Friends Lift You Higher

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I hope you will allow me to wax poetic on relationships for a bit.

I mentioned that one of my 2012 resolutions was to rid myself of toxic relationships. I wrote about disingenuous and pot-stirring ones, but what about the relationships that always seem to bring you down? The friendships in which you don’t feel comfortable sharing happy news for fear of the negative reaction coming your way? Whether it be blatant negativity or passive aggressive jabs, it seems that we all have people like this in our life. My question to you is, WHY are these people in our life?

My wise parents taught me at a very young age that these kind of interactions are rarely about the recipient. When I would come home from school, upset about a mean-spirited statement, they would always say, “It’s not about you, it’s about them.” There could be a myriad of reasons why a person would want to rain on your parade, but it’s very, very rarely about you. My parents have branded that into my psyche. Hurtful jabs really don’t have that much to do with you.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve always kept that in the back of my mind, but in a way, it has allowed me to make apologies for this behavior. “Oh, he/she didn’t mean it, they are just having a rough time, ” or  “They are dealing with some deeply-rooted insecurities regarding the issue” are some things I tell myself when I’m the recipient of such jabs. But you know what? I shouldn’t be making excuses for it. Hurtful, mean-spirited comments from a “friend” are hurtful and mean-spirited. Period, end of story.

One of the most important gifts you could ever give is to “lift your friends higher.” When something wonderful is happening to a friend, I want to be their #1 supporter, and on the flip side, nothing makes me happier than to share good news with a friend who celebrates with me. I can’t get over how many smart, talented and beautiful women (and men!) I have the pleasure to call friends. It’s insane, really. So many people doing such amazing things with their lives, and I feel so grateful when I can be a personal witness.

So! I have a couple of things to ask of you. If you are dealing with this kind of negativity from a friend, ask yourself, “is it worth it?” If you are constantly pumping positivity into a relationship, but only receiving negativity in return, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. You guys, if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that today could be your last. We’re only here once. This is it. Make every day your best. Lift people higher.

(I truly don’t know where all this motivational speaker biznass is coming from, but let’s roll with it, peeps!)

Here’s the most important part. I think, due to the above-mentioned negative behavior, that many of us tend to keep quiet about our achievements. I can’t even tell you how many times, when asked about a recent accomplishment, I look down at my feet and kick imaginary dirt, muttering something about being lucky or “I don’t know how it happened.” Well, on this lovely Valentine’s day, let’s change that. I want to hear about an accomplishment that YOU are proud of achieving – no self-deprecation, no kicking the dirt, just straight up pride, folks. It could be anything from emptying the dishwasher three nights in a row to winning a Pulitzer. Professional or personal, whatever.

Here, I’ll start. Deep breath.

Hi, I’m Sarah and I am PROUD of the hard work and consistent focus that I have put into writing my blogs for the past seven years. I know that the amazing opportunities coming my way are not luck, but a direct reflection of that commitment and focus.

Damn, that felt good! Now, it’s your turn. Don’t be shy, you guys. Reading these comments will make my week!

  • Linsey

    February 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Hello. I am Linsey and I’m proud that I got into grad school (for my MBA) two weeks after submitting an application. I thought there was a fluke in the system, BUT I DID IT! ON MY OWN! I still need to hear back from five other schools, but a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders knowing that I am going to grad school in the fall.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Congratulations, Linsey! DUDE, grad school is HUGE.

  • Amy

    February 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Love this post! And I totally agree—I’m slowly but surely working on only choosing really happy, positive friendships for myself. It makes all the difference to be surrounded by happy, inspiring people. Having spent time with you this year at Camp Mighty, I can attest to your kind spirit and I’m so excited for you and the things coming your way.

    As for me? I’m proud of the fact that I’m pushing out of my comfort zone this year: considering some new career options, applying to graduate school for fall, actively going after new freelance work, forging new relationships. I’m trying really hard to “get it together” and that hard work is paying off.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Sarah!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Amy. Really, nothing makes me happier than someone describing me as having a “kind spirit.” Thank you. :)

      Having met you in person, I know you BIG things are headed your way. Your positive energy is infectious!

  • ashley

    February 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I’ve had some rough times recently so I needed to read something like this.

    My name is Ashley and I’m proud of myself for doing awesome in grad school while holding down a full time job without ripping out my hair.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Don’t know how you do it. Seriously. SUPER WOMAN!

  • little miss mel

    February 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Nicely put Sarah!

    Considering I am about to face plant into my bowl of Life cereal being up with a baby who had all sorts of problems, but I couldn’t figure out one of them, I guess I am proud to be raising three small children. Most of the time it seems doable, but today I’m just hanging on. Almost one year under my belt. I am proud of that.

    And now, I’m off to shower.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Oh, girl. Face plant into a bowl of Life…haaaaaaa, you couldn’t have put it better. You are a rockstar, Liz. I should tell you that more often. (We had a croup from hell come out of nowhere this weekend with M. I’m feeling your late night pain right now.)

  • la

    February 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

    This – and you – are awesome. I’ve been reading you for YEARS now, so I can say that, no, it’s not luck. OK, here goes: I write speeches that make audiences laugh out loud, whisper to their neighbors and pull out their notebooks to write down quotes.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks, la. And WHAT? I want to hear one of these speeches!! SO COOL.

      God, I wish I was a better public speaker.

  • agirlandaboy

    February 14, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’m proud that I was able to let go of a toxic friendship when I realized that no, friends DON’T treat each other like that, no matter what ugly personal stuff they’re dealing with. Being a good friend means being happy for–and lifting up!–the people we love.

    p.s. I’m so proud to know you. You rock.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Leah, yes. YES YES YES. I recently just repeated a few things that were said to me by a “friend” to D, and he just looked at me incredulously and asked, “WHY are you friends with this person again?”

      I couldn’t come up with an answer.

      p.s. – I’m equally proud to know you as well. xoxo

      • agirlandaboy

        February 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

        Exactly. I found myself trying to make excuses for this “friend,” to somehow make it okay that she was crappy to me about something I was excited about, but the people who knew about the incident all said, every one, “That person needs to be gone from your life. Gone.” “But…!” “GONE.”

        It was hard, but I have zero regrets.

      • bethany actually

        February 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

        Troy has said that exact same thing—“WHY are you friends with this person again?”—about two people in my life who always seemed to drag me into their drama and bring me to tears of frustration. And you know what? He was right, both times, and when I saw that those people weren’t willing to work on having real friendships with me I let them go. It was painful and sad both times, but in the end I was so relieved, both times.

        Thank God for good husbands like D and Troy who have our backs.

  • Darcey

    February 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Last month, I was told I have a $600k sales goal to meet by June 30th. I have been working on several opportunities since last year, and should everything close this week (as scheduled), it will leave me only $50k left to bring in before end of June. And all of this will put me on point to get promoted within the next year.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Go Darcey, it’s your birthday! Proud of you, girl. (Hey, what’s up with your hair these days? I need an update!)

      • Darcey

        February 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        Thanks, Sarah! :)

        I promise to provide an update on my hair as soon as I have it done again. I’ve been rocking a dark blonde/mostly straight style as of late (which my bf loves), and will probably add a bit more gold as we head into Spring.

