By Lynsey Eaton | Photography by Danielle Sabol
A version of this post was published on Tomboy KC in 2015.
There are few things I care for less than listening to people put others down. If you know me at all, you’ve probably seen me squirm in the presence of negativity or destructive criticism at least once. I shut down. And if you’re lucky, I don’t talk. But on the rare occasion I do feel the need to speak out, I stumble around my words and try to steer the conversation clear of complaints and people who aren’t present to defend themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a human being and I have been caught in my fair share of conversations where I have said things I am not proud of. I would be a massive hypocrite if I tried to say otherwise. But my inability to be perfect, no matter how hard I try, doesn’t mean I can’t want better for myself and my relationships. It doesn’t mean I have to be OK with it. Because I’m not.
Recently I have been witness to so many discussions I wish I wasn’t. So many conversations about this girl’s style or that one’s choices. As a woman who celebrates her own individuality and is proud of her friends for how insanely weird they are (you guys are SO weird), it’s hard for me to not burst into song just to make it stop every time it starts. I don’t expect everyone I meet to care about Schiaparelli’s wearable art in the same ways I do. Why should I? We would all just sit around agreeing with each other. I’m bored just thinking about it.
One of my best friends is obsessed with philosophy (admittedly not my forte), constantly cross-referencing each semi-deep thought I have against philosophers I haven’t given brain space to since Freshman year. Another lives in a constant state of wanderlust and has seen more of the world in one year than I might in a lifetime, all from the seat of his bicycle. Another is a former Big Six banker now stay-at-home mother whose biggest joke is that she hasn’t bought new clothes since we met in college. (To be honest, I have no idea if this is a joke or if it’s actually true. I never remember what she is wearing, because each time we sit down to dinner we dump so much life on the table that the color of cotton hanging in her closet is the last thing on my mind.)
My friends and I are not the same. We don’t all like the same things or have the same life goals. What we do have in common is our sense of humor, our desire to live and laugh as much as possible, the willingness to support each other through decisions we know might not end well and the desire to be better. We love each other, not in spite of our differences, but because of them. My close friends are truly individuals. They are people of substance, encouraging and uplifting others to be the same. I am proud to know them. They remind me that there is so much more to life than focusing on those of others.
About two months ago I fell down an Instagram rabbit hole and found these words (if you know who they belong to, please let me know so I can give them credit for being so amazing):
Assume someone is near perfect when you meet them, tell them how amazing they are as often as you notice and never entertain a negative thought or word.
Those are my friends. This is the kind of human being I want to be.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. About the kind of person I want to be and the kind of people I want to surround myself with. And in the end, I would rather someone say I was smart, witty and kind over a woman with style any day of the week. I would encourage you to be the same.
In the end, I would rather someone say I was smart, witty and kind over a woman with style any day of the week.
In the post:
blouse: Free People | denim: Paige Denim | bag: Leatherology | ring: Jennifer Fisher | watch: Marc Jacobs | cuff: Jennifer Fisher | boots: Loeffler Randall | sunglasses: Sunnies Studios (similar here)