I believe I am starting to figure out this whole living life to the fullest thing. No, seriously. I'm starting to get it, finally. Perhaps my late night surfing of Pinterest, searching for the right quote to express my happy/sad/disappointed/romantic/fired-up emotions over this year has finally started to take its proper effect. I credit the inspirational quotes only somewhat facetiously (I am a complete romantic mush-head as many of you know all too well) because in fact, some of those lines of inspiration have stuck in my mush-head brain, specifically, the ones about surrounding myself with people who make me a better version of myself.
I have had the fortune of meeting some amazing professionals in my line of work, especially recently. With my career status change from "middle management worker bee" to full on "lady boss" I have had the privilege of meeting and befriending trial attorneys from all over the country who are excited for my new adventure and have pledged their support. From Texas to Michigan to Tennessee and Illinois, I know if I have a question about anything these men and women will be on the other end of the phone line helping. And the best part is, they are super amazing humans in addition to being skilled trial attorneys.
Like me, they believe that we all rise together, have a responsibility to stand up to injustice, and that our main objective is to help our clients recover from and cope with their serious injuries. I've found some lawyer kindred spirits who inspire me to have the courage to do what my partner and I are doing. It's a brave new world and it's nice to know there are people out there cheering us on.
I'm especially honored and proud to be friends with other lady boss lawyers who have been paving the way for me for years. I'm late to the party, but I brought more booze ladies! I'm grateful for these professional cheerleaders who have unending, wise advice that I am happy to accept. (Especially the advice about the office wine-fridge; noted!)
Certainly, my lady boss partners, both in my new law firm, Fraser Cerra, and my consulting firm, Full Court, are kindred spirits, and I know they have made me a stronger person this year. At the very least, they have suffered through what probably seemed like endless venting sessions to remind me at the end that "better times are ahead" and to get my head back in the game. Yes and yes! I'm re-focused and ready to roll.
Then there are my emotional kindred spirits - those people who I know I can lean on when I'm watching my life get flushed down the toilet. The kind of friends who hold your hair back even though they're the ones puking. Because of them, I aspire to be a better friend when I'm called into action. They talk you off the ledge because they have been there too. They just get me and they're candid and real. These are priceless life partners who maybe I don't thank enough for their love, advice and text-message check-ins when they know I may be having a rough time of it. It's amazing how much better I feel from just seeing a "how are you doing?" text from one of these ladies.
Also, in this group are the ladies with whom I share dance. We don't dance because we think we are ready for Radio City or think we will be cast in the next Bruno Mars music video. We dance because it gives us a chance to be vulnerable with ourselves and one another. Dance gives us a chance to not only bond as women and friends, but as creative artists. Each of us has a chance to interpret and express our lyrical number calling upon our personal experiences - whether it's joy or love or heartache - and offer it up on the stage. Every Tuesday, I'm able to "shake it off" when something is bothering me (which had been all too often this year) or just listen and offer my encouragement.
This year, our lyrical dance was choreographed to the song "You've Got Friend" - a famous and beautiful song written by Carole King and made famous by a number of artists including James Taylor. "You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again..." Could a song be more apropos for our group of women? Each of us shares our triumphs and struggles on Tuesday nights. The phrase "Listen to this," prefaces both good news and our "airing of grievances." We all love each other and support each other.
So thank you Pinterest motivational quotes! I've done what you've asked; I've surrounded myself with energy giving, kind and compassionate people who swoop in behind me and refuse to let me fall. Living my life to its fullest potential requires these loving relationships. While I may not need other people to make me happy (according to Pinterest again), the people who have entered my life, especially this year, are doing just that. Every so often, I hit a mental and emotional rut and I believe the world is ending. Shocker - it hasn't. And it's a combination of the support of all of the wonderful friends in my life who help me realize that.
To my lady boss friends, my Red Hot Mama dance friends, my attorney friends, my new adopted family, my running friends, thanks for the love. And when you need it, I'll be there too.
"Winter, spring, summer or fall. All you have to do is call and I'll be there. You've got a friend."