Lessons From Riley

Mini Assignment #6/Blog Post #11

This is my best friend Riley.

I think above all, Riley has been my biggest inspiration in trying to gain some confidence and self-esteem.

Riley is THAT CHICK. You know the one, she’s effortlessless beautiful, and if she ever fumbles socially she can spin it into something cool. Guys love her, girls want to be her, and I’m lucky enough to be her best friend.

Riley just has no care in her body for what other people think, and she’s the most spontaneous person I’ve ever met. She’ll decide to move to another country in the course of a day, quit a job the day before she was supposed to start because it just didn’t feel right, and get whatever tattoo that pops into her head (and I do mean whatever tattoo, I begged her not to get the tattoo of Jack Black‘s face, I mean, will she still love him when she’s 80?? Who knows, but she went ahead and did it).

You know that scene from Mean Girls where Cady and Janis and Damien snip holes in Regina‘s shirt while everyone is in the gym, so she changes into her normal clothes and has two holes in her chest so her bra peeks out, and it should totally be embarrassing? But Regina is so cool that it becomes a trend and people start doing it to their own shirts?

That would be Riley, except unlike Regina George, Riley is a really good person too.

It can be tough to be her best friend sometimes. Not because of anything she does, or her being a bad friend in any way, just because it’s hard to feel like you’re being compared to such an awesome person all the time, and be found wanting, by others and by yourself. I think I likely beat myself up over this more than anyone, but I just feel so awkward and ugly and uncool next to her, and I think a lot of girls probably feel this way about their friends. but we shouldn’t. What is with this culture in which women feel the need to compare themselves?

Riley certainly doesn’t compare us, or find me uncool, or think badly of me, but my insecurities get in my head. I’ve also faced a bit of mean treatment from men who are rude to me, but really nice to Riley, likely because I’m a tall, curvy girl, while she’s a cute little blonde. Of course, this isn’t on Riley, and I shouldn’t let this get to me, but it definitely chafes, and I have to remind myself that men who act that way aren’t worth my time or energy anyway, so why give them any. Riley certainly doesn’t give them any attention if they’re rude. Riley is actually my biggest defender. I’ve had to hold her back a time or two from going after someone because they were rude to me or one of our friends (it’s actually a pretty funny sight to see. Me, a 5’10” curvy girl holding back this little 5’6″ blonde).

Either way, I just wanted to showcase my best friend a little, and thank her for being my biggest hype-man, defender, support, and overall, my best friend. You inspire me everyday to be proud of who I am, to love myself, and to ignore what other people think. When I need that someone to make me feel pretty and gorgeous and funny and smart, you’re always there for me, and I can only hope to do the same for you.

Ladies, here’s a lesson for you. Don’t compare yourselves to others. We each are unique. I am not comparable to Riley or any other woman. We’ve had different lives, and we each have different things that make up our person. I’ve told you all of this about Riley, but Riley would tell you that I am the most reliable friend you’ll ever have, that I am generous and caring and funny, and that I don’t give myself enough credit. We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like, or we don’t feel good about, but we all have things that we’re great at, that others are wish they had. We are not comparable. Don’t compare yourself. Instead, find inspiration.

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