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Wise Future Self


A few days ago, I sent my mom this email…

Hi Mama!

I am in Costa Rica and loving it!
Home on Sunday night.

I am curious if you would be open to me
writing an article about how friendship
has evolved in your life? I’m so inspired
by the fact that you’re gathering with your
friends on Global Sisterhood Day, especially
since you only started developing friendships

I know that it’s your story and it’s not mine to
tell, which is why I ask. If it feels too personal
or too sensitive, I understand and have no
problem NOT writing about it 🙂

If you feel like there’s an interesting story to tell
about your journey with friendship, what do you
feel would be some important aspects to highlight?

I love you!

Mom replied…

I’m so glad you are enjoying your trip.  I would be delighted
if you wrote an article about me and friendship, because I think
there are probably a lot of people in my position.  Friends from
high school and university move away or drift apart, careers and
kids keep us busy, caring for aging parents takes time and energy.
Then, when you lose your job, retire, move away, your kids move
away, whatever…you discover you are alone.

Cards and flowers during illness and crises were from “the office”.
I really liked a lot of the people that I worked with, but they were
very aware that I was their boss, too.  I have always been shy and
socially awkward, so when I needed to act outgoing for my job I
felt like a fake.

Then I started to build a new life in a new place.  No more office,
no more hospitals [my mom had a bone marrow transplant],
no more daily social contact.

When I tentatively reached out, I was amazed at the response.
When I told people I didn’t enjoy social activities, many of them
said they felt the same way and we supported each other.
I feel so rich and fulfilled.  When we recently went to a local
event, we met so many people I know and I got hugs from three
women just for being there.

I always worried that friends would make demands on me and that
I would somehow let them down.  Part of the ” I’m not good enough”
fear that plagued me for much of my life.  It isn’t true.

Friends love me and accept me for who I am.
They believe I am good enough as I am.

Enjoy the last few days of your vacation.
I’m off to spend the day with my friends.

xo, Mom

In 2 years, my mom went from friendship famine to feast.

As a little girl, I remember wondering where all of my mommy’s friends were.  She struggled with depression (she’s open about those challenges) and is quite shy and introverted.  She spent most of her social time with my step-father, her mother or her sisters.  I, on the other hand, have always been more extraverted and love spending time with my many girlfriends.  We’re built differently, and while I always marveled at my mother’s solitude, she always marveled at my ability to make friends.

A few years ago, she came to me with a question: “How do you suggest I make friends?”  

She took a zucchini loaf over to the neighbors house and invited her for tea.
She signed up to join a community of women who love sewing as much as she does.
She hosted her own version of Burning Man for her friends at the farm.

She put herself out there, bit by bit, in her own way, and she made friends.

If you consider yourself too shy, too introverted, too awkward, too old, or too “different” to develop new friendships or friendships with depth, I hope my mom’s story inspires you.  Friendship is for everyone, even you.

If you’re looking for new friends, sign up to join a Sister Circle on Global Sisterhood Day .  We already have over 100 set up, all over the world and online.

—> In the comments below, share how you’ve cultivated friendship in your life, even if you’re shy or introverted.