Fashion Things I Wish a Sister Taught Me

Feeling Lonely & Friendships

About Things I Wish A Sister Taught Me: How did I make it through life without a sister? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade having a big brother for the world …but there’s something special about the dynamic between sisters.

Let’s just say, puberty hit me hard. Real hard. I’m thankful it did. I wont get into the middle school horror stories but my girlhood consisted of braces, insecurities, the mean girls, and more braces. I remember feeling very hopeful for the future but shying away from everyone or not able to live in the moment. I often wished for a sister who had “been there done that,” someone who could help me navigate the awkwardness of adolescence.

Looking back, I shouldn’t have let those insecurities take away my smile. I had so many other beautiful things about me to be confident about. I wish someone would have told me this. That’s why I created the series, “Things I Wish A Sister Taught Me.”

This is everything I wish an older sister would have told me.

Feeling Lonely & Friendships

I’ve felt a lot of loneliness in my lifetime. It’s actually one of my biggest fears, feeling lonely and left out, forever. Sounds dramatic, I know, I know…

But I keep telling myself lies like, ‘I don’t need anyone. I’m not good at making friends. I prefer to be alone. I’m an introverted extrovert.’ (Ha). And while some of these ideas may be slightly true, most of them are excuses, because at the end of the day, when I look on Facebook and see all these girls from my sorority hanging out and I’m not invited, it freaking hurts.

Before I go into what I wish a sister would have taught me about loneliness and friendships, let me preface by saying – this is something I still struggle with to this day but instead of ignoring it and acting like everything is okay – why not acknowledge this so we can work through it together? Some of the things I talk about, I want y’all to know, I am not perfect at. They are things I am trying to get better at.

5 BEST Friends are Better Than 20 GOOD Friends

Unless you’re one of those crazy extroverted people (my bff and roomie, Kelsey) it’s okay to really invest your time into less friendships that are more meaningful. What this looked like for me was turning down the exciting opportunities in college like parties, events, football games, and staying in with 1-2 of the girls, baking cookies, watching movies, talking about our dreams and aspirations. Of course, FOMO is real and I remember at first, I thought I was really missing out, till I had my first “heart to heart” convo with a new friend, Stephanie, as a freshman in college. I told Steph things I had never told anyone and the richness and depth of our friendship was like nothing (no party, event, or even football game) I had ever experienced. Make sacrifices for the people that are important in your lives. How else are we supposed to show them that their friendship is special? I can’t tell you how many times I was blown off by “friends” for a bigger and better opportunity, and let me tell ya, that freaking HURTS. I was shocked when I established friends in college that ‘won’t go to the party unless you’re going.’ That really showed me they cared and I value their friendships to this day.

Friends Are Not Perfect

It’s okay to tell people that you’re not okay or that you feel lonely. My biggest mistake in making friends was that I was trying so hard to always have it all together – so I was ‘good enough’ ‘fun enough’ ‘pretty enough’ to be around. I didn’t want anyone to see the broken sides of me. In turn, I couldn’t be totally honest with who I was. I was so insecure about them finding out the truth, that I wasn’t this peppy happy person all of the time. The moment I started being vulnerable with my friends, crying in front of them, having bad days with them, asking them for help, prayers, etc. was when a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt free to be my weird quirky self. Transparency, honesty, and vulnerability are KEY in establishing meaningful relationships.

Boys Are Not the Answer

It’s so easy to fill the gaps of loneliness with boys. Although a relationship with a boy can be an exciting, wonderful thing, when it’s used in a way to fill an empty hole, it could lead to codependence in really unhealthy ways. I always told my boyfriend, I want to date someone who doesn’t NEED me. He loves me and desires to do life with me but he doesn’t NEED me. I really respect that in him.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I dated my ‘unicorn.’ There was this ‘high’ in our relationship but ultimately, after the excitement wore off, I was left unsatisfied and even more distant from the friendships I desired. If there is a boy you want to get to know, try hanging out with groups, see how he fits in around your friends. Seek advice and opinions from your friends – they have your back! Even if you are dating to get married or already married, we ALL need people in our lives to hold us accountable.

