Why I surround myself with intelligent older women

This week I was lucky enough to see Lynn Stanton again. I interviewed her over 2 years ago after creepily finding her through Airbnb. When I started this blog, my aim was to showcase interesting people and their homes to the world, and not just ‘influencers,’ but ordinary, everyday people, because I think that everyone has a story to tell, and the most ‘ordinary’ person is often the most extraordinary.

I contacted Lynn again for another piece about her home, but this time it was for my job. My day job is in digital content and I felt that the content produced at work was lacking, so I decided to embark on a bit of a journey to inject some personality and honesty into it. For me, Lynn was the perfect choice, being one of the most engaging and non-judgmental people I have ever met. I asked her if I could essentially come to her house and do another ‘home tour’ and she kindly obliged.

lynnandmuccaLynn and her dog Mucca

Everything about Lynn is just no-fuss and so non burdensome. Within seconds I felt welcomed and at home and just like last time I saw her, I walked away feeling a little bit more enlightened.

It got me thinking, the past 3+ years that I have been living in Sydney, I have met some incredible people and a lot of the friends that I have made have been older women. I don’t think it’s been a conscious thing, I am just organically drawn to their intelligence and life experience – and if there’s one common thread, it’s that they all have a zest for life that doesn’t dim as they get older, it only burns brighter.

So why aren’t all my friends my own age? And why do I befriend women twice my age?

My older women friends are open minded and non-judgmental

Let’s face it, these ladies have been around longer and have at least twice as much life experience as I do. They’ve been young before, have lived through their 20s and have made it to ‘the other side’ successfully and mentally intact.

They understand the trials and tribulations of finding your ‘true self’ and have been through the existential crises that all over-analytical 20-something women tend to endure.

They understand the trials and tribulations of finding your ‘true self’ and have been through the existential crises that all over-analytical 20-something women tend to endure.

They are at a point in their lives where they are content, and when happiness stems from self-contentment, insecurity is washed away. Insecurity breeds hyper-critical behaviour and it’s a breath of fresh air to speak to someone who listens and doesn’t screw their face up at your personal choices.

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They give advice that you can actually respect and never just tell you what you want to hear

I feel confident listening to the advice of my older women friends because it comes with real-life experience and is backed by shared values. I can talk to them about literally anything. They’ve been through it all and they have won.

They’re a diverse bunch of strong women who have navigated their way towards successful lives and careers in the face of sexism, racism, civil wars and even displacement.

When I have gone to them with gripes about unfair treatment in the workplace, they have given me advice that has actually worked. Through them I have been encouraged to chase my dreams, to use my creativity, to work hard and even dress a little better, because hey, they have lived through it all and understand the most effective ways to be taken seriously and hit your goals.

The internet won’t let up on talking about ‘squad goals’ – having ‘cool’ friends needs a reinvention; quite simply, the concept is boring.

They understand the value of hard work and creativity

There’s nothing I hate more than lazy people who dismiss determination and ambition. While it’s true that some people will just never understand why hard work is important, it’s a whole other kettle of fish when people belittle ambition, creativity and personal success.

The older women I surround myself with are not small minded, they understand why working hard and taking pride in yourself is important and they never make you feel stupid for having dreams, instead, they encourage you.

It’s not all about having a young ‘girl gang.’ The internet won’t let up on talking about ‘squad goals’ – having ‘cool’ friends needs a reinvention; quite simply, the concept is boring. Go out and meet someone older, wiser and influential because the guidance you get is immeasurable.

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