I got an unexpected phone call the other day from a woman whom I admire, sat on a community board with, and often run into at various events. She is a strong leader with a warmth about her that I find very endearing. When we see each other, it's as if time hasn't passed and we easily pick up where we left off.
Our conversation started with a quick catch-up, then segued to work-life challenges, and then evolved into the topic of strengthening and sustaining female friendships at our age. We agreed, with busy families and careers, it takes work.
A lot of work.
Given the state of our society today, we also confessed to each other the need to be more intentional about who we surround ourselves with, in an effort to be better versions of ourselves.
We questioned if we were losing part of ourselves when we remain silent about what type of people we need in our worlds. We laughed about the idea of revisiting our "friends list" and questioned whether the people we thought were friends had a hidden agenda or were really just soul-suckers. And we talked about needing to continue our talk over wine, lots of it. Our phone call lasted 29 minutes.
During this five-month-long pandemic, I've done more reflecting in my life than I expected to do. Instead of having a packed calendar of events, I've sent out greeting cards or little surprises in the mail, celebrating the highs my friends have had and consoling them during those low moments. It's my own little way of letting people know they matter to me. Some have returned the gesture; others have been radio silent. That's OK, either way. These times are tough, confusing and stressful.
But this time has also given us the ultimate gift of opportunity to reevaluate relationships.
Is the person you are investing in, taking the time to reinvest in you? If not, maybe there's a reason why. Are there things you need to change about yourself? Are there things about them that don't sit well with you anymore? Those answers may lead you to sadly end the friendship; then again, it may lead you to spend more time feeding it. I'm a firm believer that people come into our lives—and either stay or go—when they're supposed to.
This woman said she was compelled to call on that day because she needed a little of me in her life.
Funny, because I think after our conversation, it was really me who needed a little bit of her in my life.
Written by Jennifer A. Pascua, Digital Content Manager for West Michigan Woman.