I used to take NyQuil to fall asleep on the days I didn’t pass out drunk. I was at my rock bottom and I was too anxious to sleep. This was my reality 4 years ago. I was simply surviving until spring break would bring me back home. Home meant family. Family meant Ali and I knew I needed her. During that week off my little sister Ali saw a me that I couldn’t and loved me to my core. Both my sisters always have but something about Ali’s joy and confidence became the rope I grabbed as she pulled me out of a pit.
Do you have a little sister? Or maybe a close friend that feels like family? My older sister may get upset I’m posting about Ali because that’s how sisters are. We always want to be the favorite. But I think I get a hall pass today because today is Ali’s birthday.
Everyone needs a friend like Ali and here’s why: she inspires transparency. I’ll be honest when I’m away from her for a while and we reunite–it takes me a few days to adjust to her presence. It’s that big. She is loud, never apologizes for who she is, and ignites the room. Her personality is magnetic. Do you have a friend like that? You need a friend who’s confident enough to be herself because faking it is exhausting. And vulnerability is always met with vulnerability. Maybe not at first but it always wins in the end.
We all have places that demand we perform in some way shape or form. It is so important for our souls to create a support system where we can rest in honesty. Growing up with a sister like Ali influenced my friendships in so many ways and I’m just now realizing it. We all have that one friend we see the rest of them through. My favorite friends I am making in my adult life are the ones with Ali-like qualities (minus the volume 😉 ). My sisters have impacted so much of who I am today and I don’t want to take them for granted.
So think about your friends like Ali. The friends who bring the honest you to the table and leave you feeling filled to overflowing. Cherish those friends and remind them you’re grateful. Pass this along to your Ali and let this inspire the friend you are to others. Are you creating an atmosphere where people can be themselves or is your perfectionism leaving you lonely? I hit my rock-bottom 4 years ago because I was living 2 lives. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I was too cool for anyone who wasn’t like me. That “too cool for school” attitude lost me a lot of great friends.
I’m convinced change, vulnerability, and genuine friendships all start with us. So take it day by day. Give yourself permission to be you and don’t apologize for decisions you make because of who you are. Then wait and watch as you free the people around you to do the same.