You Can't Buy It
The first time our baby got sick, we didn’t know what to do. The best advice came from friends with older kids. They put us at ease when we were about to explode with anxiety. They would assure us, “you aren’t going to break the baby.”
Now our fragile little babies are all grown up, a pair of kick-ass, resilient young adults. We made mistakes, learned from most of them, and gained perspective. We did well enough that I decided to write a book about Positive Psychology to help other moms and dads who were burning out.
We don’t give ourselves enough credit for our hard-earned experience.
When you do finally claw your way to the other side of a crisis, you feel like you just barely made it and survived by the skin of your teeth. You may even think it was dumb luck.
We don’t claim what we have earned.
We certainly don’t recognize it as… Wisdom.
And this goes double for my female-identifying friends.
For every woman who learns how to take better care of herself,
there are five more staring at the lapsed gym membership card on their keychain.
For every woman who finds her way to a career that feeds her soul,
there are cubicles full of people at an office that is turning toxic.
For every woman who puts together a network of support for housework and childcare,
there are a hundred women who feel like they never stop working.
Until you solve it, every challenge looks like a locked door with no handle.
Your bad day can be a good story that helps someone else.*
You are sitting on experiences that would be useful to someone a few spots back in the game of life. Think about the challenge you dealt with for the last six months, the one you just finally worked your way through.
What would have helped you at that point, six months ago? For me, it helps me to know people who got through it. It expands the possibility that I can succeed, too.
Most of us need to figure these things out ourselves. We don’t need someone to tell us what to do. We just need the time and energy to work it out in our own way.
But the emotional struggle, the highs and lows we manage as we rise to the challenge, is something that we don’t need to sit alone with.
That’s why I am launching a mentoring group in May: to connect women in need with women who have been there.
To create that bridge where you can give, and receive, the support you need while you figure out your next chapter, I need your help to connect women in need with great mentors.
Do you know a woman who would be a great mentor?
Do you know a woman who needs some support?
This is a call for femmes (a more inclusive term to invite all female-identifying people) who want to honor their hard-fought successes ...and failures... by offering to support others.
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* bad day>good story was inspired by the new song “100 Bad Days” from AJR, a band made up of three brothers:
“I wrote a song that no one knows.
I played a show and no one showed.
Oh my God, I felt so alone, lucky me.
When all is going wrong and you're scared as hell,
What you gonna do? Who you gonna tell?
Maybe a hundred bad days made a hundred good stories.
A hundred good stories make me interesting at parties.”