We continue our theme around female relationships with this touching piece from Mahri Relin. Mahri reflects on what it means to let go and really lean on her friendships.
My female relationships have always been important to me, but never more than in the past year. I had one of those years that put some big things into perspective, both on a personal and professional level. I had to make big decisions, end certain paths I had taken for a while, and look at some important parts of my life in a different way. My female friends were crucial to me through all of that — and I can’t thank them enough for every little thing I experienced with them. What they may not have realized, though, is that the way I leaned on them was new. And the things I learned through that new way of connecting changed me completely.
I have always valued my female friends tremendously. I love helping my friends the best way I can. I will do ANYTHING for them and truly welcome any chance I can get to help them feel better when they are struggling. I have also always thought of myself as an “open book,” eager to share my experiences and open up about things that worry or bother me. I have also seen myself as someone who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and ask for advice.
But when it comes down to it, I only ask for so much. In fact, I ALWAYS worry about asking my friends for too much — too much of their time, support, advice, tolerance of my issues. I get to the point where I decide I need to back down and deal with things on my own. After all, I don’t want to be “that friend” who tries their patience and ultimately sounds like a broken record.
This year was a turning point — and I feel the need to share this – because I learned that my friends could be so much more for me. And they wanted to be so much more. I had several moments this year when I called them way too late and way too many times and I asked for way too many things. At least that’s what I would have believed any other time in my life.
However, EVERYONE came through. I had friends there for me in a deeper way than I believed I deserved. And of course it never occurred to me that I would have done the same thing for them in a heartbeat. I just never thought this was something I could ask to receive for myself.
For all of us who are Type A, take-care-of-ourselves types who think we need to be rocks and stoic pillars — stop it!! What I believe lies underneath much of that is the worry that we can’t ask for too much help from others. But the very essence of what I learned this year is that it’s totally ok to ask — and that all of my amazing girlfriends who listened and were there for me did so with amazing generosity. I am blown away by them and grateful to have such great people in my life.
And maybe I have underestimated female relationships in general. Your girlfriends are THERE! Use them fully, ask for what you need, lean on them when you can. They are there for you for the long haul when so many other relationships and circumstances are transient. I certainly know I feel the same way about helping and being there for them. In fact it makes me happiest when I can be helpful and make someone feel better, even for an afternoon. I just never realized how much my girlfriends truly wanted to do the same for me.
To those of you who know who you are – Thank you so much!!! xoxo
Mahri Relin is the founder of Body Conceptions. As a former professional dancer, Mahri Relin danced in New York City and around the world for over 12 years. It was through dancing and performing that Mahri discovered she also had a passion for fitness and maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.