By The SIL Blog Staff
Happy Holidays, we hope everyone had a safe and wonderful long weekend. If you didn’t well, that happens sometimes, we have to set our boundaries and practice self-preservation to fight another day (and we are sorry it wasn’t pleasant). You know how this time of year gets, and fell victim to that too. However, tis the season for year-end retrospectives! This week and next we will be bringing you our SIL 2016 wrap-up; the good, the bad, the ‘what the hells?’ Today, we are talking about The Bonds We Formed. Believe it or not, we weren’t all friends from diapers. Since we never really explained beyond the we “walked into a bar, had a few drinks, became the best of friends” thing. So very succinctly:
- Laura and Puja are law school chums, as are Mey and Rashee
- Mey and Nancy are friends from Eyemasters back in the day
- Rashee used to work with Puja & Laura in a sweatshop
- Sneha and Rashee worked together
- At one point we may have all been in the same book club* (it was called “Bitches, Books & Booze” – hence the ‘few drinks’)
- Rashee started this blog and asked us to staff it.
* We’ve been trying to get the other members of that [now defunct] book club to guest blog, #2017Goals (ya’ll are on notice).
Clearly that doesn’t cover the depth of friendship that pre-existed the blog, nor does it describe how close we have gotten this year. We may have sent 5,000+ texts to each other in our YEAR LONG group text string. That’s daily contact to get/send/ask for affirmations, good luck wishes, ‘SOS-meltdown imminent,’ dirty jokes, ‘why is this a thing?’, the congratulations on a resonant post, and memes. Oh the memes. We’ve had each other’s backs (as you will see later in the week, we’ve all had a shit-show of a year in some respects), became a support system, and individual friendships developed while existing ones strengthened. Enough schmaltz, let’s get on with it.
What was the most surprising thing you learned since writing for the blog?
Laura: It is so much harder to articulate my thoughts! In my head, its eloquent and powerful. On paper, it fizzles.
Puja: How much I live in my own head; Everyone has issues Puja, EVERYONE. I have NEVER let anyone know my daily battles with myself in such detailed ways before. The responses to the vulnerability were so plentiful and inspiring and touching and motivating. I am so thankful for everyone who took the time to reach out (♥). I wish you all can know the feeling of finally realizing you are not alone, truly. Chances are someone can help you through it so you can then help someone through it…because dealing with your shit alone can be intolerable. I also learned that we communicated with each other (as well as other people) through our posts; sometimes it is easier to say things in writing and that’s cool.
Mey: That people want you to keep it real. That the more vulnerable and open and honest we were in our writing, the more it touched and resonated with our audience.
Sneha: I was so surprised as to how much I didn’t know about my fellow blog sisters! I learned so much about them and from them as they shared their private emotions, fears, and dreams. They taught me so much as they revealed themselves: hard working professionals who juggle being a sister, mother, daughter, in/out of relationships, work, and the list goes on! They too face the same obstacles I do/did. It’s been an incredible journey to get to know these amazing women on an intimate level that without the blog I would have never known.
Rashee: Looking back from the end of 2016, the most surprising thing that I saw was my own growth through a convoluted journey. I have not posted much since the summer, but I have been through a lifetime in the last seven months. I posted 18 times instead of the 50 I had hoped for. Sometimes when I feel like I cannot go on, I go back and read positive words that I had in me earlier in the year. They help me remember who I am, how far I have come and give me just enough gas to carry on.
Nancy: I learned that we all had our own daily battles, but all joined forces to support one another in the best way we could.
What was your favorite piece to write?
Laura: The one about 2 week waiting & infertility (“Two-Week Wait”). I wouldn’t say favorite, but it was emotional for me.
Puja: If we are talking favorite because how it impacted us – the “Fat to ‘Fit'” piece because it was a watershed, eye-opening, turning-point moment in my journey. But it wasn’t by means my favorite to write. I think I cried the entire time I wrote it.
Mey: My favorite piece to write was “Dirty Laundry.” I think in social media, there is a pressure to put on a face – and only share the good, the beautiful, what we deem as perfect and this was an opportunity to share the bad, the ugly, the reality of how having a child can strain a marriage.
Sneha: “What Defines You” was my favorite but most difficult piece to write. It forced me to put into words what I already knew but didn’t want to accept. Writing it all down was only the first step, but then to share it with others was a hurdle that I know ultimately helped me grow. Giving me a chance to start fresh, I realized that what most of us say, plan and dream is very different than what we actually end up doing. It was a professional wake up call.
Rashee: The piece from April called “Celebrating Failure.” I was absolutely crushed when I did not get the job of my dreams. It was so embarrassing for me to publicly talk about how I have tried and failed seven times. I eventually found a new job that I absolutely love. The attorney who I replaced (“A”) was talking to the person at the very top of the organization that did not hire me (“B”). B says to A that my new employer is so lucky to have me and that B’s organization is so glad that I am there. He then goes on to tell A that “I was waiting for her to apply to my office because I wanted to hire her…” Gut punch. WTF?
What do you want to write about in 2017 or in the alternative, what do you want to do more of on SIL Blog??
Laura: I like the instant reactions (SIL speaks?) with quick group answers. I’d like write more about random cases that I find fascinating.
Puja: MORE guest bloggers (and more male perspective) and more Nancy! As far as writing, you can depend on me for the varied posts like this year, but also a semi-regular column on “what foolishness is Betsy DeVos involved in now?”, interviews/profiles of people I know surviving the struggle, more “Table for One” columns, and they don’t know it yet, but I’m plotting some form of mini-podcast for the sisters. Get ready to stream us into your ear holes sometime in 2017!
Mey: Write! I often let the “perfect” be the enemy of “good” – meaning I was so hard on myself and so fearful of rejection that I ended up writing just once a month instead of once a week.
Sneha: I want to write and share more about me, raw and real. As far as the blog, I would love to invite more guest bloggers but honestly just look forward to my fellow bloggers’ pieces as they continue to share their lives, experiences, emotions and thoughts. It’s amazing how each piece created a stronger bond not only between us but helped the blog in its entirety reach out to others.
Rashee: I want more people to get involved. Our bloggers have received such an outpouring of support and notes of love and encouragement from people who have loved and appreciated what they read. I want more people to get involved, to write for us and share their stories. More guest blogs! More people who did something brave and then wrote about it. Join us on this journey!
Nancy: I would like to contribute more. This year has been a whirlwind w/ moving states in combination with lack of motivation to write. Don’t expect cohesiveness or a theme to my writing.