BFF Love Fest: 7 Pairs of Besties Share What Bonds Them
I met my friend Sarah eight years ago at a conference after-party, years after I thought the world had stopped handing out best friends to grown women. I shut my hand in a heavy restroom door and cut it — badly. She was walking in when the bleeding started and asked me if I needed help. I said yes, and she stayed to assess the situation. We wrapped it up, laughed about it and went back to the table. I don’t remember what happened next, but I know that she has been there, in many ways and to varying degrees, ever since.
We all need these kinds of connections: strong, supportive bonds that are key to health, happiness — and also killer brunch and housewarming parties, let’s be honest. Sometimes, a particular human connection is stronger than the rest, and you end up with that person who holds the other side of your virtual heart necklace…and maybe even your internet passwords. You get a best friend.
We talked with some pairs of best friends about how they found each other, what made them click and what keeps their relationship strong. Short answer: The other person just gets her — and stays. It’s really important.
Brandi Jeter (@brandijeter) and Amiyrah Martin (@amiyrahmartin)
Brandi on Amiyrah:
I’m not 100 percent sure, but I believe we met online in 2013. I had been following Amiyrah’s blog for a couple of years, and we ended up in the same Facebook group together. We just clicked!
We’re very different in some ways, but we have the same moral foundation. We’re both introverts (although Amiyrah is more social than I am and has really helped me to come out of my shell over the last couple of years), but we both love helping others. It works because we let each other be great and lead but are able to follow in situations where the other is stronger. Plus, we have a similar sense of humor. We love to laugh over the corniest stuff!
My favorite thing about Amiyrah is that she is incredibly authentic. She doesn’t pretend to be anything that she isn’t and is comfortable in her own skin. She inspires all of the folks around her to just be themselves.
The most fun thing that we’ve done together is prepare for and support each other two years in a row for an awards ceremony. The first year, Amiyrah was nominated (and won!) and it was so thrilling to be in our hotel room, getting hyped, crying, overthinking, stressing and trying to breathe together! The next year I was nominated, and Amiyrah returned the favor by setting up our room with an essential oil diffuser and girlfriend support. We have some other stuff planned, too, that’s going to be off the chain, so stay tuned!
There can be so much competition in the blogging world that it can be hard to find real friends. When you find a person that you click with, it’s important to nurture and maintain that friendship. Amiyrah and I do the work. We don’t agree on everything (although we do agree on a lot), and we hold each other accountable when we’re messing up. I trust Amiyrah, and I don’t take the fact that she shares her secrets and dreams with me lightly. That’s my girl!
Amiyrah on Brandi
Brandi and I met online in 2013, but the first time we met in person was during a blogging conference in Philadelphia. I saw her in the elevator and said hello, and my heart started to beat so fast! I had always admired Brandi online, and I guess I was nervous to meet her in “real life.”
I think it’s because we have the same appreciation for life. We enjoy being happy, we are comfortable being a shoulder to cry on for each other and we are able to celebrate the blessings that enter our lives. We also support and push each other when necessary. There are things that Brandi is phenomenal at, but I’m not so great at them. She helps me with those parts of work and life, and I do the same for her. It’s like we were meant to always be each other’s support system, but we needed to become confident women before doing so. It’s a great relationship.
My favorite thing about Brandi is her ability to give through her genius. Brandi is one of the most brilliant women I know, and she uses that brilliance to help others become better people through business or their everyday life. She cares for people, and that shows in everything she does.
So far, I think [the most fun thing we’ve done together] would be our time together during Mom 2.0 Conference. Each year we have attended together, we’ve been in a position where one of us was nominated for an award. As two introverts, you can guess how this would be overwhelming for whoever was in the role that year. We were there for each other, hyped each other up and reminded each other how cool it is to be nominated by the blogging community that we love so much. We also have tons of fun on any dance floor. We can shake it like nobody’s business.
