A few months back a meme was circulating – one woman after another lifting each other up in an endless cycle. “How nice” I thought as I scrolled past the first time. “How true!” I said the next. “We should!” I demanded each time thereafter. “I will!” I promised. #GIRLPOWER
I had all sorts of ideas. I’d smile at other women on my morning walk. I’d offer to help with strangers screaming children at the airport. I’d give up my place in line at the market to the woman behind me with one item to purchase before my overflowing cart…
And then I didn’t. Not because I didn’t want to. Maybe I was shy, or maybe I just forgot. And you might say “you shouldn’t need to remember, it should be second nature.” And you would be right. But right isn’t always a reality.
I was recently sitting in a trendy (read: crowded and loud) restaurant Mid Wilshire, waiting for a friend to join me for a drink. I had just come from a 5-hour long meeting at work – an out of the norm schedule that had required a nanny, grandparent and husband to help cover childcare. I sipped a glass of Sauv Blanc, trying to look and act casually confident instead of lonely and uncomfortable. I hid behind my phone texting my husband. That’s when it happened.
I hid behind my phone texting my husband
“Excuse me!” Was I in someone’s chair?
“Hi! Excuse me! I’m sorry I just had to tell you I love your hair! It’s just the perfect cut! I love it. You’ve inspired me to cut my own I think. It’s just perfect!”
Um, what was happening? Was she being serious? Wait, she meant something else. Does she feel bad because I’m alone? Maybe she’s serious.But she’s so pretty! And young! And stylish! I’m just a mom in some mom jeans who got off work early on a random baby-free night in the middle of the week… I ran my fingers through my freshly chopped locks and gripped the ends. She just kept smiling at me.
I slowly started to smile back.
I thanked her as she left and I sat up a little straighter. I was immediately puffed up. I smiled at strangers. I moved down a bar stool to make room for a large party without being asked and when the gentleman next to me turned back I smiled at him and said “I made room!” He turned his back without a word. Ugh. Men.
But alas! I didn’t care! Because SHE had made me see the light. This woman – in a span of 15 seconds and 15 words – changed my entire perspective on female relationships and interactions.
Right isn’t always a Reality.
Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s hard to make friends with women“? We are programmed with years of mean girls, and Mean Girls, and self doubts and criticisms and begin to assume other women aren’t sincere or have ulterior motives. It’s a vicious cycle of self doubt closing us off from each other. What is THAT all about?
Let’s throw it out the window ladies.
All it takes is a kind, honest word, unprovoked, to make someone’s day brighter and someone’s heart full. So I say to you, random beautiful stranger – THANK YOU for being a gem in the rough sea of self doubt and teaching me a valuable lesson.
Like that MAMA’s shoes? Tell her!! Want to know their secret to getting their baby to sleep at the market? ASK! I know it can be scary, but hey – chances are – they want to know where you got your haircut anyway 😉