What I Was Wrong About
By Tabitha Rae
An interview for the ‘Inspiring Joy’ Podcast. Listen Here or simply read.
I’m honored to be able to share a little bit about my story, a piece of my past that has led me to my now. I am a believer in communication, of raw beauty, and of building true friendship. I am the founder of Bquet of Words, a resource for you to build better friendships and champion your own people with intention. I am Tabitha, I run towards things, my life is sparkling and beautiful and full of joy.
I grew up with a lot of friends, my parents tell me even when I was small I would go to the park and in about 5 minutes I would have a whole group around me. I make them easily. I’m an honest, no preconceived notions type of person — introduce yourself to me and I will wait to get to know who you are.
introduce yourself to me and I will WAIT to get to know who you are.
I think that’s what makes me a good problem solver, a good designer. I open something up and see where it leads. I am exploratory.
Women though, raise your hands! We all have stories of hurt stemming from other women. Why is that such an unsurprising statement?! We’ve walked into a room with dagger eyes or have felt unwanted, jealous, we’ve felt judged, torn down, la la la…
Stemming from jealousy and comparison comes my piece of the story. But jealousy and comparison toward ME. I celebrate life and people, I always have. I believe there is so much beauty and that we each have something so rich to offer,
I celebrate life and people, I always have. I believe there is so much beauty and that we each have something so rich to offer,
but over the years, different women would tear into me, they were nasty and harsh — girls would come up to me I had never even seen before calling me slanderous things. I watched female friend groups gossip and backstab, I mean — we know the list. It made me so sad. It made me SO sad. It didn’t need to be that way.
After the pattern of insecurities and immaturities that allowed jealousy to come year after year, I slowly shrank. I started to believe that if I showed up, in all of who I was, as my full self, that I would take other’s light away. I believed that I was causing them to be self-conscious and that was not my intention. So I shrank. Without knowing, I physically wore black, kept my hair down, wore minimal makeup, I did not share my victories and kept my hopes hidden. Ultimately you can guess, it didn’t go well. After so long it bled into all aspects of my life, career, relationships. I had squelched my own voice.
I started to believe that if I showed up, in all of who I was, as my full self, that I would take others light away.
I created a pattern of low trust and high anxiety with my female companions. I had to make a choice, a couple of years ago (don’t get me wrong, I was still great at making and keeping friends but I had learned deflection incredibly well). I got REAL with myself. I found a community of amazing women and opened up to them. I was vulnerable. I put myself in a space where, yes, I could be hurt and misunderstood, but I also could be supported and I could learn to fully expose my gifts and talents. I could give new women a chance to teach me something different. Opening up for me is hard! I mean shaking before, shaking after, tears, sweating….we’re talking the smallest conversations. But I kept at it. I didn’t need to hide, AND more importantly, hiding did NOT help others heal from their own comparison monsters.
…hiding did NOT help others heal from their own comparison monsters.
There is a quote from the book of Galatians, “we won’t compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” I believe there is enough glitter for all of us. There is enough sun for all of us. When I cheer for your promotion, new baby, engagement, even your small victories, that doesn’t diminish my own victories. That doesn’t make you better than me, it makes you, YOU. And I love that. As a friend, I want to know about those victories and be a part of the celebration.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how strong flowers are. They are simply themselves. They bloom, boldfaced, fully open. They are unapologetically vulnerable in their exposure. They face the valley (or the roadside or the mountain top, wherever.) They don’t stop blooming and that doesn’t take away from all the others blooming next to it. A flower doesn’t hide its beauty. To me, that’s vulnerability. Comparison is a disastrous component that shows up in our lives. Whether we are the ones getting compared with or we are doing the comparing. I’ve struggled in my life with exposure — simply because I wanted friendships instead of jealousy, I wanted everyone to feel confident and for some twisted lie, I thought if I showed up, fully me, it would take others space away.
Comparison is a disastrous component that shows up in our lives. Whether we are the ones getting compared with or we are doing the comparing. I’ve struggled in my life with exposure, simply because I wanted friendships instead of jealousy. I wanted everyone to feel confident and because of some twisted lie, I thought if I showed up, fully me, it would take others space away. Understanding the true impact of this mindset is a process, but I have chosen to retrain myself. So here I am, showing up.
I really care about friendship, it doesn’t get enough clout and it’s not talked about enough. As women, we’ve seen what comparison and gossip can do. I hope, in your life, you have seen what empowerment and support from one another can do! How do we cultivate friendships that are long-lasting, and authentic? Do they have joyful moments, effective communication? Do you trust that your friends will stick around and are invested in you? It doesn’t happen overnight, it needs to be cultivated. Friendship hits bumps and miscommunication and hurts and a lot of times we don’t care to be honest about it. Most relational conflicts stem from misunderstandings and that turns into avoidance. A lot of people give up because, yes it’s hard, but it is so worth it for those core people. It is so worth it for the joy that it will bring you.
It ultimately comes down to our words, our intentions, and our time. Be others orientated. Focus on how you can give, and be intentional with the people that matter the most in your life.
This is a part of why Bquet of Words was birthed. Women should feel celebrated and seen and loved by their own people. There should be HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS within our groups. We should be speaking intentionally, championing one another, we should be creating a space free of gossip.
Bquet of Words is all about bringing beauty to the people in your life that you appreciate, the people that you couldn’t have made it through the year without. Bquet is a platform to contribute, to glean, be inspired, and be motivated to selflessly pour into your relationships to build better friendships.
When I opened up in order to have a group of true friends, I had never felt so rich in my life. Romantic relationships aside, having multiple friends that see you, that support you, that challenge you and uplift you, that you feel safe with — that is the biggest gift. It’s so important to champion those relationships.
If you have a core group of friends, keep at it, keep pouring into the relationships and continue to learn who they are. If you are desiring friendships that are true and reliable, I dare you, open yourself up, be the first to dive in, and speak vibrantly. Use wisdom, put in the work. It is worth it. So go on, bring them beauty. Speak with intention.
By Tabitha Rae