Friends are family that you get to choose. I’ve always felt that way growing up, and as a woman and mother, I know that statement to be true. The reason we get to choose them is because we need to acknowledge that friends are important and that friendship deserves the work and effort you put into it. I love Brandi. She is family.
Amber Dorsey (@fromcarpoolstococktails) and Lori Garcia (@mommyfriend)
Amber on Lori
Oddly enough, we met at school in 2013! Our kids were in the same class for fourth and sixth grade, and we were both sort of the ‘odd mom out’ in that our kids didn’t do sports but we worked in the same space so we spoke the same language. It was such a relief to find another mom friend who got what I did for a living!
We are total opposites personality wise, but we have similar core values that rise up. It also helps she thinks I’m funny, and I KNOW she’s wicked smart. Again, we speak the same language work-wise, so it’s nice to have a friend who’s close by in proximity who understands why you’re looking at your phone all the damn time and doesn’t judge you for it.
She’s quick on the uptake. She likes puns and bad jokes. Also HER SMILE. When she laughs, her eyes crinkle up and sparkle and that makes me keep trying to keep her laughing.
We took a road trip to Arizona for Mom 2.0 in 2015. THAT was a fun experience. We’d never traveled together, so that was new, but it was really fun to have made some cool memories that we will have forever (and the photos to back it up). We laughed and talked until I had no voice left and came away feeling refreshed and excited about our friend goals.
I just love Lori. I don’t feel like I have to have my guard up around her or that she might use what I tell her in confidence against me in anyway. She genuinely cares about her people, and she makes the effort to connect with them however she can. She’s honest, hardworking and wicked smart about so much. I also think she’s more of a badass than she thinks she is and that it’s my job to help her connect with that.
Lori on Amber
We met at our kids’ elementary school. Our oldest kids were in the same class, and she was like, ‘YOU’RE A BLOGGER?! I’M A BLOGGER, TOO!'”
We are the same and opposite in so many ways. Amber says all the things I’m too shy to say out loud, and I love her for it. She is candid, honest and thoughtful always. We also 100 percent agree on our parenting philosophies (and maybe secretly hope our kids will go to prom together one day). Imagine the blog posts!
I love so many things about her, like her boundless energy, spunk and huge, caring heart. She’s effortlessly stylish and badass. On a selfish note, I particularly enjoy it when she tells me my butt looks good in jeans.
Rooming and conferencing together at Mom 2.0 Summit is my favorite thing we have done together so far. She brings me out of my shell!
I am so blessed to have Amber in my life. Her spirit is nothing less than contagious, and I’m braver and wiser for having her as my friend.
Jill Mansfield (@mrschaos) and Sarah Whitehead (@heywildrumpus)
Jill on Sarah
We actually met at church/Sunday School when we were six years old. I was the new kid, and all I remember was being very overwhelmed by all the new faces. I WAS SO SHY. But it’s almost like I walked into a room of built-in friends. (I don’t think that was actually the case. But it felt like it at the time.)
It’s so hard for me to pinpoint the exact thing that makes us tick. Because it’s everything about the collective us. We are the balance. Strengths, weaknesses, good, and yeah, even the not so good. And when the going gets tough, it’s not about if the other person will be there; they already are. When you have known each other and been friends for so long, you have shared experiences that no one else may get. From elementary school to college, from single life to married life (that was short-lived for one of us) to mom life (also not much of a stretch for one of us). All of these experiences have shaped who we are as humans and who we are as best friends.
We have known each other for so long, we joke that we share a brain. We have been through A LOT together, and we have seen one another at our best and at our worst. We are as loyal as we are ridiculous. (We think we’re HILARIOUS — please don’t tell us we’re not.) We are our biggest fans.
