Selfcare, Friendcare and Epiphanie Camera Bags.

An Epiphanie Camera Bag just arrived in the mail. The ginger one that I have been coveting for months, but has been on back-order. Epiphanie’s founder, Maile Wilson sent it to me. Not because she thought it would be a good “promotion,” but because she’s my friend. She knows I’ve had a rough year and just said, HERE.

I’ve had a lot of that lately. Friends reaching out and saying, HERE. Not so much material things – but thoughts. HERE. I want to help you. I want to share with you. I want to know you are alright. HERE.

Maile is one of those givers, that’s for sure. Heart of gold. The last time I saw her in person, she was struggling with the balance between HERE and THERE. That place where you have given too much, and you wonder how you sheepishly draw your toe across the sand to hold the line. How to figure out what you need for YOU, versus what you need for THEM.

I personally struggle with that all the time.

For one thing, I am both an extrovert and an introvert. I need time bubbling around people, feeling that wonderful vibe that bounces back and forth when a room is full of good energy. But I also need to retreat, to be by myself, to read a book, watch a movie, to live inside my own head. This is why I almost never room with anyone at conferences, which probably makes me look like a colossal bitch, but trust me – the other side of that coin is really ugly too.

How to find that balance between give and take? Friendship is special, fragile, it takes work. But it also takes boundaries. It takes space. It takes knowing someone, and trusting their faith in you. Just like Maile did when she shared her struggles with me that day *and* when she reached out to me and said, HERE.

How do YOU manage your self-care and your friendships?

This article has 15 comments

  1. FireMom

    I’m hoping my friends understand my ebbs as much as my flows… as I try to understand theirs. Sometimes things get sticky, but the relationships that work come back to good in the end.

  2. Anonymous

    oh my. I love you. That is all. And I love what Rachel said too. I’m so glad the internet introduced me to you, and her, and to so much goodness. Could go on for days about what you’re talking about here too. Hope to see you soon friend. xo maile

  3. Everyfann

    Lovely post! It really is all about balance!

  4. Crunchy Green Mom - Suzanne B.

    I am the same way Aimee, I have times when I want to be around everyone then I crawl into my shell (I am a Cancer) and want to be alone to read and self reflect.

    There is no shame in any of it. Be you, the you is someone we all adore!

  5. J at

    Oh, you’re so very right. That line in the sand is crucial. I would never draw it for a true friend in true need. But defining that is a skill, because so much of what people want from us is to help them promote their business or tell people about what they have to offer. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, but it’s not of the same level as, “My mom died, and I need you to come with me and help me have a garage sale to get rid of her excess stuff, because there’s no room at my house for it.” That’s important. That’s what my dear friend did for me.

  6. Momo Fali

    I’m not managing it very well right now, I can tell you that much.

  7. rachel (sesame ellis)

    both you and maile are kind and generous and beautiful souls. and i am glad that the internet introduced me to both of you.

  8. amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay

    I love you. I think it is just trusting that the ebb and flow is ok and we get it. We get it if we truly love one another. xo

  9. zenrain

    Same here. I need lots of “me” time, but I am very happy to be getting some “you” time in a couple of weeks!

  10. shoutingforha

    I am a lot like you. For me the key is finding the right balance between spending time with friends or hiding out by myself. Sometimes I’m really good at keeping things balanced, other times I’m not. I find that I suffer the most when I get too busy trying to please everyone else.

  11. Sizzle

    I prefer not to room with anyone for the exact same reasons. People take me for an extrovert (which I am mostly) but I can’t be “on” all the time. I need to be alone & regroup or else I start to claw people’s faces off. (Not pretty.)

    I was just talking about this balance thing in therapy last night. I’m getting better and better at drawing the line and it feels good even when it feels uncomfortable because it is new to me. I have just realized that I can’t fix people or rescue them but I can listen and take care of myself. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we won’t have much to give. I also think gestures of “I’m here” go a long way and don’t cost much emotionally or materially.

  12. zipper

    I always overplan myself and then get all crazy. It’s hard not to when there is so many fun things to do. But you are right, time for yourself is important.

  13. Stacy (bklynstacy)

    Life is so hard sometimes. I think about all the women I got to see and feel in person (well, not in *that* way) at Mom 2.0, and how many of us are swimming in this raging river called life as fast as we can and still drowning just a little. But somehow, being able to share the yelps for help matters so much. I’ve been sad, in a bit of a cave, struggling, wishing I had more in-person friends, and everytime I read these kinds of posts, I am buoyed up by remembering that we all swim, struggle, frolic, get pulled underwater, splash and laugh all together. I can come up for air, exhale, and say, “Okay, let’s begin again.”

  14. Mixtape Jones

    I relate to this so much.

  15. Julie {Angry Julie Monday}

    I love you and Maile too much. I find it hard to manage all my friendships because it seems every group of friends knows a little part of me. I think my best friend, and my blogging friends actually know me more than most of the people that I see every day.

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