Preparing for a new chapter in my life
I'm turning 28 years old next week (time flies by so fast!), and looking back at the last 5 years of my life I've been fortunate to have incredible people come into my life, I've out grown childhood and university friends, I've met people from all around the world, of different religions, cultures, values, and ways of life, I fell in and out of love, I've experienced new beginnings by moving to Israel, Thailand, China, and back to Thailand (and don't believe that I'm done moving), I've had friends invest and support my business, and cheer on friends and family that have achieved happiness (varies in definition) by getting married, having children, climb the corporate ladder, go to grad school, and travel the world. I guess 28 is not a "big deal" but I plan to spend the next 2 years focused on my business, and continue to maintain and invest in relationships with genuine people.
Acquaintances, business associates, mentors/advisor and friends
I can honestly count the number of people I consider my genuine friends, and when I say friends, I mean we don't have to talk all the time because we're scattered around the world, doing amazing things, we care about each other, give constructive criticism, and have a shared experience that cemented our life-long friendship. What I love most about my friends is that, when we do get together, we just pick up from where we left off, and have good fun. However, as an adult it's incredibly hard to maintain or create new friendships because we're all have limited time. When I moved to Israel, it was easy to meet people because I lived on campus, and through social activities (shout out to my Zumba group!) I made friends after spending hours talking over tea and sweets at cafes, gone on field trips, hiked up the many paths of Mount Carmel, and bond together over Friday night dinner and BBQ, that established our friendships. And thanks to social media, we're still in touch.
When I moved to Thailand, it was very difficult in the beginning because it was my first time on my own living in a big city, I just got a new teaching job and all my co-workers were older, married, and lived in the suburbs, and it took months before I landed a group of acquaintances to have lunch with. I think being an expat, people come and go, so people don't want to invest energy in others that aren't here for the long-term, or connect with people that they don't necessarily have common interests, or at the same life stage (I only have one married friend with a child, our only commonality is both our partners work in the hi-tech sector, so it's easy for double dates). After 2 years of "Olympic networking" and actively being part of different communities I know who my friends, acquaintances, business associates, mentors/advisor are.
Dating & Relationship
So, I've written about my partner and how supportive he is, how egalitarian our relationship is, and how female entrepreneurs (especially in foreign lands) cannot do business like men....you know, by marrying a local (read my article on this topic HERE). Instead we can build business relationships and friendship with local women (in my case Thai female entrepreneurs) and join communities focused on empowering women in business, tech, VC, or high level positions because having a circle of friends/cheerleaders, community, and mentors are so important for women entrepreneurs.
It's important we keep in mind that no one can "do it all" or "have it all" and it's great to have friends but also I think it's healthy for women entrepreneurs to have someone in their life that genuinely cares about them, and see them beyond their academic, financial, or successful career. Am I a feminist? (I believe classism is a much bigger problem then sexism). Not exactly because I recognise to be successful everyone gets some kind of help, whether it's from family money, family connects, alumni connections, friend connections, simple luck of being in the right place at the right time, everyone has help. Essentially, there are benefits to being in a relationship or marriage (with the right person of course), so don't limit yourself.
As always, thanks for reading!
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