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Have you ever met a new friend and you didn’t feel that instant connection in the very first moment? Like it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows and magical BFFs at first? But once you took the time to really see her for who she is, you can’t get enough?
That’s my friend Stephanie Hanrahan.
I met her at the end of one particularly fun HeartStories Girls Night Out. I remember it like it was yesterday. She stayed afterward, waited to introduce herself and say “hello” to me. She was so kind and genuine. She mentioned how much she appreciated what we were doing and I thanked her. We spoke for all of about 3 minutes and then parted ways.
I had no idea that we would later become friends.
I was tired and in search of a bed. (I dont think I would have known Reese Witherspoon if she was standing there that night.) Fast forward a few months when I learned that she Tinkles Her Pants. Not really. Well, maybe in her best moments. But mostly that’s just the darling name of her blog because she lives for moments that make you laugh, cry, and leak a little. I called her to talk about being a featured guest for one of our upcoming GNOs and while on that call, we became friends. She may not have known it then. But I did. She’s never leaving my life, I won’t let her. (Sorry, not sorry, Stephanie) Here’s how I know. . .
She does life, real life. One tinkle and tear at a time.
She’s fun, creative, energetic, and kind. But most of all – she’s SO smart. She walks through life with the most beautiful boundaries. (I NEVER would have dreamed I would say those words!) Seriously. Every time we talk, I hear strength in her voice and her words. When I read her written words, I see love, grace, and hope. Not the fairytales and unicorns kind, the real, true, hard-won, not-giving-up, gritty kind. I’m learning what true feminine strength looks like by watching her. Soft and strong. Hilarious and honest.
It’s not our best picture, even though I think it’s our only picture.
It’s unfiltered. It was the end of a LONG day. It was at the end of a Girls Night Out. But I know she won’t mind. Truth is her secret sauce on top of her magical storytelling skills where she eloquently shares her honest struggles that somehow leave me hopeful, every single time. Just as Danielle LaPorte so beautifully reminds us,
“Your scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”
So no matter what you’re going through today, keep showing up. Keep learning, and growing. Keep being honest with yourself and others. Keep doing the hard work, on yourself. Keeping working to heal the wounds of your past, and maybe even your present. Keep becoming the person your struggles are making you.
You have NO idea how much we need to see your scars.
We need those signs of hope.
And the truth is, so do you.
to more love,
P.S. That’s what the HeartStories Girls Night Out has always been about. It’s the fun moments, full of laughter (hopefully without the tinkling), but always mixed with the truth, honesty, and stories of REAL LIFE. I hope you’ll make it a priority to join us Thursday at “Crowns of Clover GNO ~ a floral crown workshop to celebrate the queen you are”. You won’t regret it.