My dear friend Julie Wilkes has written a book, The 7 Life Miracles! I will be working through her book and journaling my experiences as I go. For more information on the book and what I intend to do here, please check out THIS POST!
Look for your coach & pay it forward.
When I read the name of Miracle 2, I thought, Nice! I’m all about connecting! I could make friends with a brick wall! This Miracle is going to be MY JAM!!! Well, as it turns out, although both involve connecting with people, Julie’s definition and my definition of “Connect” vary slightly.
When Julie writes about Connecting with people, she means looking for people in my life that have “coached” me through difficult times and served as life examples. “…people will come into our lives to CONNECT with us, teach us, and show us how to be successful on our journey” (Wilkes 29). <– Hey Jules! You just got MLA cited!!!
The assignment for me then is to find people in my life who are challenging me and strengthening me to become the best version of myself possible. This actually wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I work very hard to surround myself with good people that are constantly working to become the best versions of themselves. Watching people grow inspires me to do the same. So yes, it was easy to recognize that there are many people in my life who support my growth, but identifying exactly how they have fostered growth and change became the challenge.
These are 2 of my Life Coaches:
- I know I have written about Amee before, but this entry wouldn’t be complete without mentioning her. In a few short years, Amee has truly become the big sister I never had. She is a beautiful spirit whom I look up to and strive to emulate in many ways. One of the biggest lessons Amee has taught me seems simple enough: Don’t be a jerk. I mean, this shouldn’t even be a lesson! This is just a common sense rule, right?!? Wellllll, I’ve needed some reminding of this rule and Amee has done it with a verbal smack to the back of the head, followed by a reassuring hug. A few years ago (Wow, time has FLOWN!), I was dating this guy, Mike. We would date for a few weeks (I think maybe once we made it past the 1 month count), break up for a few more and then get back together. Through an entire year of this, Amee was by my side for the happy times that Mike and I were together, the frustrating times while we were together, the devastating times when we were apart and finally, the sad, yet also exciting time that we broke up for good. She was happy when I was happy and understood my pain when I was sad. And what did I do to repay her for this kindness? I skipped her birthday party. It may sound childish, but for my group of friends, birthdays are a BIG deal, especially so for Amee, being a FREAKING cancer survivor and all! Here’s what happened: Mike and I were broken up for most of summer 2012, but were spending a lot of time together. At the end of the summer, right around Amee’s birthday, a weekend camping trip had been planned that I figured, if I could get Mike to invite me on, we’d have a blast and end up back together. Well, long story short(er??), that happened, but it came at the cost of missing Amee’s birthday because I put my relationship with Mike ahead of my friendship with her. And her feelings were rightfully hurt. Believe me, I still feel awful about it. I can’t remember any of Amee’s exact words to me about my decision to miss her birthday, but after all was said and done, I had learned my lesson. Guys come and go. Amee will be there forever. But don’t take advantage of that. Love her like the sister she is and don’t be a jerk.
- Side note: One of the reasons Amee is a great coach in my life is because she isn’t afraid to call me out on my bullshit. She’s the first to sing my praises when I’ve accomplished a challenge, but she’s also the first (and sometimes only) to tell me I’m being a jerk, dumb, too sensitive, etc. I think that’s a wonderful quality in a friend, because I might not know that I’m experiencing a growing challenge if no one tells me.
- My friendship with Shelly started off a bit rocky. I met Shelly at my first big-girl, post-college job. We worked at a local campus newspaper. I was the Executive Assistant to the publisher (it sounds WAAAAY cooler than it was) and Shelly was a Graphic Artist/Layout Designer. One of my job duties was payroll every 2 weeks. Why my boss had the person who was paid the least dole out everyone else’s paychecks is beyond me. But it gave me insider information as to who made how much money. And guess whose paycheck was bigger than mine each week! SHELLY! So before I even knew her, I hated her. No, it’s not fair, but I was young and dumb and hadn’t met Amee yet, so I didn’t know not to be a jerk (makes sense, right??). I know that Shelly will ream me if I don’t include this portion of my jerkiness: I was such a jerk that a few of the other staff members and I would go to lunch once a week and I wouldn’t invite Shelly. I know. I was a jerk. Again, I still feel awful about it. Eventually, Shelly and I began talking and discovered that (SHOCKING!) we were both young college grads that enjoyed the same things. I opened myself to her friendship (I know, I’m SUCH a martyr!) and we quickly became best friends. As happens with many friendships, they go through phases of being together 24/7 and seeing each other a few times a month. Last month (as you all SHOULD know! 😉 ) was my birthday. The party was wonderful, but ended in me having WAAAAAY too much to drink (it was an embarrassing, novice move. I accidentally skipped dinner and then gave in to way too many shots). For the past few months, Shelly and I had only been seeing each other maybe once a month. It wasn’t that we didn’t love each other, our schedules were just different. But there she was, at my party, taking care of my drunk ass.
- Shelly’s Heroics include (but are not limited to):
- Alerting me to the fact that it was past time to go home.
- Finding my coat and putting it on me.
- Assigning someone to carry me down the stairs.
- Pulling her car up to the door and tossing me in it.
- Having a plastic bag on hand in the car for any “emergencies.”
- Once home, locating my pajamas and dressing me in them (even though my shirt was on backwards!).
- Assuring me that even though I didn’t have my phone, friends were looking for it.
- The next morning: Arriving at my house with my phone, McDonald’s breakfast and memories to fill in the blanks where I was a little lost.
- Lesson learned: Don’t discount your friends just because they’re not around as much as they once were. It might have been easy to look at my friendship with Shelly and just assume we weren’t as good of friends as we once were and be concerned or even hurt by it, but she showed me otherwise with a delicious Egg McMuffin. 😉
I am blessed beyond words by the people in my life. I could go on and on and on about the lessons they’ve taught me and how they have helped me grow into a woman I am proud to be. But for the purpose of brevity, I will leave it to these beautiful women!
SO WHAT??? How will I make changes to connect with my Life Coaches?
- I will continue to be open to the lessons my people bring into my life.
- In addition to my once-a-week phone date goal I made for my last Miracle, I will also thank 1 person a week for a lesson learned from them.
- Pay It Forward: I will allow myself to be open to others and use my life experiences, both good and bad, to help my friends learn something from me.
Now it’s your turn! What lessons have your life coaches taught you? How can you pay it forward?
“The strongest individuals are the ones who ask for help, offer help, and enjoy the journey of learning with others.” – Julie Wilkes
ALL THE LINKS!!!
- My thoughts on Miracle 1: Embrace HERE!
- Check out everything Julie Wilkes HERE!
- The 7 Life Miracles on Facebook!
- Seven Studios on Facebook!
- Learn about The 7 Life Miracles book HERE!
- Preorder The 7 Life Miracles on Amazon HERE!
- Can’t wait until February 25th?? Neither could I! Check availability at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore and get it now HERE!