I have never been an overly social person. I’ve tended towards one or two close friends and a lot of time engrossed in books. Recently that’s been changing. It’s one of the amazing things about life- it’s constantly challenging and pushing you to strive for change.

That’s not to say that more friends is any better than fewer friends, but there are times in your life that a wider circle can introduce you to your next set of close friends. Unless you never grow, you will inevitably change your close friends over time. I’ve recently reconnected with my childhood best friend and it’s great, but different. This was the friend I saw every day. My house, her house- every day. Even the year she lived in Middlebury, we managed at least once a week. Sometime around seventh grade we drifted apart. I went to school, she went to a different school. We always were within an inch of each other for height- all of a sudden, I didn’t see her for a while and I kept growing. I’m now several inches taller. Through Facebook and Beautycounter, we’ve reconnected- she’s in Pennsylvania now, but we’ve communicated more in the past year than we have since 7th grade.

In high school, I met my next friend circle- a triumvirate of boys that I never dated, did eventually kiss and haven’t seen since. That’s ok though- at that time in my life, that’s what I needed. It introduced me to Ultimate Frisbee, card games, and other adventures. It gave me a starting point at college- a club team that became my family. These were the people I partied with (don’t tell my parents…), worked out with, trusted, lost with and triumphed with. This was a time of a larger circle- I learned a lot from four years on a team.

My college roommate is still my best friend (well, maybe tied with my husband), and even when I don’t talk to her for a month, we pick right back up. It’s an amazing friendship and will always be an important part of my life. My husband is my other north star- he puts up with me, knows me sometimes better than I know myself and makes my life full. Sometimes, like when I’m picking up all his socks in the living room, I wonder how we’re possibly going to last, but then I watch him sleep with our baby, or come home to a cozy house with a roaring fire, and I’m reassured that while we’ll continue to need to make our relationship a priority, but the foundation is strong.

From that place of security, I can go out in the world and take risks. This past weekend, I went to two different parties BY MYSELF and only knew the host. In the second case, I didn’t actually know the host, just the Norwex consultant that invited me to share safer beauty with the other guests. Both parties pushed me. It took a moment of bravery to get out of the car and head on in, unsure what was to come. At both parties, I had great opportunities to share what I’m passionate about- getting safer products in the hands of everyone through education and advocacy. My partnership with Beautycounter has taught me so much- that I can write, that I can speak to strangers, that my actions matter. That through advocacy and passion, I can make a difference.

It’s taught me that I do enjoy being social- that going to a party every day would be a lot, but I need to get out of my way and do it. I’m having people over tonight- no excuses. Is the house perfect, not even close, but the house isn’t having people over- I am.

People are skeptical of working from home- worried about “selling to my friends” and not knowing enough people. Guess what though- you do know enough people, and more importantly, the people you know know people. I knew Suzanne (my Norwex rep) casually, but now we’ve teamed up on several projects- if I hadn’t reached out, neither of us would be benefiting from our blossoming friendship. If what you’re “selling” is a service or product that you genuinely believe will help people, you’re helping your friends, not bothering them.

Step out of your comfort zone. Have a solid base and an open mind. You are who you spend time with, and while that includes yourself, others can bring more to our lives than they take.  Get out there and push yourself- you’ll only be thankful in the end.