Be Smart, Be Brave, . . .And Don’t Take Any Shit

The above statement paraphrases a Kelly Cutrone quote. I adore the quote. I stumbled upon it several years ago when I was not in the best place but very much trying to figure out who I wanted to be. I had been spending time trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be and living life mostly to appease others. My happiness had become dependent on the opinions of other people.

Many of these people only wanted what was best for me. They wanted me to happy and safe, secure and stable, and all the little things that go into making your life look a sitcom. However, that definition of ‘happy’ just did not seem to suit me. Trying to create and embody this perfect life and please others contributed to me being miserable and not taking care of myself in many ways. I sacrificed my needs and wants to make sure others thought I was making the right decisions and moving forward the right way in my life.

After some key components of my life crumbled my misery became apparent to some. I couldn’t even identify what made me happy any more. So much of myself got buried under the idea of who I was supposed to be that I had stopped being me.

And then POOF . . . friends . . . and a therapist . . . and so much happened. The relationships I forged during this span of time continue to be some of the strongest friendships in my life. Some were brand new some developed into much more meaningful relationships, but these WOMEN these glorious women surrounded me with love, support, encouragement, shoulders to cry on, ears to vent to, distractions, escapes. . . they reconnected me to my sense of self, allowed me to revel in what made me happy, challenged me to make myself happy even when that pursuit was difficult, called bullshit when necessary, and allowed me fully discover who I am and who I can become.

I still turn to these women for basically everything. We have shared secrets, smiles, tears, fears, dreams, music, books, and lots of adult beverages. I have learned that even as our lives change us we are always there for each other. I have learned that I cannot please everyone but those who truly care will respect my decisions and celebrate my happiness with me even if they do not fully understand my decisions.

I have learned standing up for myself though hard at times is 100% worth it because compromising who I am serves no one. I learned the value of friendships new and old during this phase of my life. I learned my family will always love and support me even when they think I have lot my mind. I learned the difficult conversations often lead to the most valuable outcomes. I learned to be strong and brave and take no shit (but don’t be an asshole). Move forward even when it is hard. Take responsibility. Be fierce. Seek your joy. be-smart-be-brave



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