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As I creep towards 40, I'm finding it more and more critical to open my circle

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People in their thirties, especially those with kids, we're not so couthly riding the line


feeling and acting young, open-minded and fun-loving,


feeling and acting old, rigid, and generally pissed off.

And, on any given day,

our oscillating moods,

as evidenced by

our incessant mood-ring-mimicking meme-sharing,

all-over-the-place texting,

and occasional, introverted silence,

get the best of us.

Sometimes we are led to share our pleasantries with those around us, and other times

the mere presence of others around us makes us feel

far from pleasant,



or filled with anxiety.

On the verge of 35, I, for the most part, feel more secure with myself than I ever have.

Thanks to



many life lessons,

and my daily therapy sessions with my keyboard,

I like myself.

Okay, I like myself a lot.

And that fact alone helps make me more likable to others.

At the same time, I'm becoming more and more content with there being those who don't understand or like me.

For most (though not all) of us nearing middle age,

we need people,

and we love people,

but they also tend to irritate the sh*t out of us.

Both online and in person.

But, as I slowly creep towards 40, I'm finding that I believe it to be more and more critical to open your circle.

To be inclusive.

This village of mine, it only keeps if there are others in it.

This bubble I’ve created is not going to pop if I allow others to join me in it.

As an introverted extrovert,
(yes, that’s a thing),

I really like being social.

But only when I want to be.


on any random day of the week,

as an emotional (ahem, temperamental) mother of three in my mid-thirties,

I never know how “peopley” I’m going to be feeling.

One thing I’ve realized, though,

ever since my kids started elementary school and my opportunities for interactions

with other adults increased,

is that, ultimately, I NEED others in my life, and my kids do, too.

Even on the days I think we don’t.

There is no denying that on a sh*tty day, a playdate, or convo with a friend, it makes those next few hours that follow, better.

And on a good day, connecting with others, well, it’s a chance to share your sunshine and spread some of that joy to another whose heart maybe isn’t feeling so light.

I’ll even admit that, pretty regularly, I look forward to

chit-chatting with the drive-thru barista,

small talk with my kids’ coach,

a text dialogue with one of my kids’ classmates’ parents,

a back and forth with their teacher,

even something as minimal as being tagged in a meme can brighten my day.

Now more than ever, it can be hard to make new connections, and it's becoming just as challenging to sustain the ones you’ve already got.

People are busy.

People are also super-opinionated about everything under the goshdarn sun making it hard to communicate with others without unintentionally offending them by just ‘doing you.’

But with those people, just give 'em grace;

the grace you won't always find them giving you.

Open your mind,

open your circle,

and let others in.

Then open your heart,

stay kind,

and watch how being an obvious imperfect mess of an authentic human connects us all.

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