Friday Thoughts: The Importance of a Peer Group

So, lately I’ve really relied on a close group of peers to get me through some stressful stuff. They are invaluable to me. Some of them are close IRL friends. Some I just know through this wonderful profession of ours (thank you, Internet!) I trust them enough to share my deepest insecurities, my worst fears, my highs and my lows. This week, especially, we are all feeling fairly overbooked, over scheduled, frazzled, stressed, and a general mess (and I don’t mean to speak for all of us, but I think that’s the vibe I’m getting.) More than any other time that I can remember, I’ve needed this peer group this year and very much recently.

People will tell you all of the time to get a mentor. Heck, even I say that a lot to people and in talks I give. And yes, mentors are extremely important.

But, you also need friends. You need friends, in your profession, who are kind of like you. I’ve been lucky to find a group of peers, who are now my friends, through Twitter and now Facebook and I’m so happy that I’ve had them to rely on lately. Casual conversations turned into discussions about things we were all dealing with. A group focusing on being the best versions of ourselves became our jam. I couldn’t be happier that I have connected with and found these people in my life. So, my Friday Thoughts, friends, is to find *real* friends that will be “your people.” This is a short love letter to my own group right now and a note to encourage you to find some if you don’t have them already.

  • They will not judge you.
  • They will send you virtual hugs and pictures of cute puppies.
  • They will commiserate (and a little of this is healthy.)
  • They will sympathize.
  • They will pick you up when you are down.
  • They will tell you when you are being irrational, too. (I need this one. Maybe.)
  • They will laugh with you.
  • They will drink wine with you.
  • They will celebrate the good days and help you get over the bad.
  • I think, most importantly, they will believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.

So, to all of my virtual friends who have been there for and with me and shared their struggles and triumphs this year, thank you. For everyone else, reach out and find your friends. Real ones.

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