Do I have to pick one thing [as my favorite quality of Sarah’s]? That’s like Sophie’s choice! The first things that came to mind are Sarah’s loyalty and her hilarity. She is the person I count on and also the person I count on to make me laugh. Sarah is always on my side, even when I don’t deserve it. That doesn’t mean she always thinks I’m right, — it means she tells me how it is and backs that up with the love and support that makes me feel like I can take on the world. She is the best cheerleader, coach and teammate all rolled up into the best friend I probably don’t deserve. She’s also the funniest. She is one of the best people I know. She’s also one of the most generous people on the planet. (I couldn’t just stick to one thing. I am terrible at following directions.)
Over the past few years, Sarah and I have worked on several projects that have, ultimately, led us to starting a business together. But my favorite thing about all of it is our commitment to putting good out in the world — our commitment to joy and happiness and, hopefully, bringing some light to a world that can feel so dark. We spend an incredible amount of time thinking about how to make that happen and then devoting even more time to actually doing those things. In business, in life, in friendship, it’s all about leaving the world a better place and then sharing that better place with whoever wants to join us. Sarah is the person I call when it’s time to shake things up a bit. (Also, sharing an office is magical. Just in case you were wondering. It almost feels like we’re kids again and pretending to own a business. Except, don’t worry, shit gets real and we remember we actually have jobs in this business.)
I honestly can’t imagine my life without Sarah. Our friendship has been a constant in my life for almost as long as I’ve been alive, so any other scenario is unfathomable. She is my person, my partner-in-crime, my cheerleader, my favorite comedian, my realist and my lucky star. She lets me dream out loud and then tells me to get to work to make it all happen. She also reminds me that all of it is possible and that I’m capable when I feel like it’s not or anything but. We have goals and dreams, and we have the most fun making it happen. I have no idea how we got so lucky, but I try to not dwell on it and just know that we are.
Sarah on Jill
I believe, technically, we met at church in Sunday School Class (which is now so hilarious it almost hurts!). We were seven, and I remember thinking Jill was so pretty. She had a Dorothy Hamill haircut, and girl was rockin’ it. She was quiet and a little timid, and I was loud and overbearing. While Jill has grown out of her mousiness, I maintain my loudmouth behavior.
I think the fact that we are different but the same is what has given our friendship such longevity. We come from REALLY different family lives yet were raised with the same cultural values and pressures. We really understand where the other is coming from because we basically came from the same place. It is wonderful to have a shared history with someone where I’m not always explaining why I act a particular way about a certain thing. It’s incredible having someone who knows you so completely. Also, Jill will call me on my bullshit when it’s needed but she doesn’t judge me. She just says, “Girl! Sit down!” when it’s clear to everyone but me that I need to sit the hell down. Jill has been my soft place to land for decades. She listens without trying to solve the problem, is great at letting you have all the feelings you need to have and then points out what is great about a shitty situation or asks a question that ends up putting everything in perspective. It is incredible to have such a long shared history with someone and still really, really like them. I still think she’s funny! Which is huge! And when I can get her to laugh really hard, well, that’s just the best thing ever. Making Jill laugh remains one of the best things in my life.
I have always admired the way Jill really thinks about things. She isn’t rash and doesn’t make snap decisions (unlike the other person in this friendship). She is thoughtful of other people in such a complete and honest way. The depth of her compassion is unbelievable. Jill doesn’t do things to look good or show the world what a good person she is. Jill does things because she IS a good person, and she doesn’t care at all who notices. She is bursting with integrity, and that is an incredible trait to find in someone. Also, she is always up for going to get nachos. Which is really important to me. Cheese has always played a powerful role in our friendship.