        Actually, check out my FB pic, and that’s my hair, but with shorter bangs today! :)

  • Nicole

    February 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I am proud of the fact that I am an at home mom, plan room parties, work out 5 times a week, ran a marathon, put home cooked meals on the table every night and spend each Friday evening on the couch eating snacks and drinking wine with my husband. All while going to school full time,(Monday-Thursday from 5-10pm) for Physical Therapy. I still accomplish those things that are good for me (working out) and those that are good for my family (being present and making good food), I am on the deans list and I manage to make time for my friends! I am proud to have so much on my plate and be able to handle it with determination and grace (most of the time).

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      HOLY CRAP, NICOLE. That is awesome. Like awesomely awesome HOW DO YOU DO IT??

      • Nicole

        February 15, 2012 at 7:18 am

        There is a lot of planning. There is a lot of coffee. There is a lot of help from the mister and friends. There are mornings that start at 5:45 and evenings that end at 12:45am. There are some meltdowns and some stressful mornings, but all in all, I just put on a happy face, remember I am choosing this path and this life and by golly, if I made the choice to do it, I am going to do it well and with a smile. And maybe with tequilla.

  • LC

    February 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for writing this. I always keep my feelings to myself when someone gives me a backhanded compliment, immediately excusing them for “having a bad day” or even worse, an “unhappy life.” But you’re right, they only diminish my acheivements if I allow it to happen.

    A co-worker consistently tells me how lucky I am not to have a weight problem, that she’s going to give me some of her extra pounds to work off since it comes so easy to me.

    I’m proud to say that three years ago I took a hard look at my lifestyle, signed up for my first race and committed to being better, every day. As of today I’m rid of 20+ pounds and a whole lot of body-image baggage. Six months from now I toe the line at my first Ironman triathlon and am excited (and terrified) about that every single day.

    And each time that co-worker starts complaining, I invite her to go for a run or bike ride. One of these days she might take me up on it.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      That is incredible, LC. Ironman??!! YES!

  • Sarah

    February 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I feel the same way about friendships as I do about my Google Reader and Twitter feed. I fill it up with people who’s words lift me up, inspire, soothe. I make a choice who I surround myself with online and in person.

    I’m proud of the fact that I have a job I love. I’ve wanted to work for this company since I graduated from college 19 years ago, and last year I got the chance. I don’t deny it was a wonderful stroke of luck that landed me this gig, but I have worked hard and was ready when opportunity came my way. I earned it.

    Damn. That feels GOOD. :)

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      You know what Oprah says, Sarah. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. (What am I, an Oprah quote-a-thon over here? It’s SO TRUE, though.)


  • Ris

    February 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I read once somewhere that we succeed together, and fail alone. I strive to surround myself with amazing people who are succeeding, and who support me and are happy when I succeed.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      True dat.

  • Rebecca

    February 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I am proud that I cook dinner for my husband every night, contribute to our house with a six figure income and exercise regularly.

    I feel like Patrick Bateman a little bit, but that’s ok.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Well, those three things are nearly impossible to achieve on a daily basis, so BIG props, Rebecca.

  • Jen

    February 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    My husband has a very admirable job but unfortunately doesn’t make very much. I work a couple of small part-time jobs to help make ends meet. Sometimes we have to rely on the generosity of family to get by. In light of all of that, I’m EXTREMELY proud of the fact that we’re giving our three kids a very happy childhood. They’re happy, healthy and strong, despite the fact we don’t have a lot of material things to give them. They wear lots of hand-me-downs, buying new shoes at Target is a big deal and they’ve never been to Disneyworld but they know the name of every bird at the backyard feeders and the name of every bug in the garden. They know that playing in the waves at the beach is more fun than going to the fair and that hugs are the best reward, not things bought at the store. It’s really hard at times but it’s worth it. I’m really proud of the effort I make on a daily basis.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      I loved reading your comment, Jen. This is something that I really want to work on in my own family. Yes, my hard work has led me to great opportunities, but I feel like it can definitely take away from my family. Bugs in the garden, birds at the feeders…it sounds like a wonderful thing to me. What a wonderful mama and wife you are!

  • Elizabeth

    February 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I have never been comfortable lauding my own achievements. I wish I could use this post as a motivational shoving-off point, but I just can’t. Not to be a total bummer, but my toxic relationship is not friend related, but sister related. My sister puts me down more than anyone else I’ve ever encountered, and while I know her venom is directly related to her own disappointments in her own life, it still hurts me immeasurably whenever she takes the time to put me down and tell me what a terrible person I am. I can’t have any achievements, because then I have to feel bad that my sister feels like her own life is crap. Doing something good is equal to making her life bad. I am 35 years old, and I’ve been putting up with it all my life. It may be tough to cut a bad friend out of your life, but how do you remove a sister? I am too sentimental (and frightened) to tell her that I will not take her meanness anymore, and I know that my attempt at self-preservation will just turn into an ordeal about how “sensitive” she is, how callous I am, and how I am a terrible, horrible person. Man, this is turning into a massive bummer of a comment. Sorry for unloading. This post just really struck a chord with me.

    • Jen

      February 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      I am so sorry, Elizabeth. You are right; cutting out a friendship is one thing, but cutting out a family member, a sister no less, is a much different story. I hope you find peace.

    • Jessica

      February 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Elizabeth, I don’t have a sister but I do have a brother that likes to cause drama and bring people down when he can. I know it’s hard to say that you do not want to put up with their meanness, but it doesn’t make you a bad person to refuse to be around that kind of negativity.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Oh, Elizabeth. Don’t be sorry – and let me just say, I can’t imagine having to deal with that in a sister. I do, however, want you to know that many of us are dealing with situations involving people that we are bound to through family. In fact, my original resolution of saying goodbye to toxic relationships was based around someone that will be in my life, regardless.

      All I can say to you is that you are such a strong person for putting up with your sister’s ways for so long, and I can only hope that you can find a way to let her know and rectify the situation. xo

      • Elizabeth

        February 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        My goodness–thank you all for your wonderful and supportive comments. I certainly did not mean to unload quite so much, but reading all of your incredibly kind responses has really helped soothe me. Thank you again.

        • Sonja von Franck

          February 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

          I thought the exact same thing when I read this post. What do you do when it’s family? A parent? A sister? Your comment is eerily similar to my relationship with my sister. I don’t want to be a bummer either, and it even seems unbelievable to type this, but we haven’t spoken in 16 months. Days go by, and I still can’t believe it. She did not/would not acknowledge the birth of my 3rd child four months into our rift. It hurts, but one thing is true. It hurts a lot less than the drama. I miss having a sister, but I don’t miss the drama and hurt feelings one bit. Hope this helps if at least you know you’re not the only one having a hard time getting along with her sister. :-)

    • Mary

      February 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Oh wow, I sort of feel Elizabeth’s post was my own. I’m the younger sister (I’m 44 & my sister is 46) and all my life I’ve dealt with her negativity, “I’m the victim” rants. For me life is about choices: I happened to choose to respect our parents when we were growing up, do good in school, finish college, NOT get into drugs and partying and going to jail, take care of myself (exercising/eating right/maintaining my weight), having only 2 children instead of 5 (that she could never afford to take care of in the first place), getting and keeping a great job, meeting & marrying an angel of a husband, etc. etc. But those things came my way because of the choices I made and the person I am, not by luck. I can totally feel the pain in your post and agree that “we can’t pick who our family is” way of thinking. I’ve been so envious of friends who have great relationships with their siblings; I just thought it could never happen to me and my sister. So I had to finally tell my sister I was tired of her jealous, passive-aggressive behavior and snide remarks towards me and for what? Because I seem to be doing OK in life? I’ve worked hard for everything I have and am tremendously thankful for all my blessings and I’m not going to apologize or feel bad about it anymore when I’m around her. My conversation with her was 30+ years overdue but she now knows how her comments have hurt me and do nothing to foster a decent sister to sister relationship that we could have. It was awkward and hard but I have hopes for better things between us in the future. You have to start somewhere. You’ll feel better if you say something. Believe me, you WILL feel better if you stand up for yourself. Good Luck!!

