Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Some people make friends easily. I don’t think I’m one of those people.
Here’s how I view me: I like people and I want people to like me. But I’m not myself until long after I feel it’s safe to reveal that with others. It takes a lot of energy out of me to meet new people and get to the point of feeling comfortable and safe.  I try my best to be chatty but often as I hear the small talk spilling out of my mouth I think, “my God, listen to you, Raeleen. You are so boring and way too serious.”  That I am sure is a self confidence issue that I should really work on, and it is probably hindering some really great potential friendships.  So, pathetic as this goal may sound, I have made 2013 the year of making friends.  To me this means reaching out to people I don’t know well (yet), going out more and not feeling like I am desperately needed at home every night, and renewing friendships that I’ve not put time into lately. This is a great year, being on mat leave, to do this. 
After getting married, studying in my MBA program, and especially after having 2 kids I found myself being a bit of a homebody and loving time with just myself.  It’s not that I’m driven to be more social now because I’m lonely; in fact, it is such a novelty to be alone these days!  And, as much as I love being with my family, I know what’s good for me and that’s to venture out of my little cave.    
So since the new year started, I have a standing date once a week with a very good friend who is also on mat leave now. We get our kids together but really it’s so we can talk (in between barking at our children who like to bolt from us towards deep water or traffic).  I signed up for a half marathon this June and am training with a bunch of like-minded and incredibly inspiring girls each week.  I joined a baby bootcamp and connected with moms who have the same health and fitness goals as I do. I don’t wait to be invited to anything…if I want to be a part of something I invite myself.  And, I say “yes” to pretty much every invite from people whether it’s coffee or a Sunday morning run.  In a few weeks I’m headed on my first girls getaway weekend in at least 10 years.  I don’t even know some of the people going but we’re sharing a house so I am sure I’ll know everyone pretty well at the end of the weekend. 

It’s strange but fascinating how our circle of friends changes throughout time. I’ve had friends for all of these phases: high school, university, first jobs, moving to new cities, breaking up with a boyfriend , entering a new relationship, having kids, going back to school to do my masters, getting married. These life events seem to mark the end to some friendships and the beginning of new ones. I used to think that it was a bad thing if I didn’t keep in touch with every single friend I’d ever had and wonder what was wrong with me that I seemed to connect with a different set of people every few years.  I never did have a BFF for life. (I had a sister who annoyed me and a brother 11 years younger than me.  I didn't see them as options for friends, although now we are so close.)  But now I think that’s totally normal. My sister noted it took until her late 20’s to feel as though she was confident with all of her friendships, that she had power to stop some and start new ones, that each friendship was a choice and it was healthy. Wise words; I agree.In high school we are friends with some people because we need to have friends and fit in. Even if some of those people don't respect us you just grin and bear it.  Even now, I’m sure some of you will agree that you are “tolerantly friendly” with some of your significant other’s friends to keep the peace in your own relationship. Yes, I’ve tolerated the “bad drunk” and the egotistical know-it-all that Nick seemed to adore for some strange reason. But, overall I’ve found that as the years pass I have more confidence in just spending time with those people who make me feel fulfilled, inspired, safe, and loved for my true self, and hopefully I am doing the same for them.  And this year, I’m seeking this out very intentionally because it can’t do anything but good!
It took me a couple decades to realize my best friends are family. 
We laugh until we cry every time we get together...here I think we  were trying to look in the same direction for a photo together and just couldn't get it together. someone had a wandering eye in every photo so we just gave up.

Our little brother, "Pet". Our mom told us we couldn't have a pet in the house because we had a baby brother instead, so we started calling him Pet and the name stuck. The Siu siblings are the best.

My cousin and 2nd sister--we have always lived thousands of miles apart but everyone who meets us when we're together always says, "wow, you guys think exactly the same"

Update on my health goals as some of you have been asking again: In the last month I’ve lost 9 pounds. Last week I didn’t lose any weight at all and it really has me down today.  I can definitely do better. I am still dedicated to exercising 5-6 days a week. I’ve worked up to running 12K at one time, and 40K a week.  I know I can do 10K in an hour pushing a stroller. But…my eating habits are BAD on the weekends and amazing on week days.  I really need to stop putting crap into my body from Friday night to Monday morning.  In May we are headed to a family wedding and I am making it my goal for the next 2 months to be super disciplined in my eating and fit into the dress I just bought J


  1. needed a study break, pulled up your blog and it made me cry.
    i miss you (and ens) and can't wait until we're re-united again.

  2. Hey,
    Just saw your blog on facebook. Thanks for having the courage to share the blog and write so honestly on here. Go Madame Siu!!!! Some of the items you write in this post regarding friendship are things I have felt and in talking with others, know others have felt as well. Strangely seems to be something people rarely speak of. It's taken me a couple of decades to realize that friendship is one of life's wonderful gifts and like most wonderful things in life, requires effort. I think the intentions you state are fantastic and will bring you oodles of joy. Whoooohoooo Raeleen <3