Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Importance of Girlfriends

I have felt often through the years since high school that a piece was missing.  
There is my boyfriend who became my wonderful husband and best friend. 

I am surrounded by caring family (though sometimes more than I wanna be), 
blessed with sister-in-laws I enjoy and love.
I worked my way through a couple of jobs until I found one I love 
and co-workers I fit with.
I have beautiful, smart kids to fuss over and  
thankfully they enjoy all the things I drag them along to do.  

I went away to school, came home, got married, 
made my house, putzed around with my hobbies...  
But I often have felt even when I am surrounded by all those people 
there is just something that doesn't feel like it clicks at times.

I started blogging in hopes that I would find that fit that I was looking for...
Those "kindred spirits" as Anne of Green Gables would say...  
And I have.  And I love connecting with you and hearing 
how much we like and live so much the same, 
but in a way, you are also intangible.  

I have no sisters and yet I was in an odd space where 
my mother is the oldest of 5 siblings and her youngest sister
is 18 years younger than her and only 2 years older than me.  
I was fortunate that my family stayed nearby and 
I spent many awesome summers crashing my grandparents - 
hanging out at the farm, riding horses, baling hay, playing in the country 
with my aunt and mostly being made to feel like I was 
one of the 5 sisters as much as I was a grandchild.  
On the flip side of that, it became a bit awkward as my aunt and I got older 
and hit that time when she was in high school 
and I was in middle school and not "cool" to be seen with.  
And our differences became more apparent 
and awareness of adult family issues grew 
and we grew farther and farther apart.

Enter high school...and those new "kindred spirits"...  
While I knew a lot of people and tagged along with 
a bunch of different groups, we had a main foursome 
that I felt that connection with. 
Not to say that we didn't have our share of spats, but we just clicked.  
With those girls, I could be silly and ugly and confide those teenage fears 
and struggles and the ugly things going on through my parents divorce 
and the crushes and the dreams.  
Without fear of judgment or rejection 
that I was not as perfect as I felt I was supposed to be...  
In that time when we are most self-conscious of every little thing 
- we had each other to be open with.  

And the last time all four were together was our graduation open houses.  
That summer, things happened so quickly and we were pulled 
to different corners of the world.  It all happened so suddenly 
I didn't even realize how far apart we were until I emerged 
from the fog of crisis' in my own life and realized they were all gone. 

The years passed.  Life happened.  
We made brief contact here and there at major life events 
like weddings and baby showers 
but didn't have the chance to really get together.  

And FaceBook happened and we were finally able to all find each other 
and sort of follow what was going on and found out that we still shared a lot.  
One happened to be right here all the time and our paths never crossed.  
Another moved home several years ago and we just 
never seemed to connect at the right times - 
each time we did it seemed that we jumped right back to the way things were.  
But its not the same catching up when you have the kids and the families around.  
Our fourth is still out of state and in the military 
but hoping to move back nearby within the next couple of years.

So after months of saying "we should" 
and then kids and commitments to everything else kept getting in the way, 
we finally set a date and a time and a place.  
Just us girls.  And we met and we hugged and laughed. 

We finished each others sentences and talked about the old things 
and the new things and everything.  
It was exactly like it was 16+ years ago.  
And we each had felt that piece missing so much.  

As women, we are so harsh and judgmental on each other and on ourselves.  
So we need those other women we click with 
so that we can vent and brainstorm and brag and dream 
and relax without having to explain why we feel that way 
or be cautioned on what we say and how we say it or who its about.  
Without having to worry that it will be shared somewhere it shouldn't be 
or that there will be repercussions 
or judgment on the way we feel.  
And so we can be reassured that we are not alone 
- that others are dealing with the same things and feeling the same way.

We have made a plan to make it more regular and to set the dates 
and to make us a priority so that we can have that piece that we need.  
To make us more complete.  
Not all of those plans are just the girls 
- some are things of mutual interest that we want to do 
with our families and spouses.  
It is so easy to put ourselves last in the list 
and eventually we just run out of us to give. 
Nothing can restore that sense of 
"its going to be OK" and "I'm OK" 
so much as your girlfriends.

1 comment:

Rosilind Jukic said...

I loved reading this post!! (and of course - the Anne picture makes me want to drag out those videos and watch them again! I just might do that.) There is a lot of truth here. I have found that my husband doesn't want to be my "girlfriend" - in fact, he has really pushed me to invest in my girlfriends and share with them girlie things, and I share with him the things that build our marriage. And we need that as women. Thank you for the reminder of how important this is!

Hopping over from Life In Bloom blog hop. A Little R & R