      • Sonja von Franck

        February 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

        Great insight and advice Mary!

    • bethany actually

      February 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I’m so sorry, Elizabeth. I don’t have a sister, but one of the friends who I ended up cutting ties with was someone who had been in my life for more than 30 years. I know her whole family and she knows mine. Our moms are friends. We went to school and church together, then were pen-pals for years after we family moved away. We found ways to visit each other every year. We went to summer camp together. We were in each other’s weddings. We went to the baptisms of each other’s children even though we lived hundreds of miles apart. We aren’t related by blood but we are tied by decades of shared memories. She was as close to a sister as I could get.

      And now we barely exchange Christmas cards. I’ve never met her second husband or her stepchildren, and she’s never met my younger daughter. Five years ago it would have been unthinkable to me, and ending the relationship was incredibly difficult and only happened with lots of tears and many hours of very patient friends listening to me work through the reasons why I needed to say good-bye to her. As hard as it was, it made my life better. I’m still sad about it sometimes, but I have so much more time now to invest in people who are happy to be *true* friends to me. I wonder if someday she might realize what she lost, if we might find a way to be friends again, but I’ve made peace with the fact that we probably won’t.

      I hope you find a way to change your relationship with your sister for the better. I wish you strength and the kindness and support of people who love you.

  • Calee

    February 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I am PROUD that I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do (write and produce films) and getting paid for it. I’m even more proud that I’m facilitating that dream for others and paying them to do it.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      It’s the American dream, Calee! You go, girl!

  • Kyran

    February 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Great post, and a message that can’t be repeated too often. It hurts when others can’t/won’t share in your joy. We hurt ourselves when we give in to envy. All things come and go — we should absolutely celebrate good things when they come to us and to others. I think Sugar on the Rumpus said it all in this post. It’s specific to a writer’s jealousy, but I think it applies to all shades of green.


    As for myself, I had an epiphany years ago, that if I were ever to be successful, I would need to be comfortable being around other people’s success. If I wanted to achieve things, I had to be comfortable with the achievements of others. If I hoped to get lucky, I had to applaud when others did. And so on. It seems ridiculously self-evident now, but at the time it was a revelation. And a game-changer.

    As someone who has been following your blog for years, it’s a thrill to watch all your hard work and passion lead you onward. I’m clapping from the front row. xo

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Kyran, I read your words and think, “this is EXACTLY what I want to convey.” Just a few sentences from you capture my sentiment exactly…you are such a lovely writer, and I am so happy to have spent bits of time with you over the years.

  • Jill V. / TerraSavvy

    February 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I’m proud that I have finally put myself before my three little ones. After ten years of them first and me last on the list, I am taking time to fulfill my creative writing need.

    And folks, it’s AWESOME!!

    Oh, and the kids are still getting fed (wholesome meals) and the laundry is done (mostly) and hubby and I are happier (because I am happy!) See…it’s all good.

    Thanks Sarah – you are the best!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Woohooo, Jill! If mama’s happy, everybody’s happy!

      Lady, I am so thrilled we had the chance to get to know one another in Palm Springs. Your positive energy is infectious!

  • Mama in the City

    February 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve had to break up with two different bad news girlfriends so far. Both were messy breakups and were initiated by me. The first one used me was her emotional punching bag to deal with her crazy husband she was divorcing. The second turned out to one of those crazy people that you just can’t have involved in your life. It was tough to let them go but overall a very excellent decision for me.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Good for you!

  • Jen

    February 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I am proud of myself for going back to work 6 months ago when my daughter was 14 months. It was entirely the right decision for my family. I feel valued at my place of work and I make sure that each night I have a home-cooked meal ready for my family to eat together. I am proud of waking up at 5 most mornings to fit in a pre-work gym visit so that my evenings and weekends are free to spend with my family. I am proud of also making time to see friends and my family.

    I also got rid of a few toxic friends a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. It was such a waste of time and of energy. A very close friend of mine is still friends with those girls. Disappointingly, but not unsurprisingly, the years that have gone by and the children that they’ve had since haven’t changed anything. They’re still miserable. I’m so glad it’s behind me.

    Such a great post and lovely, inspiring comments! Thank you, Whoorl!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      You know, the toxic friend thing is so hard. It is SUCH a waste of energy, and I’m glad I’m working really hard to remedy my personal situation.

      As for you, I am so impressed, Jen. Exercise, work and family time are like the holy trifecta, right? When I accomplish all three in a day, I feel SO GOOD. Bravo to you for making it all work!

      • Jen

        February 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

        Whoorl, thanks again for this post and you WIN at life for responding to each of these comments. It was super sweet. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    February 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    oh. i love this. you are so right and i really needed to read it today.

    i don’t know if you remember, but i (inspired by you) started boot camp last year. i did my 3 mo. session, then continued to work out (via jillian videos/walking)… and then somewhere along the line, totally FELL (jumped?) off of the band wagon. Well, a couple of weeks ago, i started up again in a big way. spinning classes 3x/week and 2 days of personal [weight] training. I haven’t really written about it on the blog (out of fear of “bragging”), but it’s doing a number on me (& my ego)- physically, emotionally, mentally. Hard to explain, but I’m struggling with it… with being NEW, realizing which (and how many) areas are extremely weak… BUT at the same time IT FEELS GOOD, i’m seeing changes already, and i’m proud of myself :).

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Torrie, that is AWESOME. It’s amazing what exercise will do for your mental clarity. (Not to mention the rocking bod!) The past couple of weeks have been hard for me, exercise-wise. With a lot of looming deadlines, I’ve been making excuses all the live long day. NOT ACCEPTABLE, SARAH!

      Your comment totally inspires me to get back to the gym tomorrow. Thank you!

  • glamgranola

    February 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I’m Ann, and after spending my days and nights for 7 years devoted to my kids, I took a leap. I opened a Yoga studio in my home this past October. Guess what? People are loving my classes. Taking this leap taught me a lot about who my real friends are. My real friends where more excited than I was about following my dream. Some who I thought where my friends (and even some family) never even acknowledged my venture- It’s not about me. It’s about their insecurities! They could probably really benefit from a good Yoga class :).

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Oh Ann, that is so exciting! Congratulations on your studio! Can I visit????

