So this morning I had a pretty heavy soul-searching session with myself.
I was sitting at Dolcezza, rain pouring outside. I just finished the blog post you read the other day—you know, the one where I bitch and moan about not being able to run—and opened my group chat to talk about it.
Yea? Tara texted back. And what did you find out?
You can go read my rant here, so I’ll spare you the highlights. I gave Tara and Molly the gist of the post, finishing with, I dunno. I finished [writing] it, but it felt super forced. As if I’m out of practice.
My phone buzzed beside me. And that’s ok!!
I find it so incredibly funny how people float in and out of your life at just the right time.
I’m really grateful for my friends Tara and Molly. Three former teammates, we lost touch our senior year of college onward, then reconnected a few years ago. Never, in one gazillion years, did I expect THE THREE OF US to consult one another for business advice.*
*If you knew any of us freshman year, you would understand why. Those two could both outdrink me. Now, take how competitive I am now and multiply it by three thousand. In college, I didn’t like it if anyone out anything’d me. Twas’ not good for the squad.
Our group chat started the minute the three of us collectively decided to “make it” on our own. It’s really nice to have someone to motivate you or someone just to bitch to—conveniently in your pocket.
I have a lot of these go-to circle of friends. People I met once, and stayed in my life longer than ever predicted.
When it comes to freelancing, I call my friends Alexa, Nora, and Maranie—three super-charged women who I think the world of. If I’m being an asshole to myself, I call my friend Meg. If I need to believe fairies exist or anything in the world is possible, I shoot a text to Danika.
I could keep going, but the Oscars’ theme song would start playing.
These people came into my life for a very specific reason or circumstance, and just kinda…stuck around.
Danika was someone I knew on a first-name basis in college. We didn’t become best friends until she got stranded at the airport coming home from overseas and crashed on my couch. Half the people I turn to for advice are people I once interviewed for blog posts. Do you know how I found my interviewees? Instagram. Actually, I’m pretty sure I found Alexa on Pinterest.
I always cared about the depth of my friendships rather than the breadth.
For this reason and many others, I kept my circle of friends very small. Perhaps too small. As in, block-people-out-of-my-life small. I thought networking was for people with ulterior motives, and small talk was reserved for small minds.
Slowly—ugh, painfully slow—I loosened the reigns on my own personal life. I met new people. I noticed if you start with small talk, it leads to big talk. And most of all, I realized you will miss out on meeting a lot of fucking BADASSES if you stay within your own circle.
I’ve had more people crash on my couch in the past two years to open a profitable hostel. People thought I was INSANE—positively mentally ill—when I invited Meg to live with me for a month.* When we had never met in person.
*For those of you who don’t know the story, I was photographing her book, ok?? Calm down.
It is always worth meeting people.
When I was twenty-two working in investments, I had one of the best bosses of my entire life. This man was like a second dad to me. After one particular business trip when I arranged a series of meetings that were clearly not worth his time (he was the co-founder of the company, after all), I poured out my guts in apologies.
Instead of chewing me out, he turned to me and said, “Kara, it’s never not worth meeting someone.”
It had nothing to do with making a sale or cashing checks. It was simply being open to the idea that ANY human can be interesting. And EVERY conversation can be valuable if you let it.
Who knew two girls I once ripped shots with would grow up to be mini-advisors in my life. Or people who crashed on my couch out of necessity would then buy plane tickets to visit me. Or women I stalked on SOCIAL MEDIA would become my personal business coach(es). Coaches who don’t get paid.
My immediate family and core group of friends will always be my backbone. Your sister, husband, or college roommate will always be yours. There are awesome people out there, and there are assholes. If you open yourself up and run the risk of socializing with the rare, narcissist dick with an ulterior motive, you may just meet some of the most amazing people on Earth. In the absolute weirdest of ways.