With a friendship that is more than 30 years old, the list of our best moments could get obnoxiously long. So I will stick to our most recent endeavor: We started a social media consultation business, Poppy & Paisley Media, together this year and basically, it’s like we finally had a child at the same time. Our real children are many years apart from each other (I was a late bloomer when it came to marriage and children), so our business is finally like co-parenting on some level. We brought this thing we’d been dreaming about for years into the world and, while it is totally amazing and life changing, sometimes it shits all over the place and just won’t stop crying. I am so glad to have Jill by my side as we do this. Owning your own business is kind of the most insane process ever — and I say that as a person who has owned their own business for almost 20 years — so having her with me as we navigate some uncharted waters is so amazing. The things I am terrible at (read: bookkeeping, answering emails, paying attention to what time it is), she is incredible at! The things I’m good at and my experience owning a business are helpful to her as well (I hope!), so it makes it really fun. Also, sharing an office with her is like a dream come true. If I could go back in time to us sitting in classrooms together 25 years ago and tell 15-year-old us that we would have a cool office and amazing job together…well…no! I wouldn’t go back and say anything! We got here at the right time in the right way. And I love it! I love that we created this business together and are creating awesomeness on a daily basis. It’s literally a dream come true.
Jill is my person. Womb to tomb, ride or die, my person. (And yes, I just quoted Shonda Rhimes A LOT, but she gets it.) Jill is one of the people who has made me who I am. She has molded me as much as my parents and my husband have. She also gets me better than any one of those people. We often joke that we share a brain, and while it’s sort of a joke, it’s one of those funny-because-it’s-true things. Jill is home to me. She knows where I came from, the places I’ve been and believes with her whole heart and soul I’ll get to the places I dream of going. Who could ask for more than that in a best friend?”
A’Driane Nieves (@addyeb) and Scott Lyon (@wonderscott)
A’Driane on Scott:
We “met” online after reading each other’s comments around Facebook (we have several mutual FB friends), especially on Luvvie’s Awesomely Luvvie page. About a month or so after I moved to San Jose, we officially met in person for the first time at a Black Lives Matter rally in the Mission District led by our favorite android Cindy Mayweather, aka Janelle Monae. We finished out the day by going to a free concert she had at The Independent to showcase her Wondaland artists. Lots of dancing (and screaming) and laughs that night.
Our collective pettiness towards other people (laugh) makes our friendship work. In all honesty, I can literally talk to Scott about anything. I only have two friends I can do this with — Scott’s one of them. When my marriage imploded and landed on life support earlier this year, he was the first person I called and was one of two people who really helped me as I walked through the aftermath and recovery process.
We give each other the space and support to just be who we are, and I think we learn about each other and whatever cultural/life issues we’re waxing philosophical on as a result. We have an openness and respect for each other that I cherish.
There are many favorite things about Scott, but I gotta say, his comic book and animation knowledge and how he likes to get to the psychology behind people’s behavior to better understand the “isms” of society.
We love to go see women doing incredible, dope-ass work together. We saw Janelle Monae and Mindy Kaling last year, and this year we saw Beyoncé slay Levi’s Stadium during her Formation World Tour. Not really sure who we’ll see next that will top that, but this is the kind of stuff we do together that I live for.
He’s helped me be a better wife/partner. He’s my dream podcast co-host. I’m hoping we get to collaborate on something creative together, like a comic book or art installation of some kind. At this point, he’s really become a part of my family. We love him.
Scott on A’Driane
We originally met on Facebook. I was already an A’Driane fan from a video of a speech I watched her give at a conference before I started noticing we had many of the same friends. (The small digital world of good people who know good people.) When A’Driane moved from Texas to San Jose, that’s when our love simultaneously cemented and exploded — the first time we met up in person was at a Black Lives Matter rally in The Mission in San Francisco. In the same day, we marched in the streets with Black Lives Matter and Janelle Monae, then went to her concert that night and bought matching “The Booty Don’t Lie” hot pants together.
We didn’t do a “let’s have a coffee” first date. We took a risk and were all in — clearly it was meant to be.”
Radical acceptance, honesty, trust, and laughter make our friendship work. We’re different, yet the same, and it’s glorious. A’Driane is someone I can turn to in times of happiness and crisis, and she’ll support me in both. Her perspective is always valuable and comes from a caring place, but she’s not afraid to call a thing a thing and tell me like it is. She’s strong in the Force that way, and I cherish it.
I love her artwork. Her laugh. Her dedication to social justice. Her HAIR.