      Yes, you are so right about insecurity. I know for a fact that my recent run-in with some mean-spirited, passive aggressive jabs were completely fueled by envy and insecurity. And it just makes me so sad and confused because I’ve done nothing but build this particular person up. Like I said, though, time to move on! xoxo

  • gorillabuns

    February 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Hi, my name is Shana. I’m proud I can make a perfect cocktail while making a fattening as sin gourmet meal. I’m proud of my wrinkles as I’ve earned each and every one of them. The hard way.

    I need to feel better after relinquishing a few of my truly shitty relationships from this year. I hate having enemies no matter who’s fault(even though it’s not my fault. Just had to say that to make me feel better.)

    I’m proud of you. I think you have morphed into something bigger than you thought you would become. That my dear is wonderful. I’m cheering you on!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Shana Banana, you know I love you more than words. Your cocktails reign supreme, your heart is bigger than the planet, and you are one hell of a loyal friend. Thanks for being my personal cheerleader!

  • Leslie Capron

    February 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Amazing post! Isn’t strange we (I) can feel like we need permission to tell the world our achievements? I am blessed by good friends and family in my life and the person I need to tell to get out of my way is me. That little voice in my head that says I’m not as smart, good and talented as my friends. So, in that spirit and to remind myself that I deserve to feel good about myself too here goes:

    I am proud that I worked hard in school and got an MBA. I’m proud I decided to leave a successful career to stay home to be my children’s primary caregiver and take care of my mom. This has had a profoundly positive impact on the quality of my family life. I’m proud that I’ve run marathons, and take care of myself. I love photography and am working hard to develop that skill. I’m proud that I keep things going well at home while my husband travels all week.

    And Sarah your hard work is so evident in everything you do! And know that you have a cheerleader over here : ).

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Leslie, first off, thank you for being my cheerleader!

      Secondly, you are amazing. A total superwoman. And I want to be your BFF. Seriously. BE MY BEST FRIEND FOREVAH, LESLIE. (Annnd I’ve just gone overboard, haven’t I?)

      • Leslie Capron

        February 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm

        You know I need you to be my next door neighbor right?!

  • Jessica

    February 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Yes, you are right that too often people brush off compliments instead of being gracious without pride. It’s hard to do!

    I am proud that I can work part time and still make time to do fun things with my son so he has the benefit of a stable home and a social life.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Holla! Finding that work/life balance is not easy, Jessica. Cheers!

  • Kathryn

    February 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I’m proud that I put myself through law school and found a career path that worked for me, for a while. And I’m equally proud that I took this chance to step away from that job and live a different life in a different country for a while.

    Someone very close to me is dealing with some toxic people and I’ve been struggling with how to help. Your perspective is really helpful – thank you.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      You’re welcome. I’m just so happy that people find this post helpful. You know, sometimes I just squeeze my eyes shut and hit publish, hoping for the best. It is SO COOL that you are living in a different country. It’s something that we want to do so badly, and it’s up to us to make it happen!

  • ohjennymae

    February 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    my name is jenny & i’m proud of myself for putting my husband through law school, having 4 smart and beautiful babies, singing really well, being able to run 10 miles when i want to, sewing like it’s my job, taking a few good photos and being a happy well-rounded person

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      You rock, Jenny! (And please teach me to sew!! I have an unopened sewing machine in my garage, and I so badly want to learn.)

      • ohjennymae

        February 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

        any time. you could make yourself (and little miss wita) some damn-fine clothes for next to nothing.

  • kat

    February 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    i LOVE this so much. friends aren’t supposed to be exhausting. i had one of those exhausting “me me me” friends and finally i just said, friendship is not supposed to be so hard! i feel like friends are supposed to be your cheerleaders and support system…not a drain. giving you snaps and a you go girl on this post.

    i’m proud of myself for my new role at working…and well rocking it! i’m proud of my transition and the work done thus far.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      True dat, Kat. (hahah I’m a poet…) I want to thank you for being such a great cheerleader for me over the years. You have always left such great comments, and it definitely does not go unnoticed.

      Congratulations on work! Snaps right back at you!

  • Liv

    February 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Hi, I’m Liv. I’m proud that I’ve worked hard over the past few years at making my life what I want it to be. I’m proud that I’ve bought a house all by myself and that I support myself on a good salary that I earn by working hard; I’m proud that I have a great relationship with my family and a wonderful bunch of friends; I’m proud that I’ve lost a stack of weight and feel like a new person; I’m proud that I’m 36, single, fiercely independent and happier in my life than I ever thought I could be. And I’m proud that I can actually say this in such a public forum! Thanks Sarah for giving me that opportunity.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Damn, girl! You’ve got it going ON! A hearty cheers to you – what you’ve accomplished is super impressive. :)

  • rebecca

    February 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I fell way behind on my dental care over the past 3 years. So last year, I vowed to get back to the dentist and really take care of my teeth. I also wanted to find a dentist I loved so that I wouldn’t dread going to the dentist.

    One year later, and WAY too many filled cavities later, I am back on top of my dental work. I finished my last filling today! And it feels DAMN good. Sometimes it’s easy to justify why I didn’t take care of this sooner: “I just moved to a new city and haven’t found a dentist” or “I was scarred by the last dentist I had” – but when I just made an effort to jump back in, chip away at the work, and promise myself to get through it, I couldn’t feel better about my teeth or myself.

    Sounds silly – but I know a lot of people put off the dentist. Especially after college. Just get back in there, find a dentist you love (I LOVE mine and would recommend her to anyone) and stick with it. You need your pearly whites to last you your entire life. Take care of them!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Pearly whites all around! Nice work, Rebecca.

  • Caroline Cohenour

    February 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    What an important post to write! Look at all these people who relate to what you’ve written, and that is just a sliver of who you’ve touched here. I love you, friend!

    I’m proud that some of my closest friends have been in my life over two decades (you go in that group!). Real and lasting friendships take work and need love and nurturing, and I’m glad that I’ve given my part to keep those friendships going…and that I was lucky enough to meet folks who see the value in those longterm friendships and keep them going with me. On Valentine’s Day of all days, I am grateful for my friends, especially those like you who have seen me through so many years and ups and downs.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Well, Miss Coco, you know how I feel about you. Beyond lucky to have you in my life. FOR REALS.

  • Helena

    February 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Loved this post! My name is Helena and I am proud that I manage to cook a healthy meal every day for my family. I am proud that I have not given in to the biscuit jar today. I am proud that I have followed the path that led me to this life, in another country away from my nearest and dearest, eventhough OMG it has been so hard at times. And still is. And I am proud that I have two healthy kids that drive me insane most days.


    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Oh, I can so relate on almost all levels. (Although not in another country, but halfway across the one I live in from my family.)

      I’m thinking you deserve a virtual high five, Helena!


  • Kristen Howerton

    February 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    This post is FANTASTIC. Such true words. Honestly, at times growing up it was my own family behaving in the ways you have described above, so I sometimes have a hard time developing boundaries as an adult, because it feels so normal.

    Anyways. . . uplifting! I am proud of myself for following my intuition and taking my son’s food allergies seriously. It was really inconvenient and hard with three other kids to feed but I can see such good results and I’m proud I stuck with it instead of waving it off.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Kristen, you are beyond amazing. Your work ethic, your family ethic, your spirituality, your wit, writing, the LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON. Proud to call you a friend.

