"It is said that 8 means the creation of new order or the beginning." --Nikkipanache
This past weekend I attended Appalachian State University's homecoming with seven other women.
I often hear women complain about how they don't make friends easily with other women or how they have a string of Stephen King-like tales of shady women-friends. And it all sounds terrible. And I get it. But I believe that you have to be weary of people, in general, have faith, and try to live the best life possible. I know that sounds like unicorns and rainbow fairy tales to you right now. You're probably thinking: "How Sway?! When there are real-life monsters out there!" I understand your grief as I enjoy Sword and Scale podcast and know that everyday monsters are real. Apparently, we are among 2 billion un-triggered sociopaths. Listen to the podcast. Don't quote me on that.
But back to this girls trip. It was amazing. We all got along. We are a dynamic group: one teacher, an attorney/teacher, a coordinator, sales executive, healthcare counselor, an athletic director, another counselor and myself. We had a difference of opinions on different subjects, but we all agreed that a good time required laughing, dancing, singing, timely coordination (which we failed at the entire trip--LOL) and lots of food and cocktails. It was harmonious. It was bonding.
We stayed peacefully in a cabin on the mountain; a cozy cabin that smelled of cedar. It had three sleepers, a loft, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a hot tub, two fireplaces, and a wrap-around patio.
Oh, sidetone: I picked up some palo santo sticks and homemade soap (Nigerian and Fireside) at Dancing Moon, a store on King Street. I shopped there while in undergrad for incense, natural herbs, and other fun stuff. No; I never purchased the witchcraft books. This store has been around forever, and it is simply one of my favorite stores. So I just had to share it with the girls.
But I digress.
In all, we created some great memories and simply enjoyed one another. And I say all of this to give you a recipe of success ... on how women can get along with other women on a trip ... or just in general. While the lesson seems remedial, it's going to be helpful to someone. So let's get right to it.
1. Respect: The circles of women about which I roam are of women who have a general respect for humanity and for other women. They share a great appreciation of life and for the next person. Sometimes having respect means letting someone have their moment of grief, happiness, joy, sorrow, whatever without interjecting your own personal opinions, competitive spirit, or yourself (basically). Let people be who they are. When you are ok with yourself, you can be completely ok with others being themselves.
2. Keep Your Judgments to Yourself: No one's life is picture perfect. People make mistakes all the time. I find that if there's a difference of moral compass or opinions, it's more helpful to seek understanding than to begin to draw a stark contrast of who you are against who they are. For example, if a woman tells you something personal about herself that doesn't necessarily sit quite right with your spirit, seek understanding through questioning (no deposition). Like my mama said, "if you ain't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all." The same holds true with this saying: "If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all." This goes back to respect and not injecting yourself in the mix. "Everything ain't about you, Sis!"
3. First, Compassion. But Don't Take Them Home with You: You can be nice to people all day long and be decent. And your niceness doesn't have to lead to complete friendship. Kindness costs you nothing. I think we're missing compassion amongst women, and this missing element frustrates human connection. Figure out how to tap into into this if you haven't already. I had to work on my delivery. My delivery would be dressed up in expletives and fast talking. Now, I just add a soft touch through choice of words. It's a skill. It can be developed. Be cautious, folk will see your compassion as an invitation to a friendship. If you're like me, you've run out of capacity to handle just another friendship, so you have to be clear with people/women when you say, "I'd gladly be your acquaintance, but I have more than enough people to love on right now." Ok; don't say that, but figure out a way. I just tell people: "I can't take on any more friends, but we can be cool." I'm still filling my cup, so no apologies there.
4. Spring from a place of positivity because HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE. It's simple. If you're hurting about something or in a difficult place (harvesting bad energy), ask yourself if what you're about to say is coming from a positive or negative place. I mean ... just slow down your reaction.
Having had a good time this past weekend, we will do another "For Colored Girls Retreat" as our homecoming trip next year. It is invite-only. But I encourage you to start your own. But you cannot use the name, best friend said so! LOL.
In sum, the number eight in this case symbolizes the beginning of a retreat worth having every year. You need your girlfriend-only rituals. It makes the bond stronger.
That's it. Now go out and practice. Be positive, transparent, but not naive. And furthermore, be blessed. This is a how you BEYT all the goodness in life, generally. BEYT shirts loading soon.
P.S. I think the next post will be about how I was nearly stabbed in a workplace.