The Black Lives Matter rally and Janelle Monae concert were pretty spectacular for two people who had never met, but the Beyonce Formation concert has great significance too. We both love Queen Bey, and it was an honor to see and celebrate her most transformative work to date with an equally transformative friend. (And talk about Bey’s costumes and boots.)
I love you my friend, you inspire me all the time, and, next time I see you, the Little Star Pizza is on me.
Xenia Galaviz (@raisedbyculture) and Ruby Wright (@rubyDW)
Xenia on Ruby
From what I remember way back in 2011, we started following each other on Twitter because we were both attending #BlogHer11 in San Diego, I think! We were both moms and both bloggers. I was in Orange County, and she was born and raised in Orange County but living in New Jersey. So we became friendly and made plans to attend the Newbie Breakfast, and I texted or tweeted her I was on my way in and asked where she was sitting. She stood up really happy and waved for me to come sit with her. There weren’t any set plans that we were going to hang together after that breakfast, but we just clicked. We really enjoyed each other that whole conference — what can I say, San Diego was awesome. It was my first conference, and I had no idea there was money to be made in blogging. Those were the good ol’ days.
Honestly, this might sound cheesy, but it is real AF: I see myself in her. Our struggles with being a mom, wife, parent, friend, woman, in a box, out of the box. It works because I tell her things I want to hear and need to hear. Sometimes you need a homegirl to just listen, and I can do that. I can also give her advice from what I’ve been through. She gives me advice on what she’s been through. We respect each other. We’re open and communicate. Sometimes I have to tell her things she might not want to hear.
I love that she is who she is and she’s good with it. She is body positive and taught me how to be that way too. She’s got good vibes; she cares and loves hard.
I loveeeeeee that we get to meet in different cities for conferences. We both volunteered for BlogHer Food 2014 in Miami. She had been to Miami many times before, but it was my first trip there. I was ready to check out the food and art scene! I booked a South Beach Food Tour and it was really so fun to be with her trying new food (I’m open, she’s a little picky). There was a lot of walking, but she didn’t complain. We saw Art Deco hotels, ate good food and checked out the scene with an amazing local. We also got to check out Wynwood Walls (known for street art). It was really a good time, and we needed a trip like that.
I’ve called other women my best friends, but I really had never had one like Ruby. She has been present almost every day of my life since we met “online” back in 2011. She is good vibes and glitter. She makes me feel good in my skin. I’m weird and quirky and a Leo and mouthy, and she accepts that. That’s my homegirl, and I love her! Thank you, Universe!
Ruby on Xenia
Xenia and I met officially at Blogher’11 in San Diego. Of course, I had already been following her and her blog because she is local to my hometown, The OC!”
Xenia and I are good friends because we are very real with each other. She has helped me grow, and she has been one of the most truthful, authentic and dope friendships I’ve had in all my life. We both make it work because we can count on one another. We also make it a priority to pay our friendship bill!
My favorite thing about Xenia is her go-getter attitude. She’s not only got the hustle and brains, but she’s got swagger to the way she delivers. She’s authentic and real, and once her mind is set on something, there is very little that will ever stop her. I know I can count on her, and I know if she says it can and will happen, all I gotta ask is “Where do I sign up?”
In Miami, we went on a walking tour where we got to drink cocktails, eat delicious food and see beautiful architectural buildings. I was hesitant to go because I don’t like to go on long walks, but it was one of the best trips I’ve had. If it wasn’t for Xenia setting it up and tellin’ me to go, I would have totally missed out on a good time with my bestie!
Xenia and I live almost 3,000 miles apart. Nothing has ever stopped us from supporting each other, finding time to talk and collaborate on projects both in person and online. If it wasn’t for social media, I’m not sure I ever would have met Xenia regardless of her living in my hometown and as often as I visit. I’m so happy we found each other!