  • Marcie

    February 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Several years ago I had a ‘toxic’ friendship that needed to end. I was a wimp and couldn’t do it. But my very best friend, such a good friend to me, gave me this advice: “Never be afraid to weed the friendship garden.” You have to rid your garden of bad weeds to allow all the good things to grow!

    I’m proud that I trained for and ran my first half marathon last year in under my goal time. Then, because of that time I qualified for another half marathon. However the marathon was scheduled for last month when I was just starting my sixth month of pregnancy. Despite everyone telling me I couldn’t run in it, I decided I could do anything I set my mind to. And I ran that half marathon six months pregnant and have never been more proud of myself…

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      That is great advice, Marcie. I’ve totally made a mental note on that one.

      Holy moly, a half marathon at 6 months pregnant? Um, INCREDIBLE.

  • Grace

    February 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    My name is Grace and I am DONE apologizing for making more money than my husband. I have an awesome job in computer engineering, am proud to stand out in my field, and am proud of being one of three women in my office that is otherwise comprised of men.

    My husband is prouder than proud of me – I am DONE letting others’ ideas of gender stereotypes make me feel awkward.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      Oh, hell to the no! It’s crazy that there STILL is a gender stereotype in the workplace, but I like to think that it is becoming less prominent with every year that passes. (Thanks to people like you!) Congrats!

  • Megan

    February 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    This is so, so timely for me. I had this exact thought this weekend, “WHY am I doing this?” It’s horrible to be excited about your accomplishments and then have to shuffle with your head down to avoid upsetting someone.

    Sooo…I’m so proud of my relationship with my husband and how I have taken steps to make it a healthy, happy one. I’m proud of what a good mom I’ve become. I’m proud of the full time job I work in order to make a good life for my family. And I’m so proud of the good friend I am.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Isn’t it, though? Well, I’m glad you can tell us all about your accomplishments, of which you should be proud!! :)

  • Home Sweet Sarah

    February 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Okay, fine, FINE. I’m proud that at 27 (I’m 29 now) I got a Director title at work. It wasn’t because my old boss “told them to hire me” (TRUE STATEMENT THAT SOMEONE ONCE SAID TO ME), but because I have consistently worked hard through the years to get to where I am.

    Whew, that feels good :-)

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      AHAAAAA. I love it that you commented. You kick some serious ass, Sarah. Cheers to you! (13 minutes until happy hour, my friend…)

  • Emily @ Peck Life

    February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    This is the best post and just what I needed to hear today!

    My name is Emily and I’m proud that I breastfed my baby for 22 months, which included a full year of pumping at WORK! I think there is so much pride because it was so NOT EASY. Huge props to any mama that does it for ANY amoout of time and those that try their hardest even when it doesn’t work out. :)

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Nice, Emily! With Wito, I went back to work and had to pump in MY CAR. It was so challenging, and you are right, big props to mamas who do it for any period of time!

  • Angella

    February 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I love this, Sarah. You are one of the sweetest, most loving, encouraging people I know. I am so glad that I get to call you Friend – you and yours always bring a smile to my face.

    (Related: We just watched the Levi’s video you linked to on FB. Nathan: “I miss Sarah.”)

    I, like you, tend to look to the ground and brush things off. But you know what? I’m a damn good Mom, a pretty great friend, and I’ve finally admitted that I HATE my job. I’m making big changes in May and I can’t hardly wait.

    Also? I’ve stopped brushing off my photography and writing achievements. Yes, I am an accountant, but I am a photographer and writer as well.

    (Love you guys!)

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Thanks, friend. You have always been there for me, and I appreciate it so much.

      (My God, these comments are making me so VERKLEMPT.)

      You are an amazing mom, photographer, friend, writer…the list goes on and on.

      (And seriously, NATHAN. I love that boy.)

  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    February 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I am so proud of your accomplishments. You should sing about them from the rooftops. You work hard and you should enjoy your success!!! I can’t wait to go back and read the comments on this post when I have a minute. As for me…I started karate last month and it is never something I would do. Feels great to step outside of my comfort zone. As for the toxic relationships, there is one I try and distance myself from but I keep getting pulled in. But I’m trying to find compromise and peace and enough distance to keep my sanity. Great post S.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Dude, Danielle! Karate rules! Are you doing it with Bonham? That is awesome!

      • Danielle (elleinadspir)

        February 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        At the same place, but not with him. Mine is in the mornings. I am a white belt…he out ranks me by 2 belts ;) It has been amazing. I never knew how much I would love hitting and kicking things!

  • Amanda Brown

    February 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I am Amanda (hear me roar) and last year I worked through the Real Estate Course in six months, wrote and passed my exam, all while going on pretty much NO sleep (because I had a newborn). I also started attending a boot camp class regularly and lost all the baby weight, and got strong and fit and have finally formed a healthy attachment to exercise. I don’t know how I made it through the last year, but now that I’m on the other side, it feels like I’ve found pieces of myself I didn’t even realize I had lost.

    I am so happy to see all these great opportunities coming your way, Sarah. You are deserving of all your success!

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks, Amanda!

      I’m so glad I finally got the chance to meet you last year and tell you what a lovely, lovely person you are. Man, you PERSEVERED last year. You should be proud, my friend. Crazy proud. xo

  • Allison

    February 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I am incredibly proud of applying for and getting a promotion that makes me one of the youngest, if not the youngest person in my department to be a Senior Manager. It is sometimes hard to be excited when people are giving you the stink eye, but I try to ignore them.

    I think what you’re doing is so positive, even though it’s hard to let go of a friendship. We need our friends to bring out the best in us.

    • whoorl

      February 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      “It is sometimes hard to be excited when people are giving you the stink eye, but I try to ignore them. ” Girl, don’t we all know it. (That gave me a good chuckle, by the way.)

      Congrats on the promotion!

  • Kait

    February 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    (I’m coming out of lurking to comment on this because I love it. So so so much.)

    I’m proud that after a lifetime (okay, 25 years but it’s my lifetime so…) of running away when things got difficult or looked like they were heading in a direction that might hurt, I am done. I am proud that I have figured out what is toxic and what is just hard. I am proud that I’ve been married for 5.5 years and we’ve been through a load of ugly stuff but we still laugh together every single day because neither of us are giving up. I’m proud that even though it’s been a nightmare we’re almost done adopting our children and we haven’t given up on our family just because it’s been a tough road.

    And mainly, I’m proud that when I look at myself in the mirror I like who I see even if I look like a big hot fancy mess.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Love the last sentence! Congratulations, Kait. Sounds like you have made huge strides over the past 25 years!

  • Madeline

    February 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Okay! I’ll play! The thing is, my pride is always always always colored with the knowledge of being enormously lucky by virtue of birth (y’know, first world and all!). AAAAnnnnnyyyway….

    I’m proud that I am continuing to lose weight and get healthier, but I’m even more proud that I am willing to actually talk honestly about my struggles publicly. To other people that aren’t inside my head. On a blog. Whoa.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Congratulations on the weight loss – that takes tremendous focus and resolve, and you should be proud! Also, it takes so much courage to put yourself out there, so I commend you!

  • narmalie

    February 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for this… I LOVED reading this post and all of the comments. I would like to have every person who commented over for cocktails.