Feeling Lonely? Do Something For Someone Else

When I get into this state of loneliness – the whole world revolves around me and how I’m not being satisfied. Naturally, I start to victimize myself but I’ve learned that sitting in pity wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Relationships are WORK. You have to nurture them like you’d nurture flowers. You have to provide the right amounts of water, sunlight, and soil in order for it to grow, just like you have to provide the right amount of love, care, and attention in a friendship. A friendship wont blossom out of thin air. It requires effort.

I am not the best at serving my friends but because I am not a super generous personal naturally, I have to pay special attention to how I treat people and make a conscious effort to show them I care.

Ways to serve your friends:

Listen. Everyone wants feel understood and listened to. Serve your friends simply by taking an hour to ask them about how they are doing. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. My friend Becca taught me this because she is always so intentional with our time together. Dani, how is your mom? What are you doing for Spring Break? What is your favorite part about working from home? Suck it up and listen to them ramble about things that may not matter that much to you. I feel so loved when people ask me questions and are genuinely interested.

It’s all about the small things. Small gestures like cleaning up the dishes when you didn’t make the mess. Replacing an empty bottle of tooth paste. Offering to drive your friend to the airport. This builds so much respect in a relationship.

Get to know your friend’s family or other important people in their life. My friend Becca studied architecture in college. She had a whole life outside of a friendship with me where she spent the majority of her days with super artsy-fartsy architecture students. One day I brought her lunch in “studio” and was able to meet the people she spends so much time working and studying with. I’ll never forget how ecstatic Becca was to introduce me to the people she had talked about for months.

Ask. Ask your friends how you can serve them. What can you be praying for?

Pester your friends. Okay, this works for me at least. I’m not the type of girl to “make the first move” when it comes to making friends or making plans. (Trying to get better at this.) I really appreciate when my friends keep texting and calling to hangout even though they knew I won’t show up. It may have been annoying at times- but at the end of the day, I feel so loved, like they won’t forget about me. The fact that they care enough to ask multiple times, makes me feel so loved.

Right now, Im realizing the impact I can have on people lives by serving them. I never thought I was important enough to make an impact on someone but once you realize that you can make an impact, blessing others becomes addicting.

Photo Credit: Angie Garcia Photo

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  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I love this post! Exactly what I needed to hear today. What are some of your ideas or ways that you’ve served your friends? I really want to start doing this for my friends more. Thanks, Dani!

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      I am going to add them into the blog! To be honest, I am not that great at serving my friends but I want to be better. I think about ways to serve them all the time.

  • Reply
    Juliana Grace
    April 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I love this post Dani! I think it’s so good to remember that friendships aren’t perfect. One friend can’t be everything to you just like you can’t be perfect all the time for them. I struggle with loneliness sometimes too and find that helping others is what can often times really help. Can’t wait to read the rest of this series! Love it girl (:

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Absolutely. Thank you so much for the encouragement and for being real. It means a lot.

  • Reply
    Meagan Ash
    April 18, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Dani this is so refreshing. I can’t tell you how much I needed this post right now. Its a good feeling when you know you’re not the only one going through this and that you don’t always have to go about it alone. You’ve been a great role model for people through your blog and youtube and just know that even as someone who provides advice, you also need some love. Hit me up any time and I’d love to be a listening ear. :)

    Thanks again for writing such a meaningful post.

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Meagan, you got it! Thank you for commenting.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    You hit amazing points, Dani! I especially agree with having a 5 best friends is better than having 20 good friends. I came to realize this right out of college!

    Ana |

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      I know it took me a while to learn this!

  • Reply
    Jessica Sheppard
    April 18, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Love love love this post. I couldn’t agree more! It seems shedding light on the struggles we’re facing and being transparent about them somehow zaps the power they have in our lives. I’ve also seen how encouraging someone else in the same area I’m discouraged in somehow puts courage into me. It’s amazing!

