Musings + Essays

The Average.

By: Jen Shoop

*Image above by Asia Typek featuring, again, Amalie Moosgaard (shared a different snap of her earlier this week here).

On a call earlier this week, my girlfriend mentioned, off-handedly: “You know, that whole ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with’ thing.” I’d never heard this wisdom phrased quite that way, though I certainly believe the sentiment that you are the company you keep. In fact, for me, the easiest litmus test as to whether I will put energy into a relationship is a gauge of how I feel after I spend time with someone. Do I feel like a better version of myself? A lesser one? A pettier one, a funnier one, a happier one, a debbie downer?

After some thought, I found my girlfriend’s comment less useful as a rubric for auditing my existing relationships and more fruitful as an exercise for planning my time for friendships moving forward. I turned to a new page in my notebook and jotted down the five women who, in an ideal world, I’d like to be the average of. All of these women shared similar characteristics, but I was surprised by the differences, too — there were women of strong faith, women of ingenuity and enterprise, women of deep empathy, women of lightheartedness. As I surveyed the list, I realized that these are the core relationships I need to allocate more time to. My sister recently told me, “children spell love T-I-M-E,” and we both agreed that the same holds true for friendships. These are the women I want to spend time with, both to show them how much they mean to me, and to ensure that I am surrounding myself by women I look up to. I might never become their average but, well — a rising tide lifts all ships?


+On surviving a failed friendship.

+On building relationships through motherhood.

+On losing a friend at a young age.

+On female friendships and the things that matter.

+On balancing friendships.

Shopping Break.

+Buying these blue floral earrings for sure.

+Doen is having an ultra-rare sale! I love this dress, this blouse, and this nightgown.

+Brock Collection vibes for under $70.

+Speaking of Brock Collection, just discovered that Yoox has a treasure trove of obscenely discounted Brock pieces, including this top (which I already own and love and paid much more for!), which is an extra 20% when in cart (!). I managed to snag the full-length dress version of this top for a SONG, and it originally retailed for over $2,000. Love this skirt, too – the pattern is iconic.

+Into this LSF situation. You can get the look for less here.

+Cute spring dress — a sweet option for a baby shower!

+Mr. Magpie has been busy planting our spring garden and I think I will surprise him with some ceramic garden stakes. A few I love (all Etsy): these, these, and these. A sweet mother’s day gift a green thumb!

+Fun eyelet top.

+Some ideas on entertaining girlfriends at home (and more general notes on entertaining at home here), but I have a vision of a little gal’s night coming together around this pink pitcher (a pitcher of cocktails, yes pls) and these placecards.

+A few great cocktail recipes for aforementioned gal’s night that I have thoroughly tested: a daiquiri with a kiss of mezcal, a fruity concoction with an unexpected hit of cinnamon, and a raspberry-based “up” drink that will forever remind me of the holidays but is honestly better suited to warm weather.

+These personalized coloring pages were the highlight of my daughter’s birthday goody bags! So special for her to see her own name printed on them!

+These pocket tees for little ones come in the best colors.

+Adorable personalized sippy cup and snack cup set.

+I have been hearing good things about this book. Has anyone read it yet?

+The embroidery on this dress is insane!

+Ulla-inspired top!

+I keep coming back to look at these statement necklaces from Lizzie Fortunato. Also love this one.

+Controversial share: I’ve been seeing these fisherman-inspired sandals worn by ULTRA chic fashion editors / street style starlets. Thoughts? You can get the look for less with these.

+Chic wide leg crops in great colors — good for work!

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2 thoughts on “The Average.

    1. Thank you so much, Grace – I also found it illuminating and inspiring. It made me reflect on which traits I admire the most in my friends. xx

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