Think about your go-to friend for advice. Does she “drop knowledge” on you whenever you need it? Is she really relatable and honest? Apparently, some of my friends consider me that kind of g0-to person. I didn’t know this about myself until I had a deep conversation with women from my church’s study group. They took a moment to lovingly repeat back to me some of my most memorable advice quotes.
Here’s one gem I shared at the MADE Gathering in 2018 hosted by my friend, Candy Pearson who I featured in my Atlanta Women to Watch post for Women’s History Month:
“Build a bridge and get over it.”
It’s my get tough and keep it moving reminder. Don’t we all need to hear that at some point?
When the whining and complaining and excuse-making get to be too much you want to say, “Build a bridge and get over it” to your friends.
Here are my other “Joyce-isms”:
It happens more than I’d like, but I inevitably (even in Atlanta) end up in a meeting or a group where I am the only Black woman there.
Another thing that happens more than I’d like, is I inevitably end up having to drop some knowledge about racism, discrimination and bias to a group of non-Black women.
That’s how I ended up sharing: “If you can COUNT your Black friends, you don’t have ENOUGH Black friends.”
I live my life in such a way that I can’t possibly count my White friends, my gay friends, my Jewish friends, my Muslim friends. I think you get where I’m going here.
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I surround myself with plenty of people who don’t look like me, think like me or believe what I believe. If you do the same, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn experience.
In our study group, we shared some amazing experiences and struggles. I can’t tell you what they are because “What happens in group, STAYS in group.”
Overall, we support and guide each other through life’s struggles. When I heard my friends share what was causing them the most stress and prompted them to ask for prayers my go-to reminder for them was, “You’re so much stronger than you know.”
When I look back on the whirlwind of my life from 2009 to 2011, I quit my job, moved, got married, had a baby, navigated selling my condo in a down economy, found out my Father had cancer and we laid him to rest.
I would have never imagined that I’d be strong enough to handle all of that in less than two years, but I did.
Along those lines, I’m told I do a great job of reminding my friends “Be kind to yourself.”
Maybe I say that a lot because I need to hear that myself. It’s hard to quiet the soundtrack of my inner critic in my head who doesn’t know how to take a vacation. EVER.
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Don’t get it twisted. When I thought about how I tackle some of my own professional and personal problems, these photos perfectly explain my own decision-making experience.
There’s something about life over 40 that has given me more anxiety and PAUSE about every.single.decision. I make.
I wonder where the confident lady was who was on TV, anchored local news for more than 20 hours a week, earned an Emmy award for covering Hurricane Katrina, went to Europe for her 30th birthday and rejected terms like Advanced Maternal Age & Geriatric Pregnancy when she had her one and only child at 36.
I’m happy I can be such a comfort to my friends. I just wish I could absorb even more of my own advice. And remember your wise, strong friends need support too.
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Check on your STRONG friends.