussing the phenomenon that is “the blog world” – one person casually mentioned, “Blogging isn’t blogging anymore.” I didn’t even skip a beat before saying, “No, it’s really not.” Don’t get me wrong, I have an immense amount of respect for all bloggers and obviously know first hand all the time, energy, creativity, and thought it takes to have a blog – but in their earliest inception blogs were literally “web logs”: online platforms for individuals to share insight on a certain subject, keep a diary, etc. Think Julie & Julia. Where we are now is… Different. Sally and I can do our best to inject our personalities into each post we write but let’s be honest, a lot of what we talk about revolves around the material world. Sure we pepper in aspects of our lives, but my biggest fear is that some of you might think we aren’t much more than girls who churn out posts or that we live in some fantasy factory where all we do is shop online or think about material stuff (so not true).
I want to try something here – starting off each week with Toast Talk. Some realness that isn’t about shoes, or whathaveyou. Just a little something that will hopefully allow you all to get to know me and Sally better (and fingers crossed, helps us know YOU all better through your comments). Are you still reading? I hope so – even though I kind of feel like I’m writing in a diary right now, I already feel like I’m being more genuine here than ever before.
So in the spirit of keeping things real, let’s talk about friendships. We all have girlfriends, right? We call them to catch-up, spend time with them, grow-up with them, and let’s face it, we often vent to them and come to them to talk about our problems. Lately I’ve noticed that I go to different friends when I need different things: tough love, a sympathetic ear, advice, etc. Take me and Sally for example… She knows that when she comes to me she gets the tough lovin’ guidance, and I know when I go to her I get a good listener that stays unbiased and doesn’t really give advice. So ya, when I want to talk to someone about my career path I’m not going to just hit up Sally. But when I need to vent, she’s a champ.
The issue I’m having now is how I give different parts of myself to different friends. To some I’m the sympathetic cheerleader and others I’m the bulldog. It makes me wonder if I’m doing both of them a disservice, if I should be giving equal parts to both to keep things balanced and obviously, real. I was recently talking with Victoria and she brought up how she appreciates her friends that are honest with her more than the ones that just agree with her or allow her to wallow or whine. I had to agree – I get more out of the friendships that help me grow emotionally. Would you rather have someone saying, “Go after that dream job, you only live once and the worst they can say is no,” or one that offers, “Well, is your current job really that bad?” Might not be the best example but I think you know where I’m going…
I think as women we have to build each other up. My goal is to do just that but in the most balanced way possible. Being a good listener and knowing why that person came to you in the first place is the first step for me. The second step is being brave enough to be honest with my friends when I think they need it and not suppressing that honesty because I worry they might take it the wrong way. Third and most important (and what I’m currently not that great at) is delivery… Saying everything with genuine love and care behind it. Sometimes I’m too opinionated and passionate for my own good and my delivery, well, it sucks.
My girlfriends are some of the most important people in my life. And I’m a believer that we get what we give. I’ll be making a big push to give the best of all worlds when it comes to my friendships and to do it with realness and love. So did you make it this far? I’d love to know what you all think – about this and the Toast Talk idea in general! And if you’re thinking “I just come her for the pretty pictures,” I hope you’ll stick around… Mondays are about to get interesting.
(Image via Freunde von Freunden)