Lately Ive felt untethered.
Not in a good way (yay middle school! untethered life! freedom!), but in a fashion which results in my feeling unmoored or free-floaty.
(I know. I got the degree. I still use my own language rather than the DSM’s.)
I’ve accepted this is how I feel right now.
I’ve attempted to embrace the sense of uncertainty.
I’ve focused on creating a backdrop of calm in these moments between what was and what will be.
For the most part my approach works
Sure, it’s a day-to-day affair, but I lean on my people, use my First Aid Kit, and lick my forearms.
For fleeting moments throughout my days I have a sense of feeling unfettered, yet the majority of the time I’ve succeeded in feeling…fettered.
A nascent sense of choosing to create new ties and happily tethering myself to new places and ideas.
The other day, as so often happens in my world, a friend made a seemingly innocuous remark which shifted my thinking in the most fantastic of ways.
You are the perfect wing-woman.
The term, a tweak on the idea of wingman which originated in the piece of cinematicwonderment known as Top Gun, is typically used in reference to dating.
My friend, however, meant it in an entirely different new way. She used it in its original fashion (pilot who supports another in dangerous flying environments) with a modern-day twist.
She saw me as wingwoman serving to support in this crazy, precarious thing called life.
Fruport. Friend support.
A wingwoman stands beside us as we fight through uncertainty and attempt to figure out who we are and where we’re going. Our wingwomen, more than even romantic partners, believe in us and possess unflagging confidence in our abilities to succeed. Because they have no other vested interest in our thriving (not family. not life-partners.) they’re able to be cheerleaders without hesitation. Even past wingwomen with whom we are no longer friends have lingering impacts on us in extraordinarily positive ways.
Early wing-women shape who we become.
We all need a tribe. We all need a wingwoman.
Consider how you see yourself. Think about all your positive traits and ‘gifts.’ Ponder the various ways you’ve learned/realized you possessed these terrific traits. Our early wingwomen shape who we grow to become. This is a fact which can be easily forgotten in this era of mean girls and cyberbullying.
As Jim Rohn famously said: We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. We’re tremendously influenced by the relationships we hold most dear. Wingwomen during our formative years impact the way we think, the decisions we make and, most importantly, how we perceive ourselves.
Reality check and fresh perspective.
Words cannot capture emphatically enough how I treasure and value honesty from my wingwomen . These same women, in return, appreciate my unflagging honesty, too. What we share with each other is always phrased in the most gentle of terms, but we arrive bearing the truth.
A wingwoman realizes it’s easy to respond to questions/situations by simply telling the other person what she wants to hear. Wingwomen are committed and caring enough to realize loving honesty offered at proper times is precisely what’s necessary to encourage positive change.
Wingwomen show up (literally or metaphorically), listen, consider what we’ve shared, and are prepared to offer stark new perspectives when required. Even (and perhaps especially) when they know it may not be what we want to hear.
Connection and stress reduction.
Whether one or many, we all live longer when surrounded by friends.
Not only do wingwomen offer companionship; they help us navigate our lives. Wingwomen serve as sounding boards. We discuss, debate and bounce our craziest ideas off them and, as a result, find our way to solutions. Wingwomen are as invested in the successes of our lives as we are. When we find our perfect wingwoman she truly is licking our forearms in human form.
Kick us out of our comfort zones.
Wingwomen refuse to let us stagnate. They may allow us a few meditative moments safely ensconced in our comfort zones, yet they are also the first to crouch behind us and shove us from our safe spaces.
While I’ll confess to hoping mine never actually utters the words: Nothing good happens in the comfort zone! a quality wingwoman recognizes a well lived life requires growth. She nudges us forward even when we’re not convinced we’re ready. Our wingwomen demand movement from us because they believe in our capabilities and potential.
Aristotle once said:
“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”
“Without a wingwoman no one would choose to live, even if she seemingly possessed everything else.”
- Do you have a wingwoman? Do you need one?
- Do you remember the movie Top Gun?
Allie saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 4:48 am
Your words about even wing women who are no longer friends have a lasting impact is SO true. That and really this entire post resonates with me. I have very few whom I would consider my “wing women” and one of them severely disappointed me recently. Women’s relationships can be complicated (which I hate) but I definitely cannot live without them.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 7:06 am
How many times this has happened to me! I can count the number of women who have “dumped me” on one hand, yet the hurt lingers. I agree with you though, I definitely cannot live without my wingwomen.
Pamela Hernandez saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 6:12 am
I need one!
MCM Mama Runs saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 6:33 am
I have a couple of people who definitely fit this role for me. And yes, without them, life would be a lot more challenging and a lot less fulfilling.
And Top Gun? I love that movie. It just occurred to me that maybe my kids are old enough to watch it. (I let them watch National Lampoon’s Vacation this summer LOL)
Debbie saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 7:57 am
Oh, I need a wingwoman. I don’t feel sorry for myself, but I do need more female support in my life. Actually, I need to be a wingwoman too!
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 8:21 am
I have a couple of real life wingwomen (love that term – and it’s funny because I think of Barney from How I Met Your Mother when the term wingman is used!) I also find my blogging buddies have been by cyber wingwomen – they have encouraged me and spurred me on and made this whole blogging thing so much fun.
Lisa saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 11:03 am
All of this. YES! I need a wingwoman. Any thelmas out there need a Louise? 🙂
Jody- Fit at 59 saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm
I don’t & I am one that really is self protecting right now meaning I am not really letting people in cause life is complicated like yours but not like yours too AND I can’t be a good friend if I can’t help myself.
Laurie Stone saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm
Love this, Carla. We all need a wing woman, indeed.
messymimi saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm
Good friends who will speak the truth in love are the best.
cheryl saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm
The older I get the fewer wing-women I choose to have-or it just works out that way. The friends I made 50 years ago are still my “besties” though.
Coco saysSeptember 13, 2017 at 10:09 pm
I am blessed to have a fleet of wingwomen in my life. I fell into a job with strong women who are strong leaders and lift each other up.
Deborah saysSeptember 14, 2017 at 8:13 pm
I have a couple of long term best friends who did / would fill this role but distance has made it harder. I worry a bit that I use my mum for this at the moment and am conscious she won’t be around forever and I rely on her too much.