    I’m proud of myself for deciding to go back to work full-time and landing a perfect job for me within a week of making that decision. It was definitely “right place, right time,” but I’d also like to think it was “hey! this girl is awesomely qualified and also fun and we have to hire her ASAP!” It’s ok to be proud of a skill set, and to know that others respect you for it. Thanks, Sarah.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

      “I don’t believe in luck. Luck is when PREPARATION meets OPPORTUNITY.” Oh yeah, that’s right. Oprah said it. (Congrats, mama!!!)

  • berlin hair baby

    February 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    You’re good people, Sarah & I’m really happy for your success! You put together amazing+fun posts that are informational and tons of fun. I wish you the best of luck and continued happiness (and of course great hair!)

    I’m proud of successfully moving my family across the world and for finding a positive, loving & consistent support network :) xoxo BHB

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Thank you, BHB! I feel the same way about your posts – I love each and every one.

      I can’t even imagine moving across the world…you are a rockstar, and I hope one day we can actually meet each other!!

  • Laura Trevey

    February 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Just found your great blog ~ Happy Valentine’s Day ~ and I love that inspirational saying!!

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Thank you, Laura!

  • Janssen

    February 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Sarah, you are so sweet to be responding to all these comments! What a nice little Valentine’s gift to so many of your readers.

    I am really proud of what a good mom I am (good heavens, you’re right! It’s hard to say these things. I am so tempted to delete that sentence). I always thought I’d be quick-tempered and not very interested in my small children, but I am really happy that I’ve turned out to be the kind of mom who almost always is willing to read endless books on the couch, make snacks, or let my child smell every spice jar in the cupboard. I’m not the best mom out there and not every day is a great day, but overall, I feel so proud of myself for being the kind of mom I want to be.

    Also, I think it’s easy to think a blog like yours is successful because of luck, simply because you make it look so effortless. You have such a delightful breezy style that it makes it seem like every post just writes itself, even though no blog writes itself.

    And this comment is entirely too long.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Oh, Janssen. Thank you so much! That is such a wonderful compliment. I know I’ve never met you in person, but going by the lovely things you put out into this space, I would imagine you are an amazing mom! Your bebe is a lucky one!

  • Meagan @ The Happiest Mom

    February 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Dang, Sarah, you NAILED it here. It’s just not WORTH hanging on to “friendships” that are more about the other person working out their negative crap on you, or sucking you dry. Just not worthy of you.

    So I guess I’ll say here that I’m proud of having – since college anyway – kept my friendship as a thing to be earned, something that has value, not something to be used and abused. The friends I have? are awesome. I’ve pruned those bushes well. I count them all as amazing people, trustworthy people who lift me up every chance they get. Not a bad apple in the bunch. :)

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Thanks, Megan! I feel like I’m almost there are in regards to friendship, and reading your comment makes it clear that it’s the right place to be. Bravo, mama!

  • Emily

    February 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I finished my master’s degree in the spring, working 2 jobs while going to school full time. Proud to be the first in my immediate family to get a master’s! Not so thrilled about the student loans though…

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Wow! That’s a HUGE commitment and achievement. Congratulations, Emily!

  • bethany actually

    February 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I am an excellent Navy spouse. I’ve moved cross-country NINE times in the past 16 years—that’s nine times of needing to find a new place to live, a new job, a new church, new friends, new hairstylist, new doctor, new dentist, new places to shop and eat and get the car fixed and have picnics—and will be moving again in six months. Three of those moves were done with a child, which meant in addition to all those things above, I also had to make sure she was emotionally and physically okay during the move and the unpacking and settling-in, and I also had to help her deal with saying good-bye to her home and friends and then adjust to a new home and meet new friends. Also, I homeschool, and keep us all fed and clothed and remember to send birthday cards to family members in my and my husband’s family. And then because my husband is in the Navy, I often do all of the above for months at a time as a single parent.

    I never imagined before I met my husband that I would be a military spouse. I never imagined I’d leave my hometown and move every two years and have to constantly be adjusting to new places and people. It’s unbelievably hard sometimes, but I do it and I do it WELL. I’m incredibly proud of how I’ve grown and changed over the years for the better.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:12 am

      I can’t even imagine, Bethany. You have made huge sacrifices for your family, and I’m sure they are all so thankful for everything you do! You’re a class act, my dear. xoxo

  • Sonja von Franck

    February 15, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Ok, THANK YOU! I am about to bust over here. Guess what my husband did? He got an amazing deal and bought his dream car, a Shelby Cobra Mustang! He made me come and test drive it and would not do the deal unless I gave him the green light. Maybe it was Whitney Houston, but rather than think of every reason why he didn’t NEED it, I said, as long as we can afford it and it’s what you want, life’s too short, GO FOR IT! It made it all the more rediculous that we’re standing there thinking this over with our 4, 2 and 11 month old in tow. Berestain Bears meets The Fast and the Furious. We’re going to have to have a babysitter just to drive in the car together. It’s not like we can leave ONE of the kids at home. This car is not me. Although it is fun to drive, it’s definitely more of a man’s car. It is the loudes550 horsepower, it’s brightest color blue that you have ever seen, but you know what? He loves it and he works hard for his money and if that’s what he/we wants to spend it on… So as uncomfortable as it makes me to say it, I’m proud that I’m in a relationship where I can just be happy for him. I could have gone on automatic bitter bitchy wife pilot and said, “wth? are you kidding me? NO.” It was an inadvertent surprise Valentines Day gift. I love him. I REALLY love him! But as for telling anyone…I cringe. Can’t do it.So thanks for the release.
    And one more…if I may. On Feb. 28th, I well have breast fed my third baby for one year. I never get the feeling that anyone wants to hear that, but I am proud. Proud and thankful that I could give him that. And sad that this will be my last weeks of that special time with him. I’ll even duck and cover my head and say I’ve only had to buy three cans of formula the entire time. Probably part of the reason why we can afford the car! ;-) Thanks Sarah! This felt awesome. You are the real deal. I always scroooooll alllll the way down my Reader list to see if you’ve posted anything first. Thank you so much for giving all of us such inspiration by keeping up this blog. You should be proud!! I don’t know how you do it all!

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Thanks, Sonja! And, DUDE. That story is awesome. Your husband must be out of his mind with glee over that car! Also, I’m so proud to hear about one year of breastfeeding! To be honest, breastfeeding my babies will always be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I love to hear about others’ success with it. xo

    • Mary

      February 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      OMG!! – My husband bought me the same car but in black and I absolutely LOVE IT!!! I live on the Monterey Peninsula on the Central California Coast where it seems 8 out of 10 people drive a Prius. Well they can drive what they want but I’m going to drive what I want. After 4 kids and mini vans and Chevy Tahoes I have a car that’s totally me and I love it!! I’m tired of apologizing or feeling wishy washy becasue my husband and I own our home and enjoy nice things. We have worked HARD all our lives, both didn’t come from money, we had our kids young which was very hard financially and now in our mid-40’s we are enjoying the fruits of our labor and a 7 month old baby grandaughter. I really am tired of people hating on other people because they happen to be doing well. People need to live and let live. Rejoice in other people’s happiness, don’t look down on it.

