Who are your closest girlfriends? Are they the girls you went to high school with? College? Ladies you met at work? Through Mom groups or your kids schools? How many friends do you have that
Who are your closest girlfriends? Are they the girls you went to high school with? College? Ladies you met at work? Through Mom groups or your kids schools?
How many friends do you have that you have known for over 30 years? 20? 10? or 5? And when I say “Friend” I mean the ones that you see more than 4-5 times a year – the ones that you call when you need help (not just text!!), or when you’re going through a tough time. The friend that knows your extended family, and the names of your childhood pets. The one(s) that were there at your wedding, your divorce.. Your second wedding ( hey some of us are lucky enough to find their soulmate and get married again!).
I am blessed enough to be living in my 40th year, and when I think back to all of the people that have come in and out of my life, I’d like to also think that each one of them came, stayed or just passed through my life for a reason. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am slightly embarrassed by the fact that throughout all those people, not many of them are a part of my “true” life, as opposed to the glimpse of my life you see on social media. Moving around a lot as a kid, getting married and having kids young, changing jobs, moving, divorcing… or for whatever reason, I had found it challenging to build long lasting friendships, and it’s something that used to bother me. Still does on some days.
With age though, I guess comes wisdom. (or wrinkles..) But talking to my 13 year old about her friendships and the needless drama that occurs, and then remembering the tumultuous rollercoaster of friendships in my late teens and 20’s, well it had me thinking.
My perception of “friendship” has definitely changed over the years. As I guess it should. Has yours? Every life stage holds different requirements, or needs and who you surround yourself with will likely be those that meet those needs. But the thing that has never changed for me, even with my husband being the human closest to me, is my need for women companionship. Call me crazy but a small part of me was continuously searching for the Thelma to my Louise… The Monica to my Rachel… and it’s not been easy or maybe even realistic?
All that being said, I was doing my typical late night facebook perusing, you know… checking the news (HA!).. Latest Tik Toks and scrolling through various mom groups, when a certain question really stopped my thumb from continuing along. Another mom, same age as me, was asking about friendships. Her post, so simple, straight to the point, courageous and so unlike any other I’ve seen for a very long time, really spoke to me. She wasn’t just looking for another mom to hang out with, she was putting into question the very existence and ideology of having a true bestie, like what is depicted in so many movies, or tv shows. Forget romanticising for the perfect man! I mean, men as partners have come a long way in the last 30 years (let’s give credit where it’s due), what we really want is a ride or die, knows your whole family, has been with you through break ups and children, AND will have brunch with you every other week, no matter what life throws your way.
It was an honest to goodness relief when I saw that SO MANY other women out there were seeking the same unicorn; a Sex in the City type girl gang with whom to share your life with, through thick and thin ( I mean literally right..umm the Covid 15 IS A THING!!) AND where you’re all around the same size so you can share clothes.. Is that really too much to ask?
Well as per the 100 + responses, I guess it is. Just like how Hollywood glamorizes being a SPI, or an advertising exec ( why are all men in romcoms in advertising??) they have mastered the fantasy that every woman has a bestie.
And to those of us that haven’t been lucky enough to have that soulmate sister gang, well it’s not hard to wonder if it can truly exist.
Let’s go back to when we were first introduced to the magic of a bestie, because no matter what age you are now, there was and is a show or movie that depicts life’s events/struggles/defining moments, and the two besties that are there for each other through it all. When I was a kid it was Blossom and Six, The girls on the O.C., Meredith and Christina, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe…Carrie and her crew… the list is too long to continue but you get my point. I hate to admit it, but seeing it through the media on a continuous basis truly made me feel like I was missing out. I was constantly trying to find that one friend that would fill the void. And sadly, by trying to force these friendships into being what I wanted them to be, or not being in a good place in my life at the time, I either chose badly, or ended up pushing them away. And let’s be honest, not everyone clicks with everyone. As we get older, and get less and less time to give to anyone other than the immediate family members, our extra time is precious and we want to spend it with those that mean something to us.
And now at 40, with a small collection of women from various parts of my life that surround me from time to time, I think I am finally realising what makes a good friend, and am lucky enough to have a few examples of that in my life.
It took me 40 years to stop comparing myself to others or the glorified ideology of a bestie on the big screen, and you know what? I am so much happier now.
Letting go of what I thought I wanted left room for what I needed to come into my life.
So maybe I don’t have a group of girls where we’ve all known each other for years, or a close knit circle or gal pals that I am travelling the world with, (bar Covid of course!), or even more realistically, a small group of ladies that meet me for brunch every Sunday… I mean who has time for that?!? When would laundry get washed and floors get cleaned??
But, here is what I do have. I have a handful of beautiful, intelligent, insightful women that take the time to check in on me. Respect between us is reciprocated, and when we are together, we can get past simple unimportant banter, and talk about real things, real issues and offer each other meaningful solutions. And most important they SHOW UP when it matters most.
So let me leave you with this; if you, like me, have been searching for something that you thought was non existent, maybe all you need to do is change what your looking for, and you’ll realise that it’s right in front of you, or at least more readily available within your grasp. Maybe the Unicorn is real, and you’ve had it all along! Or maybe your Unicorn looks different than anyone else’s, and it,s just waiting for you to find it. And just maybe, letting go of what you THINK you wanted will leave room for you what you need to come into your life.