Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Importance of Friendship: A Love Letter to My Girlfriends

I've been thinking a lot about girlfriends.  More specifically, I've been thinking about my own personal group of close girlfriends.  Some of I've known for less than a few years, others I've known for decades. One named me.   I've realized though, that it's not how long you've known someone that constitutes closeness-- its how you know someone.  

There are rows and rows of Hallmark cards with similar sentiments, but nothing ever seemed to every quite fit how truly blessed I feel to have each of them in my life.  They are my family- either by blood or by choice.  They are the ones I find comfort in even thousands of miles away.   They are the ones that help "make it okay" just to be.

Being women, we're put on one hell of a roller coaster.  When I think back to everything that's gone on, regardless of how insignificant or trivial, whether it be a new hair color, or shoe justification, new babies, new jobs, moving to new cities or moving on in relationships; my girlfriends are with me in those memories. 
We are girlfriends not just because we're there for each other when things get tough.  We're there for each other when things just are.  We heal through laughter.  We laugh through rage. We cry just because we need to.  We sit and eat marshmallow fluff with our pudding or debate the possible ways to devour Oreo cookies.  We make it safe to be ourselves without fear of judgement. 
We are girlfriends because we love each other-- through the good, bad and sometimes ugly parts of life.  It's not always easy to let your girlfriends in. Okay, sometimes it's out right hard to admit what's really going on.  It's embarrassing to admit some things about ourselves. It's not always easy to allow yourself to feel vulnerable.  We don't want to burden people with our problems.   Without fail, here come your girlfriends
By supporting one another, we grow stronger standing on our own two feet.  By making it safe for each of us to be honest with one another, we are able to become more honest with ourselves. By laughing with each other, we are able to laugh more easily at ourselves.  Why?  We're sharing jokes and advice. We are sharing our experiences, thoughts, feelings, doubts and revelations.  We share the intense bond that only women can have with one another.  We are sharing our lives. 
 
I've learned more about the meaning of friendship in my adult life than I ever did growing up.  I learned that I am nothing without my girlfriends and am constantly humbled by their love and support.   These friendships take work and you have to show up, but it's worth it.  

The road of life is simply too damn short.  The road trip is much more fun having good company.