    You are doing such a great job. I’m so excited to continue reading this series!!!

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you Jessica! I really appreciate this. :)

  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I remember seeing that outfit in Jeanne’s vlog. She’s right; you have great style

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      April 18, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Kate, thank you for this sweet comment!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Dani, thank you so much for this post. I’ve been feeling a bit lonely lately and your post cheered me up. It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone and it was so reassuring to hear that you’ve been through some of the same things I’m feeling right now. Thanks for taking the time to write about this! :) -Lainey

  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I am fresh out of college in a city where I don’t know many people. All of my friends have moved away or are too busy finishing up school to make time. I always feel like I am complaining to my mother about how hard it is to make friends! This was the perfect post to put things into perspective. It is refreshing hearing that there are others feeling and going through the same things as me. Thank you for your post!

  • Reply
    Elle Coffman
    April 19, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Dani, I’m in high school and this really spoke to me. I have been following your blog for awhile and I love how real and sincere you are. I started blogging about two years ago and I strive to continue it in the future. Your blog is such an inspiration and an example of how to share your values (faith) and fashion. As a blogger I understand that it is nice to hear when your posts are reaching others and yours definitely are. Thank you for sharing your heart! I’m excited to read your next blog!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Girl, this spoke to me so much. It’s so great knowing there are others who feel the same way as I do – I grew up being the big sis and always feeling like I had to have it together all the time. We could all use someone to lean on every now and then. Love this.

  • Reply
    Maura K
    April 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Love love this post. Making quality friends is really hard in life. I just moved to a new city and am having trouble putting myself out there and finding friends but I know it takes some pushing to find your way! I think everyone suffers from some sort of loneliness and it was great out you to put your feelings out there! I’ve been following you for 4 years now and its great to see how far your content has come. :)

  • Reply
    April 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Love this post!!
    I know you said you were in a sorority, how did that work out for you since you prefer having a smaller, more tight-knit group of friends and being in a sorority you have 100+ sisters?

  • Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Love this! It spoke to my heart👌🏻 I’ve had to deal with loneliness as well and it really does hurt. It sucks dealing with it but it is comforting to know that there are others who understand what you are going through. When feeling lonely, it can definitely feel like you’re the only one in the world who feels it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Becca Chandos
    April 28, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Dani, thank you for sharing this. I have always struggled with friendships, FOMO, and feeling lonely. It was great hearing your insight. Love your heart ❤️

  • Reply
    May 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    REALLY needed to hear this today, Jesus definitely spoke through you!! Love your posts; they’re so relatable and always so helpful and I just love reading them! Keep it up gf

  • Reply
    May 2, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Quality over quantity any day. I’m a young adult and still need to remind myself of this daily. Social media creates this comparison culture, however I need to remind myself to stay grounded to the few who are genuine. Thanks for sharing this! I think we all needed to be reminded of the Lord’s plan for us all.

  • Reply
    5 Looks I’m Lusting For: May |
    May 15, 2017 at 6:02 am

    […] Photo Credit […]

    • Reply
      Dani Austin
      May 15, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Added it!

  • Reply
    Grace Andrews
    May 18, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Hi Dani! I have a quick question and would love some advice. I have a group of girlfriends that trust in the Lord and it’s so nice having a faithful common ground. However, we have one of our good friends in the group that does not believe in Christianity at all. She’s never rude about it, but there are definitely some differences we have when it comes to attitude, treating others a certain way, and all around where we put our faith. At first it wasn’t a problem. But the closer we get, the harder it is for me to spend time with her (I guess I’ve been seeing more of her true colors?). What is your advice? I don’t want to judge anyone for their beliefs, and I want to try to lead by example the best that I can. But at the end of the day is it worth my anxiety and frustration when I’m around her? Also if my other best friends are close with her and just overlook those things, does that make me a bad person if I can’t do the same? Sorry for the rambling! I’ve just been praying about it and then I watched your video/saw your post and I would love some feedback. Thanks!

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