I’m a girl’s girl. I was never a boy’s girl. I had little boy friends growing up, but shortly after those puberty hormones set-in the relationships got more awkward by the day and eventually fizzled out entirely. Gone were the days of climbing trees after school, stealing apples from the neighbors and building play forts in our basements. In its place, though, were my girls. The ones figuring out just how tampons worked, what first kisses were like… all the while begging to subscribe to 17 magazine and daydreaming of first loves.
In high school, I made friends that up until a few years ago I would have sworn would be my best friends forever (and ever). I’ve never had any other friends like that. Ones that allowed you to be completely, 100% yourself. Whether they faded over time, had a big ‘ol dumb girl fight or just ended without reason, it doesn’t matter. They are a huge part of my past and losing them was as painful as losing my first love — but for me, the sting continues to linger. The wounds, though healed, still throb from time to time.
Those girls, the ones I used to sit in my 1998 red Chevy Blazer with, day dreaming and arguing about who would be who’s maid of honor, aren’t those girls for me anymore. They weren’t the maid of honor at my wedding, they weren’t bridesmaids at my wedding… in fact, they weren’t even there. Which, to 20 year old me is completely inconceivable. Sometime the past memories, the old laughs, the lost friendship still feels like a limb has up and disconnected itself from my body. Losing girlfriends is hard- so hard.
In college, I made more friends that now share a bond of late night shenanigans, Saturday morning recaps and a love for each other that I hope never fades. We sustain ourselves on wine nights, memories of laying in bed watching Frasier and inside jokes. They don’t live next door anymore, they don’t even live in the same city.
These are the girls that will always say yes to a bottle of wine and an America’s Top Model Walk Off… the ones that have sat with me while I cried at life’s uncertainty and celebrated even the tiniest victories right alongside me. It’s funny, though, that we were all the in the same phase of life when we met, but are all so different now. Different paths, different cities, different lives. But, they’re still my favorite girls, even if they’re far away.
As an adult, I’ve only ever made a handful of friends that resemble anything close to the relationships of my (not so long ago) youth. One or two, really. There’s less to bond over, less to pull you out of your shell, less to experience. I get that. We’re not all plotting our prom plans or staying up til 2 AM making all kinds of memories. Being grown up comes with new relationships (hello husbands) and a lesser need to rely on would be strangers to get you through. And, that’s what makes me sad. The vulnerability decreases, the openness decreases, the need for relationship decreases.
Occasionally a post will pop up about the impossibility of adult friendships, a statistic will come out about the probability of only meeting one couple during your marriage that will create a strong friendship with both you and your spouse … and it all almost seems impossible. Almost. As girls, as women, as daughters, as human beings we need to be better. We need to be open and vulnerable and willing to try. Because, the alternative isn’t good. It’s not happy. It’s not the way I want to live.
So, let’s change it. Let’s say yes to coffee dates and no to drama. Let’s compliment each other instead of analyzing and blaming. Let’s laugh and stop caring about exactly what comes out of our mouths in nervousness and just embrace the fact that, truly, we’re all in this together. Each one of us is taking it one day at a time and trying to figure out where we fit, how this works and what we’re doing.
Let’s make this the year of girls, of friendships, of grace and forgiveness, of letting it happen. I’m in, are you?
Want to grab a cup of tea together and chat? Let’s be friends!