Meagan Francis (@meaganfrancis) and Jessica Ashley (@sassafrassjess)
Meagan on Jessica
We first met via the Chicago Moms Blog when I’d just moved to Chicago and didn’t know anyone. Jessica totally intimidated me with her flawless lipstick and stylish shoes — I felt like this frumpy small-town girl and was so awkward around her! It wasn’t until we roomed together (a last-minute, “who else is going to this thing?” situation) at Blissdom in, I believe, 2011 that we became really good friends. It’s funny to think we hadn’t been close before then because all I remember is laughing, over-sharing and feeling like I’d known her forever.
I think we are enough alike and enough different that we always “get” each other while still balancing one another out. Jessica is endlessly compassionate, and I can trust her to give me a thoughtful, heartfelt answer to even the hardest questions, both personal and business. She’s an awesome mom and inspires me with her dedication and mad mom-to-kid communication skills constantly. Also, she is a great brainstormer and the best person to go to if I have a nebulous cloud of an idea (which I do, often) and need someone to help me shape it into something that makes sense. Have I mentioned she’s also an amazing writer who has often brought me to tears with her words? Also, there’s this: Roughly 1/10 of our messages and texts to each other consist of nothing but “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” which also demonstrates how much fun we have together, whether in person or across the miles.
Jessica is so conscientious. It drives me crazy sometimes because I think her dedication to doing the most she possibly can for everyone she involves herself with can mean she neglects her own needs! So I have to turn into the cranky life coach type telling her to take care of herself frequently. But secretly, I think it’s her best quality. She’s also hilarious, which doesn’t hurt.
Jessica was awesome enough to come audition for a Listen To Your Mother production I was co-directing in my community. It was a really special experience, and I’m so glad she was part of it. But, really, I’d say every conference or event we’ve ever been to together — or just grabbing brunch when I’m in town — has been inspiring, fun and special. I’m lucky to know her.
Jessica on Meagan
“I believe we first met through Chicago Moms Blog, and I remember seeing Meagan at a BlogHer and thinking that I’d like to know her better. But we really connected nearly five years ago. I’d just left a big job and decided last-minute to go to Blissdom, and Meagan raised her hand to room with me. It was like the best first friend date ever. We only stopped laughing to delve into deep conversation, as if we’d always been close. It has been exactly like that — but now with more GIFs — since that first conference hotel stay.
Meagan is a truth-teller with a very kind heart. I trust her with my secrets, with the toughest questions and with the person I really am. I love that I can call her and explain a brainstorm or big idea and she will honestly and lovingly tell me if it is a good fit for me. And if it is an awful idea? She can still make me laugh about it. We are not exactly the same, and I think we understand each other really well. Plus, we have the same ridiculous sense of humor, which makes everything better always.
Meagan can dream up a crazy-big idea that’d take anyone else months or years to implement, and she will put it into action tomorrow. She can produce at a dizzying rate. That’s so good for me to watch and admire because I am more of a slow-boil implementer. I love that she leaps in, not just to work, but to life.
Oh! I just remembered having lunch with Meagan and a bunch of other women at BlogHer in San Diego. It was blazing hot and we were having expensive hotel pool bar tacos and margaritas. Meagan broke into gangsta rap and, well, I’ve never cheered on a white girl in SPF70 with a fancy headband so loudly. She’s not bad on the dance floor either.
I had the honor of being cast in the Listen to Your Mother production that Meagan co-directed last year. Sharing that experience of women and men sharing such hilarious, heartbreaking, tender and connecting stories of motherhood was very special. The energy in that room can never be recreated, and I’m so grateful Meagan was right there among my cast mates and family.
Asha Dornfest (@parenthacks) and Christine Koh (@bostonmamas)
Asha on Christine:
We “met” online in 2006 when Christine sent me an email out of the blue. She enjoyed my blog and emailed me to ask a few questions about what went into it. I can hardly believe that this life-changing friendship started with an email conversation between two strangers. It amazes me to this day. We kept in touch for years as our online lives grew in size and scope, and we finally met in person several years later when we roomed together at a conference. By then, meeting each other felt like a technicality — we already knew each other!
