Disclaimer to all R&T readers: Kriste has no idea what my topic is for this post. I like surprises, I like celebrating my friends, and I like declarations of appreciation. I think it does wonders to hear what people appreciate about you and what they’ve learned from you. So, while Kriste is snuggling with her new babe, I’m going to take the opportunity to send a little note from inside of her friend “Tribe” about what I appreciate about Kriste.
If you’ve been reading Rosemary & Thyme for awhile, you’ve probably seen Kriste mention her Tribe. Kriste’s Tribe is made up of many different women, and I’m grateful to be one of them. We became friends a few years back, because our husbands’ friendship extends back to those days of elementary school shenanigans. We met on a cold day after a snowstorm hit the northeast while I was shooting in Boston. Since I took a bus back from Boston to Harrisburg, the four of us decided to grab dinner in the city. I remember I wore a hat because I had social media-stalked Kriste enough to know she was exceptionally stylish. About four seconds after getting out of my car, I slipped on some black ice and hit the ground. Hard. Like I thought I broke my elbow and my hip.The hat blocked my eyes and I couldn’t see the ice.
We’ve been friends ever since.
It can be rare to find good female friendships. I have theories about why this is true, but I think it boils down to insecurity. It’s why women struggle to appreciate and celebrate one another. It’s why we compete and compare and run ourselves ragged to prove something to someone. It’s why we’re blind to empathy and kindness from one another.
Kriste and I talk about friendships often. We talk about the importance of growth and honesty, of encouragement and celebration, and of faithfulness in the mess of life. I know she’s going to be digging into this topic over the next few months, and I’m excited to see her share her insights. But for today, we’re going to talk about three things that make Kriste a wildly good friend, because we could all benefit from bringing these into our own tribes.
Know who you are, so you can celebrate others.
You have to be able to celebrate the high points of your friends’ lives. I think it’s worth stating: other people’s successes do not diminish your own. Even more so, who else should celebrate your friends’ triumphs besides the people in their corners? Letting a friend know that you are proud of them or inspired by them is a simple but profound act of love.
If you know Kriste, then you know she’s very comfortable with whom she is as a woman. Equal parts old lady, homebody, and creative mastermind. I am none of those things, but I have my own set of gifts and quirks. Rather than belittle my successes or overshadow me with hers, Kriste is a friend in whom I can trust to celebrate my highs with me without worry about secret jealousy or resentment. And that is freedom in a female friendship.
Always be honest.
If you don’t tell the truth or keep your word, it’s difficult for people to trust you. It seems simple enough, but I think female friendships suffer because women are afraid to be honest with one another. Rather than engage differing opinions or offer up another viewpoint, sometimes women want to avoid confrontation at all costs. Real friends, however, can be trusted. Their words provide guidance in a true friendship, and once again, friendships require trust in one another.
Kriste has always been honest with me. She shares her opinions, her dreams, and her challenges with me, so I can trust that when I come to her with something from my life, she’s giving me her truest thoughts. Because I know she’s in my corner, I am able to let my guard down and consider new ideas, or bounce my ideas off a trusted confidante.
Set aside time for the friends that build you up.
Finally, I think it’s vital that you’re aware of who in your life is building you up and who is tearing you down. Maybe it’s that we’re finally nearing thirty, but I am not interested in begging for the attention of mean girls or letting myself serve as an emotional doormat for someone. I’ve been there, done that, and would like to never do it again. Instead, I’ve found that over the last 8 years, I’ve surrounded myself with caring, empathetic, and confident women and the results have been life changing. I’m kinder, more confident, and appreciative of those in my life. I look for ways to encourage my friends in specific ways. They’re making me a better woman.
If I need a friend, I know that Kriste will hop in the car and drive the hour to see me. If I mention the slightest frustration, difficulty, or mishap in my day, Kriste will poke around to see how I’m doing and if she can be supportive in any way. We also send each other a ridiculous amount of memes and emojis, and I love it. She cheers me on in motherhood, has invested her time and talent into my business, and offers me her ear on the daily. How could that not help to teach me how to better love the women around me?
So is it kind of weird that I hijacked my guest post to craft the blog equivalent of a middle schooler’s BFF necklace (where one of you had “best” and the other had “friend”)? Maybe. But I don’t care. R&T is a space centered on celebrating the simple life, the meaningful life. What is more meaningful than relationships with family and friends?
I hope that you’re able to find ways to love the women in your tribe this week. Shoot someone a text about a recent success. Drop off some handpicked flowers to someone having a rough day. Use nothing but memes in conversations to convey your thoughts to someone who needs a laugh. Hey, you could even send new mama Kriste a little bit of love.
Until next time!
R&T and Autumn
*In addition to embarrassing me with her sweet words about our friendship (in the best way possible), Autumn was kind enough to take these photos just a couple days after the birth of our son, Grayson. For more info about her amazing photography business (that I happen to have the pleasure of being apart of), visit her site and send her some love!