  • Reesa

    February 15, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Hi, I’m Reesa. I am proud of a couple things this year! But more than anything else, I’m proud of the hard work and personal sacrifices I’m putting in to succeed in medical school. I’m proud that my patients love me, that I’m building my knowledge and skills, and that I am going to be able to give people the greatest gifts through my career & passion: their health.

    And THAT is something I feel I definitely can’t say to a room full of med students, or to the general public, without sounding like an attention grabbing know-it-all…

    So thanks for this space to share. You rock!

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Yay, Reesa! Congratulations on all your hard work. I’m sure it’s been a tough few years, but your patients will benefit from your hard work for the rest of their lives!

  • sizzle

    February 15, 2012 at 7:38 am

    You should be proud, Sarah. And I totally agree- excusing people’s constant negativity doesn’t stop us from feeling like crap when we’re around them. It certainly doesn’t for me! I’ve had to make some hard choices lately with some close friendships that did not lift me higher. A lot of good things have been happening for me in my life and I want friends that celebrate with me, not make jabs or jokes. I’m proud of the emotional work I’ve done to be able to let love in, to find a great man, to say YES when he asked me to marry him. I never thought this would happen for me and worried that low self-esteem and emotional issues would keep me from finding my person and accepting that love. But here I am- after many years of self-reflection and dedication to myself and my journey- engaged to a wonderful guy. It wasn’t a fluke. I worked my ass off at learning to accept and love myself and now I can be open to love from other people.

    I’m also really proud, professionally, that I’m about to launch my own business AND that at my regular gig I plan a fundraising event that other non-profits avoid planning their fundraisers around because it is so well attend and well done. It didn’t used to be like that but since I’ve been managing it, it’s become a powerhouse event and that took effort from me!

    Wow, that really does feel good. Thanks. ;-)

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Sizz, I am so proud of you on so many levels. Personally, professionally…and I just want to thank YOU for being such an amazing supporter of my blog. You were one of my first commenters years and years ago, and you still leave such wonderful comments now. You’re the real deal, my friend.

  • Amy Lewis Wright

    February 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Well done, Sarah! I have some toxic people in my life too. After some painful soul searching, I have had to start weeding them out of my life, and some of them I have been friends with since grade school. Along with that is the internal struggle I feel…guilt for abandoning them when I may be able to help spread some positivity their way and the dreaded feeling of being “fair weather”. But, I’m letting them go and I am also letting go of the one sided friendships I have. Those who only talk about themselves and never ask about me/my life/my day/my family, etc. I now try to focus on myself and my beautiful, loving family.

    Sarah, I am so happy for you and the success you have earned. Your family is beautiful and I love your blog…I feel like I have laughed and cried with you just by reading your posts. Thank you so much for posting about an issue that affects many of us!

    Here I go…..My name is Amy. I have worked in social work for 10 years helping children and families less fortunate than myself. I recently started graduate school to pursue counseling so I can learn to help others who struggle with mental health issues. Wow, it does feel good to acknowledge accomplishments without making excuses for them!

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Amy. I’m so glad your here, in this space, and I am really looking forward to seeing you in person again! We go waayyyy back don’t we?

      You should be SO proud of your career – it’s something I never would have the strength to do, and you make a huge difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Bravo, mama. xoxo

  • Joy

    February 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for such a great post. I am trying to surround myself with great people who will only lift me up.

    You’ve worked so hard for so long and its’ definitely your commitment that has brought you results — no luck about it! So congratulations!

    I’m proud that for the last 2 years I’ve made fitness a priority and I’m getting the body that I’ve wanted for about 15 years. It takes a lot of dedication and many days of working through laziness and tiredness. I’ve been told recently from people I know that they are going to the gym to lose weight but I don’t have that problem because I’m tall and thin. What? I work my butt off to get my body — it doesn’t just come naturally. I’m also proud that I’ve been keeping a very positive attitude during almost a year of unemployment and dealing with a husband who had a bad accident (who is now okay thank goodness) without much family or friend support.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Joy, good for you!! I know ALL too well what it takes to consistently focus on fitness…and it’s hard. SO HARD. Congratulations!

  • Tina

    February 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I have been on a similar mission for awhile. Someone close to me once said that a frienship I was in seemed “toxic to my soul”. It sounds cheezy, but she was totally right. Creating those boundaries is an important part of happiness.
    I’ll join in the fun.
    Hi, my name is Tina. I am proud that I put my best effort into everything I do. I am a great clinician. I help kids and families every day. I wake up every day with the goal of contributing something positive to everyone I meet. I focus on the love in my life. I also make the best damn grilled cheese sandwich you have ever had. Solid.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Awesome, Tina. To make a positive difference in another human’s life on a daily basis is incredible. Bravo to you! (And you must tell me what your secret to grilled cheeses is!!!)

  • Alison

    February 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Way to go! I’m proud of you too – now that I am more committed to blogging, I am realizing how hard it can be.

    My name is Alison. I tried to find a job as a graphic designer for over a year after college, and didn’t have any luck. I am proud of myself for having the courage to try my hand at making my own job as a freelancer, and succeeding.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Thanks, Alison. And freelancers rule – if you can make a living doing what you truly love, it’s the best!

  • brianne

    February 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your post! I’ve read your blog for year and also follow you on Pinterest. Oprah’s saying has resonated with me! To put a positive spin on it, I want to be the friend people turn to when they have a celebratory moment. And I think that is what I am proud of: being a good friend. I check in with my friends almost daily, bake them nice treats, and support them however I can. I am also proud of myself for trying to learn a new skill: quilting. Thanks for the opporunity to put this out there. And thanks for all the great hair advice you’ve given over the years! Love your blog.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks, Brianne! I would love to support my friends even more – it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, and the kind of attention you give to yours is an inspiration to me!

  • Aura

    February 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Bravo to all! I love reading these posts and being reminded that there are so many awesome people in the world.
    I am proud to say that, over the last 15 years, I’ve maintained close friendships with a few really important people in my life, worked hard to make a good life in NYC, and am enjoying and relishing being a parent to my 15 month-old son. My husband and I are working hard at it, probably harder than we ever dreamed before having this kiddo, and it’s truly life-affirming and FUN!

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Now, THAT is the kind of outlook I love to witness. Congratulations, Aura! It sounds like you are living your dream. :)

  • Ashley // Our Little Apartment

    February 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Ooooh, yes.

    This has been a major theme in my life right now. If I may suggest a great little article on this very topic – Expensive People. I, too, struggle with making excuses for why people are terrible to me or get offended by the slightest thing.

    If I say, “I like to do X!” they hear, “People who do Y are idiots.” It’s clearly a sign of insecurity, and YET. I feel awful and say things like, “Well, she just went through a really hard time.”

    Anyway. Yes. I totally, totally, more-than-I-want-to get this.

    Hi. I’m Ashley and I’m proud of the fact that my family is able to live well and be happy on a small salary. I kick ass at living frugally and budgeting and it’s not just luck. Take that, haters.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Ashley, you are a doll. (And clearly need to teach me some things about living frugally. Although, are you proud of my no-shopping challenge or WHAT?) Way to go, girl!