If you were to look at our family histories and our approaches to life and work, you’d see that we’re quite different. But on a deeper level, we value the same things. How that plays out in our friendship is that our differences have an uncanny way of complementing each other. I go to her when I need help untangling my thoughts (I tend to overthink things), and she comes to me for big-picture perspective (she is a whiz with details and appreciates that I help her step back). Christine is also one of the best listeners and showers of affection and gratitude. This is a woman who texts me unicorn emojis on a regular basis.
Two of my favorite things about Christine: her ability to consider another point of view and, if it makes sense, pivot and embrace it. She is both confident and open-minded. The other thing I love about Christine is her generosity. She’s always looking for ways to use whatever she’s doing to help someone else or to shine light on someone else’s work or project. Okay, one more thing: I love love love her wicked and rather nasty sense of humor. It cracks me up and surprises me every time.
Considering how close we are, we haven’t spent much time together in person. But we did travel to Ethiopia together with the ONE Campaign in 2012. That was an absolutely remarkable and life-changing experience. As for fun, we record a weekly podcast called Edit Your Life (edityourlifeshow.com) that’s really just a way for us to have a conversation on the calendar every week. It’s so much fun to do.
Some friends just make you better than you could be on your own. Christine has done that for me. If it weren’t for her “let’s do this!” spirit that is somehow both gentle and electric, I never would have gotten back into book writing (we wrote Minimalist Parenting together in 2012) or started a podcast. I’ve learned so much from her about inner strength, discipline, and taking care of yourself. I love this woman so much!
Christine on Asha:
Asha and I first “met” online in 2006. I had just started Boston Mamas and reached out to Asha via e-mail to tell her how much I admired her work at Parent Hacks. She totally seemed like an internet unicorn/rock star so I assumed she’d never get back to me, but she did. And she did so with the warmth and gratitude that I have since learned is a core component of her being. Over the next couple of years, there were a couple of times we were supposed to meet (at media junkets) but plans fell through. We finally met in person at BlogHer 2010 in New York City, where we decided to share a hotel room. It’s totally less sleazy than it sounds.
I’ve been thinking about friendships a lot lately (due to some personal painful things I’m dealing with), and I would say that the strength in Asha’s and my friendship lies in our ability and commitment to being 100 percent open and honest with one another. We’ve developed a level of trust that assumes that we come to our conversations with compassion and love, and that also involves being willing to push back or reality check one another when needed. I’m a big proponent of open communication and have learned that friendships simply can’t survive and thrive unless a two-way street is being traveled.
Asha listens and always responds thoughtfully. You know those people who sort of talk to you but are actually looking around for the next person to talk to? That’s totally not Asha. (Also, I hate those people.) Asha listens with her whole being. I used to not be a great listener. I would say I was more of a reactive listener (as in, preparing my response while the person was still talking. #debateteam), but I think being friends with Asha has helped me become a better listener. It’s such a gift.
Asha and I have done a lot together personally and professionally (we’re best known as work wives for our book Minimalist Parenting and podcast Edit Your Life), but our journey to Ethiopia four years ago with ONE Moms was life-changing. It was an immense gift to experience that trip together — we developed a new lens on global development and human universals with a wonderfully intense sisterhood. Also, if you ever happen to get debilitating food poisoning, Asha is the type of friend/roommate who will rub your back and get you medication and also not complain one bit about the state of the bathroom. #yuck.
It’s unusual to have a person who touches the various dimensions of your life so deeply and wholly. Asha touches my life personally through our friendship and professionally through our book/podcast, but she also will rise up to support other projects I’m working on and is one of a very few “internet friends” who has met my husband and children (Asha and Jon are so well suited personality-wise and get along great, and my kids love her). I guess what would make the circle complete is for Asha to meet my mother.
(Feature photo collage: Erica Hornung/TueNight)
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