In friendship, variety is key

Tacos and tennis shoes

Women need a variety of friendships to help them feel balanced. This is not to say they are super close friends, but they are easily identifiable and serve a specific purpose in our lives.

We all have that one friend who always seems to have her act together; she’s the most organized mom, the best student, has the most successful career – whichever category she falls into, she’s got it together! 

These friends give us hope. Sure they can make us question every aspect of our lives, wondering how the heck they make it look so easy! But they give us something to strive for.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we all have a hot mess friend. Seriously. Think about it. She’s always late, unorganized, her kids are a mess or she’s just generally lacking stability. 

These friends make us feel good about ourselves. Compared to that friend, your day-to-day looks pretty darn good. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not judging! We help these friends and we love them to pieces. But they help us realize we’ve got it pretty together.

We also need friends who have kids around the same age as our own. They make dealing with our every day insanity a bit more tolerable by knowing someone else is going through the same sticky mess we are. 

We need friends with kids who are different ages than our own, too. Whether they’re younger and make you reminisce or feel needed due to your great advice, or they have older kids who help prepare you for what’s to come. Variety is key.

You may have younger friends. Someone who, even though you hate admitting it, you live vicariously through. New relationships, new careers, new engagements, new babies! These friends make us look back on the “good ol’ days.”

Older friends are just as important. They give us goals, aspirations, a look into the future of what’s to come and what’s really important. 

When it comes to friendships, we need variety. We need a bit of every kind of woman to really appreciate how diverse our strengths and weaknesses can be. 

As I sit and think about my own friendship circle, I can clearly picture what role each of my friends plays in my life. And what role I play in theirs! I know exactly whose successful friend I am, whose older friend I am, and although not completely proud of it...whose hot mess I am. 

Most importantly, we need a tribe to call our own. It doesn’t matter if your tribe is made up of two or 10, but that they keep you balanced. Don’t spend your life in an echo chamber, hearing only what you want to hear. Keep friends who challenge you, who make you become the very best version of yourself. 

I recently relocated with my family from Colorado. As much as I love it, I have to admit, the change has me aching for some of my friends who seem worlds away. My balance has been severely challenged in this department. 

So if any of you are searching for a relatively successful hot mess with two young kids who drinks a lot of wine and has a foul mouth to add to your tribe, I’m in!

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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