September 13, 2016

Why Having Girlfriends Matter So Much

At Mystic Grape sans Jade. From left to right: me, Francis, Michaela, Denize

 Women empowering women, girl tribe, success group, you name it they are all out there and for good reason; a girl needs another girl to relate to.  In my case, I have four ladies that I can completely relate to.

Meet Michaela, the mean one with the softest of hearts that will stalk your ex with the proficiency of a seasoned P.I.
Jade gets off work in time for face mask time

Meet Denize, the hyper one, she’s like the energizer bunny; goes on and on and on.  Have a work out with her; I dare you…double dog dare you.

Meet Francis, the rude New Yorker who calls it like is and is the hostess with the mostest.  I can always rely on her for honest advice.

Meet Jade, the cool Californian. Nothing seems to set her off unless that is she spots someone doing the wrong thing and then that cool interior gets ruffled a bit…I mean a lot.

All these ladies make up my circle of girlfriends.  They are similar enough to me to share common ground and different enough to help me grow and learn from them.

I saw a video from the AARP about old folks, and they said that once someone stops learning and growing mentally then, that's when they can be considered old.  With these ladies, I will be forever young!

How did we meet?  

We asked ourselves this in our recent sleepover party (yes we do those as grownups).  In the beginning, each of us had different perceptions of the other, and if we would have allowed those perceptions to become true, I must say we would have never gotten this close.  Our love of fitness changed those opinions.  There is something about a grueling one-hour fitness session that makes everyone come together while being in physical pain.

Through those sessions, we realized that we were more similar than different and that we actually liked one another!  Now we even use the ‘L’ word…cue the heart eyes emoji.

It all started with a few lunches, then brunches and late night get together, and now we are sleeping over each other’s houses, telling each other our deepest darkest secrets and farting.  That last one is when you know that your relationship has transcended into a higher level: Super comfortable zone!

In a world that is so frantic, stressful with so many fast moving pieces, having my girls around me, make me stable.  Is as if the world stands still when we are together, talking, laughing, or sometimes crying.  They have become my sounding board for ideas, my psychiatrist for when I need to vent, my life and style coach, and most recently my hair remover specialist (thanks, Francis and Denize).  
Because they love me, Francis and Denize taking
care of my ingrown's while Jade looks on
I don’t mind having the girls over my less-than-clean place because I now they will just brush off the pet hair from the couch, open the wine bottle and turn on the TV, no judgement no questions.  For someone who doesn’t get too close to others and has a hard time connecting, these fabulous ladies are a blessing.  

I think every girl should have a girlfriend or two or three or four in their life who can encourage, mentor, and advice them.  A friend who is more like a sister, who loves them unconditionally, supports them and gives candid words of wisdom.  There is an adage or more like a meme that says “Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves,” this is so true for the girls and me; we chose each other.  
Now go out there and find your soul sisters!

September 3, 2016

What is Beautiful?

Yesterday I had those judgy girly conversations were we classify other women based on looks.  I want to say that this is a bad habit, but it is something often done by women.  However, I was quite surprised by my reaction.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Someone whom the others thought was ugly I didn't see as such and that one classified as attractive I couldn't disagree more.  Why did the other women not see beauty the same way I was? 

I would like to point out that I don't often judge people based on looks.  I do have my judgmental moments, but those are few and rare.  I am not sure if it's because of I am getting older (and hopefully wiser) because I don't like it when it's done to me or a combination of both, but I just don't feel comfortable doing it.   

For the most part, I judge others based on their personality.  The woman others thought was good looking, in my opinion, she was not.  To me, her character takes away from her looks.  I guess if I had seen her on the street without knowing her I would think she was pretty.  Having interacted with her, I don't find her so beautiful.

Then, on the other hand, is the girl that the others tagged as ugly or more like unpleasant looking.  I thought she is a good looking girl! Most importantly she is kind, courteous and respectful.  These qualities totally won me over in the looks department!

Little to say I was completely confused and shocked by my reaction.  I thought that others think like me.  After having this conversation, I discovered that I was wrong.

I must admit, I do body-check a lot.  Being a work-out enthusiast, I do a once over on people....From top to bottom; toned arms---check, define shoulders----nice! Peeking abs----way to go! Lifted butt---I need your workout regime! Tone quads and calfs---high five!  

Imagine when I see the oppositive of makes me want to go over to the person and do a mini nutrition/fitness session with them.  So I guess I am judgemental after all just in a different way.  In my defense, personality always wins against any physical quirk.

But my question is still there, what is beautiful?  I was reading a presentation on Facebook where scientists determined the perfect woman.  It was symmetry, a precise measurement between the eyes, nose and mouth that causes others to be attracted to that person.  

To me, beauty goes a little deeper than that.  To see beauty, I like to unzip the facade of the physical appearance and peek inside.  The thoughts, beliefs, and values of a person are what makes them beautiful or ugly.  A beautiful face turns ugly after listening to that person's ideas, and thoughts.  What's hidden inside the mind and comes out the lips can change my perception of someone very quickly.  An 'Ugly Duckling' who is kind is the most beautiful swan in the pond.