  • Frannie

    February 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    This is rather important topic to me as well. I found myself the last couple years or so, surrounded by people who were indeed toxic and had a hard time finding friends again or maintaining the ones I do have due to work schedule (working nights and weekends, school.. Rather than let it get so bad, I am focusing on what makes me happy, first-and then working around that. They were a pretty prideful group and would not let anyone be at their level so to speak. People like that, their level is usually mediocre at best isn’t it? There’s a big world out there. Rather than spend it making yourself miserable, be happy! Thank you for this post and the positivity.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      You’re welcome! And you’re right – forget being miserable, be happy!

  • Frannie

    February 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    This is *a* rather important topic, I mean.

  • la

    February 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Just came back to say how awesome you are for replying to all of these. Thanks, you.

    • whoorl

      February 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      You’re welcome! Loved every minute of it. :)

  • Darci

    February 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Oh, this is so easy…My name is Darci and I am so proud of raising 2 daughters that becoming the very best of people. One, a junior in college, was told by a professor that she is clearly studying what she is destine to do – be an interpreter for the deaf. My other daughter is just starting down the path to be a child psychologist as a freshman but is already making waves at her sorority, pushing her sisters to be more then just a party.

    I know it is not PC to be all about your kids…but damn I am proud of a job well done.

  • Elaine C.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Great thread! I am the lead trainer in my organization and we are smack in the middle of a HUGE training evaluation. My crew is kicking some major butt, and I am really proud of them, and the other training leaders and team members. I’m also really proud of myself for herding cats and holding people accountable and putting in long preparatory hours over the last 4 months to get us here. I can say with more than a grain of truth if I hadn’t worked so hard, we would not be getting the stellar team results we are getting.

  • Greta

    February 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    What a great post.
    You are so right about it all.
    I often get moer encouragement and excitement over the things I feel proud about from my blog readers than I do from some family and friends.
    From the little (Ohdedoh asked to do a room tour of my kids’ room) to the HUGE (bringing my marriage back from the brink of disaster) I have walked through it with strangers who cheered me on.
    That is why I love blogging and won’t quit–even when it means I am perpetually tired/exhausted from late night writing.
    It feeds my soul.
    So there it is–3 things I am proud of: being featured on Ohdedoh, blogging consistently on 2 blogs while raising 4 kids and home schooling and that little thing of falling in love with my husband all over again.
    Cheers to all of us!!!
    Thanks for this. It feels so good.
    Love from,

  • […] You all are about the most lovely people ever. Thank you so much for your supportive comments this week. Really, you had such wonderful things to say, and I loved reading every single one of […]

  • Diana Melton

    February 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

    This is a wonderful post and thank you for the reminder.

    Okay here goes, I’m so proud that I’ve been able to develop a successful career and blossom in the marketing industry without any formal schooling or training what so ever. I started as an administrative assistant and am now Associate Director at a global digital ad agency. I’m proud that I am continuously determined to excel and push myself beyond what I think is possible.

  • Adrienne J

    February 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I left a career that I went to 6 years of school for and have now found my true passions! I’m doing things that I love even if it means a pay cut!

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  • Friday Photo & Finds. « Our Little Apartment

    February 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

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  • Jora

    February 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    hmmmm….I’m not sure what I’m very proud of at the moment (I think I might need to work on that) but I just want to say you should not have to feel guilty for sharing your successes here or otherwise! I have personally loved watching your journey….you were one of the first blogs I read and I like being able to say I knew you way back when… ;-) And you look GREAT on the video clip! xo

  • Ashlie

    February 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    That is such a great post, and it not only reminds us to keep people in our lives that will lift us up, but to remember how we react to other people’s happiness. It can be easy to feel envious of our friends accomplishments when we feel left in the dust, but we would want them to be happy for us when we have some great news, so we should treat others the way we would want to be treated!

    Last week I got an A- on my midterm, and when I asked others in my class how they did, they all got B’s and C’s, so when they asked me what I got, I looked down at the ground and was afraid to admit I had done better than them. But hey, I studied. I earned my grade, and I should be proud of that!

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    February 24, 2012 at 1:01 am

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  • Jenny Post

    February 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Ok, so I’m a little late with this but I just saw it. And even though it’s likely no one will see this, I’m going to say it anyway: I gave birth to my son last year with no drugs! And I’m really proud of myself!!!

    I am not a “natural birth Nazi” by any means but I feel like I can’t even mention this to anyone because people immediately go on the defensive and think I’m criticizing medicated births. I’m not! I don’t care that you had an epidural! I hope you loved it!!

    Whew. I’m done. And I’m sorry for all the exclamation points. (!)

  • Mary's Pastry Lab

    February 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I’m glad I see this post from you and although it’s late (very late!), I just wanna say I’m proud I’m finally taking my leap to leave my permanent job and to start up my own pastry business back in my homecountry soon. The road ahead may be very, very rocky because i don’t have any formal education in the pastry and I haven’t properly owned a business before, but hardwork + prayer will keep me go on. :)

    I was also looking at a different perspective for Valentine’s Day this year – less focus on the dinner for two, but more on the happiness for myself. I’m so glad I saw this! :) Thank you!

  • Claire

    February 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Great post!

    I am proud of being a woman in science.
    I look around every day and rarely see women who are working in a scientific field, even today! I am proud that I can now say that I am one of these few women. Although, I would like to take my career in a design-y direction, I am proud to be a smart woman in Engineering.

    In high school girls would come up to me and say, “Wow you must be so smart! I can’t believe physics is easy for you!” GIRL!! Physics is not easy for me! I work Damn hard. And also, isn’t Chemistry and Biology hard, too? Why are there women in more language-based sciences, and very few in math based sciences? ‘Difficulty’ should never be a reason. Just because (from what I have perceived, I can only speak from experience) it is not a social norm a woman to work in a field, does not mean that she should avoid it or shy away from it!
    Anyway, now I am ranting! But my point is, I am so proud to be working in such a respectable, time-old field, and to be a strong, awesome female representative of that field. I am also proud that I made it through 4 long, grueling years of school work and little sleep and saying no to going out with friends. Its true what they say, it was actually worth it. Because I freaking earned this.

  • Higher | Healthy is the New Skinny

    February 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

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  • Melisa

    March 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Well, I’m late to the game but I wanted to comment. I saw your Pantene video and Levi’s video via Twitter, where I usually interact with you (and IG:), but once I read this post, I realized my “congrats!” tweet wouldn’t suffice. This one needed more than 140 characters.
    I love this post because while I feel like I am a really great friend, one who is always genuinely happy for others, I have been asking myself A LOT lately why I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and blog readers who care about me. If a friend were to ask that same question, I’d point out how silly she is not to see the direct correlation, but sometimes it’s harder to accept that you are worthy of good fortune and love. Right now I’m doing everything I can to focus on my family. I’ve stripped my life of distractions and creative outlets that I adored, but that weren’t really where my head and heart needed to be. It goes without saying, for those who know me, that I’m extremely proud of my two daughters and the happiness we bring into each others’ lives daily. But I’m also proud of my insistence to face the pain of my divorce head-on, journal it, work through it, accept it, be angry about it, rebel against it, and ultimately grow from it and learn how to work together as parents to give our daughters the best life possible. My heart is broken but I’m proud that I’ve kept my positive outlook throughout, grown closer with my mom and friends, and know that my life, in many ways, is just beginning. Thanks, Sarah:)

  • Quoted: « the style diary

    March 12, 2012 at 9:09 am

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