So I started a book club. It started the way I imagine many others have as well, I met a great group of girls that I wanted to learn more about and thought we could bond over a story and a bottle(s) of wine. The first book I chose was based on an article I found back in September titled 11 Questions Every Twenty-Something Needs To Ask by Paul Angone. The article hit home for me specifically one particular question:
5. Do I love from my insecurities or do I love from my strengths?
I never thought of love as a push and pull but simply an is, you love or you don’t love. But instead this question challenged that same idea, do we love in order to take or do we love in order to give. Do we love in order to simply get love from others? To fill the voids in our lives with the attention and adoration from another? Or do we love in order to share our lives, our stories, to celebrate life together? Do we surround ourselves with those we want to get love from or want to give love to? Or better yet…both?
“What’s the difference? Loving from your insecurities demands from others. Loving from your strengths gives to them. Loving out of your insecurities does not want to see people succeed more than yourself. Loving from your strengths hears of other’ s success and is the first to celebrate with them. Loving from insecurities daily demands “what are you going to do for me?” Loving from your strengths asks others, “what can I do for you?” Too many people love from their insecurities, and that’s not love.”
Last night was our first book club meeting as we joined together to discuss 101 Secrets for your Twenties, Paul Angone’s book inspired from the popularity of his original article. We began with the first 25 “secrets” highlighting those that felt the most relatable and flagging several we were sure we’d encounter years down the road. As we discussed these “secrets” common themes quickly became apparent:
- No one has it all figured out. While we all thought we’d have our lives planned by the time we hit a certain age that has clearly not been the case. And the plans we made for ourselves in college, none of us have lived out. No one knows what you “should” do, we’re all just blindly trying to find our way.
- Girlfriends are essential. Boyfriends come and go, but girlfriends, the ones you just click with, those are invaluable, those make life full.
- We aren’t stuck. We aren’t stuck in this city, this job, this relationship. Have the power and the confidence to not only identify what part(s) of your life that is holding you back, but to harness that and change it.
Several months ago when my roommate, Katelyn, and I were moving in together she shared a piece of advice with me that her Mom had given her. Relationships are a two part game, each person having to give 100% to make it work. But some days will be bad, some days your boss will yell at you, or you’ll get in a fight with your boyfriend, or you’ll forget your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm and you’ll only have 30 or 50% to give. Surround yourself with those that are will to make up for you, are will to give you 150 or 170%. Fill your life with those that are willing to give to you, and you are will to give back to. We can’t survive on our own, we can’t be 100% every day.
Last night was one of the first nights Katelyn and I invited “the girls” over to drink wine, hang in our sweats, share stories, give advice, and just laugh, completely comfortable. These girls are those girls. Our people.
We need to know, and to be known. Invite a friend or two over for dinner. Talk, laugh once or twice – even if it’s forced, and before the meal is over you might just notice that your friends are chewing on the same questions you are. And at that moment of honest conversation, you will see light in the dark and dusty corners. – From Secret 14, Paul Angone.