It’s not something I do normally, get deep and philosophical on this blog. Sure, sometimes I agonize over sort-of-big decisions (like, “should I get a new apartment?“) but things like that don’t mean much in the long run.
Yesterday’s pot on Girl’s Gone Child entitled “Be Your Own Best Friend” really inspired me. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past couple years thinking about what it means to befriend yourself. I distinctly remember sitting at work two years ago reading an article about bullying and realizing that for my formative years, I was my own worst bully.
Your skin is a disaster. You’re not creative enough. You are only a “second-string” friend. Your teachers probably don’t even remember who you are. Your taste in music isn’t cutting-edge enough. You don’t care about the world’s problems enough.
I don’t really remember when I came up with the title for my blog, My Friend Staci, and for a long time I’ve gone back and forth between thinking it’s brilliant (when other people use the title when talking about me/the blog, it’s brilliant) or stupid (it’s a bit clunky, and when I talk about it or refer to it, it’s kind of awkward). In a moment of clarity I realized, though, that I can and should be my own friend, and while it doesn’t make it any less awkward to have my own name in my blog title, I’ve decided that I do like it after all.
What do you do for your friends? Support them, encourage them, compliment them, give them advice, spend time with them… shouldn’t these be things we do for ourselves regularly as part of our self-care?
Your sales numbers were really good today. I think that recipe you tried from Bon Appetit will turn out better next time. I like your shoes. Go ahead and stay in on Friday night, you could use the rest. You have good taste in books. You look nice today.
When you think about it… is my blog really me? In some ways, yes, but in other ways, no. I share my home here, when my camera cooperates. I share things I’m into, and what I’m thinking. If you follow me on social media you get even more tidbits; I love sharing pictures on instagram or thoughts on twitter. What you don’t see is the mess in my bedroom closet (it’s like a game of Tetris in there) unless I decide to let you see it. You don’t see how many stalemates my husband and I get into about who took the dog down three flights of stairs last time… and therefore who should take the dog out at 2 am. You don’t see my missteps unless I want you to. So my blog is my best me.
Sometimes I feel like there are two of me–the optimist and the pessimist. It has taken years of practice to let the optimist win out the majority of the time. The pessimist is still there but I’m learning that she keeps me realistic but doesn’t have to hold me back. The optimist is My Friend, who encourages me to keep going even though I only blog once a week these days. Who knows that tech issues are annoying but I should just keep pushing through anyway, and who reminds me to take a personal day when I have a blog post I “need” to be working on but I just worked five long days on my feet at my retail job.
I hope this post resonates with a few of you. At some point, I felt like I was just rambling, and this little essay of sorts does not in any way fit the “beginning, middle, end” English class formula. It’s more like beginning, middle, and ellipsis…..
I like to try to be, whenever possible, My Friend, Staci. Have any thoughts? Are you a friend of yourself or a bully to yourself?
8 thoughts on “My Own Best Friend”
Love your reflection here, Staci.
I’ve never thought about being my own friend! But I guess it makes sense right? Definitely ties into self-love and being comfortable in your own skin. I’ve tried to embrace more of that as I’ve gotten older, but it’s hard. Those internalized lies about ourselves are hard to get rid of.
They ARE hard to get rid of. It takes a lot of re-training to replace negative thoughts with good ones!
I really liked this post. I very much need to try harder to be my own friend. I could very easily have written the first blurb myself.
Thanks. It’s so easy but so unhelpful to tear ourselves down!
As little kids we’re taught to treat everyone the way that we’d like to be treated. But over time we learn to treat ourselves poorly for whatever reasons. But the truth is that we have to treat OURSELVES the way we want other people to treat us. You know? What would you do if someone told you, “Your skin is a disaster. You’re not creative enough…” You’d probably not call that person again. But we talk that way to ourselves all of the time.
I recently started seeing a therapist and one of the most beneficial exercises that she has given me to do is to recognize when I’m telling myself things that are either unhelpful or untrue. And then I assess the situation and write it all out. Write out the way I feel physically, what are the untrue or unhelpful thoughts, and then what are more helpful things to focus on? I feel like it’s so cheesy but it works for me.
And for what it’s worth, I can understand how it might be weird to talk about your blog with this name. But I loooove it. I think you’re totally clever.
I was sitting in church a couple of years ago and thinking about “love your neighbor as yourself,” and realizing if I hate myself, how can I fully show love to my neighbor?
Give yourself a high-five for everything you do! I for one, love your blog name and whenever I reference you I chuckle in my head that I’m saying “my friend Staci”. Great reflection, we need to learn to be nicer to ourselves. We wouldn’t tell our friends they are slobs for sleeping in on a Tuesday, so why do we tell that to ourselves?
Thanks. Yes, I am trying to balance the line between “motivating myself to be responsible” and not being too hard on myself.