A theme throughout this series has been the support I have received from my friends. While I am the one who writes the words, the encouragement my friends have offered in the form of texts, e-mails, comments on my blog or Facebook page, and phone calls have fueled my writing. I don't know that I would have been as successful in achieving my goals without my cheering section. I suppose I would have been, but I am certain that I've struggled a lot less because of their support.
The following text exchange is one of my favorites throughout my Astrid “page done”daily texts to Dan:
Me: Page done.
Dan: Good Morning!!! Gj on page. More proud of you everyday. Go forth and kick some ass today.
Me: The world would be such a better place if every human got a text like that every morning. I am super lucky. Thank you.
I have heard the words “Proud of you” more in the past year than ever before. Those words are powerful. I was aware that teachers, parents, and other influential adults might say these words to children, but I was less familiar with the idea of peers saying the words to one another. I have a special peer group. They have taken to saying these words to me regularly and for a variety of achievements. “Proud of you” carries more weight when uttered by a peer than an authority figure because, well, the teachers/parents/adults in our lives are “supposed to” offer that encouragement. It feels completely different when it comes from a friend.
Because of the powerful effect these words have had on me, I now look for appropriate opportunities to share the same words with others. I don't want to say or hear it too often, but a “proud of you” every once in a while, feels so good. I pay more attention to my friends as they parent, as they pursue their own dreams and passions, and as they do the hard stuff of life. And when appropriate, I send a “proud of you” their way.
We all deserve a cheering section in our lives. Those people whose love and support say, “I know achieving this goal is hard, but it's the good kind of hard. Keep at it! I'll be cheering you on as you go. It will feel so good when it's complete.”
I know firsthand how valuable that support is, and I am committed to being that cheerleader for my friends.