Friendship as an Accomplishment + Finding Your Own Accomplishments

I cannot believe it’s been 3 weeks since my last post. The traveling really took it’s toll I guess! It’s hard to maintain personal projects while you’re on flights, celebrating birthdays, and working really hard for the day job. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for awhile so now seemed like a great time to do it. Getting back to the roots of the blog after a long hiatus.

A few months ago I tasked myself with trying to find my accomplishments. It can sound silly but we’re so wired to look for the negatives that we don’t often pause to properly celebrate our achievements. Success is met with an “Ok, what’s next” mindset, while we spend days and weeks ruminating over our failures and messes. I took my personal challenge as a way to reframe “accomplishment”. I decided to look outside of professional accomplishments (because, let’s be honest, I could probably be doing better) and look at my personal and emotional accomplishments.

One of the things I recognized about myself is my ability to maintain and nurture friendships. I have a large circle of friends spanning the GLOBE (truly) and I manage to keep in touch with everyone, check in on them, help them through trying times, travel to see them, and attend their weddings. I never stopped to think about how this makes me special.

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I put A. LOT. of time and effort into these relationships. I schedule, I text, I call, I check-in, I physically show up. It’s exhausting but I can’t imagine my life another way. Though it seemingly comes natural to me, I’ve been calling it my greatest accomplishment to date. And I am here tooting my horn about it because I am proud. I am proud to be called a best friend by many. Every friendship is different and has its own special subtleties. I love that exploration.

Once I realized what a huge impact I was making on other people’s lives and what an insane amount of dedication it has taken to keep these friendships living and breathing, I let go of some of my gripes about my professional life. Like being 31 and unpublished. (Yikes.) I realize now that I was putting all of my time into these friendships. I could have very easily hermitted away and come up with a lot more writing. But that’s not what I did. And I am beginning to become more okay with that as I reframe these relationships as accomplishments. Not every win comes with a medal and your name in the paper.

(That said, I really do need to work more on balance. I tend to drop everything for my friends to my own detriment. I need to practice some self care there.)

I am suggesting to all of you to reframe aspects of your life as accomplishments. It’s very easy to look at something and make it a negative (I spent my twenties being social instead of writing). It takes guts to see it for what it really is (I love being around people and that’s important to my life). And it serves you to see it as an accomplishment (I have a wide circle of friends I care about and who care about me.)

Take some time to reflect on the things you think are failures or negatives and see if you can find the positives in them. And this homework assignment isn’t about making stuff up! Most of the time, the things you struggle with, truly do have a positive side. We’re just not trained to see it all of the time. Retrain that brain.

And, hey, it’s okay for your accomplishments to be different than your perceived goals. In fact, the things that come naturally to us are what make us each special. Embrace it. I look forward to hearing about your achievements and how unearthing them makes you feel!

 

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