I recently spent a long week-end with my daughter Bianca at a beautiful spa in California.
Beyond the standard fitness classes, we also enjoyed less common experiences like mountain hikes and “manifestation journaling.” Bianca is super outgoing and organized group activities like game nights and a pickleball tournament—her team happily trounced mine (I blame it on the wind!).
And of course we loved the spa treatments—scrub, reflexology, and deep tissue massage for me!
While it was a co-ed week, the vast majority of spa-goers were women in midlife. One group was celebrating a birthday, another was gathering in support of their newly widowed girlfriend. Then there were the mother-daughter duos like ours, and a handful who came solo.
Because the meals were at larger communal tables, we got to interact with each other quite a bit. I loved meeting so many interesting women from all over the US, ranging in age from 24 to upwards of 70.
Here’s the one thing that I did not anticipate and honestly was pretty triggering for me.
The jockeying for position at the tables! At the appointed mealtime, while most of the women just sat down wherever, some women hung around waiting to see where the seemingly “popular kids” would go and if there’d be room to sit with them.
Observing this made my stomach churn, reminding me of the social discomfort I felt when I came to the US at 13 and was bullied for my odd accent and uncool apparel. Walking into the school lunchroom made my heart pound.
I was honestly relieved when Bianca suggested we take our last dinner in our room, so we could spend some quality time together.
These kinds of insecurities in women is one of the reasons I created the THRIVE personal growth community for women 40+, to give them a safe space to show up authentically and share both their joy and pain, without fear of judgment. In THRIVE, nobody is cool or uncool, popular or unpopular. We are showing up as the wonderful and flawed human beings we are, to share in deep conversation.
YOUR TURN: Do you still struggle with old insecurities? Have you witnessed other women struggling too? How do you create a safe space for you to be you? Share your experience in the comments below.