Although I can acknowledge that I come from a long list of all-girl environments, I have to say that up to a few years ago, I was one of *those girls*…the one that humble bragged that it was soooo hard keeping girlfriends, because, like, they were all, like tooootally jealous of how many awesome guy friends I had!
At one point, I really had very few female friends, despite being surrounded by the gender. I gravitated towards the guys. I tumbled through a tomboy phase, but ultimately, I was really a girly-girl who hung with the guys in a cloud of perfume and sparkly things. I was ‘one of the guys’, while being very much all woman.
I was bereft of my own personal sorority, there were no girl gaggles or giggles and I went alone to the bathroom, to movies, to the stores. I was my own advisor, personal assistant and life coach. I loved my friends, but that desperate drive for closeness that I associated with female friends looked kind of stifling and frightening to me. I thrived on being the fierce and fiery femme who rolled alone, except for the groups of guys who ranged from ‘love like a sister’ to ‘love, wanna give her a kid and then give the kid a sister’.
I figured it would always be that way, and that that way was simply the way for ways to be. After all, according to media and lunchtime sound bytes of squabbles and throw downs, women hate women. Women back stab. They’re petty and vengeful and crazy and one-uppy and really, women are just no good as friends to other women.
I’m sad that I felt I had to choose between being naturally independent and developing and fighting for the female friendships I let slip too easily. I’m ashamed I drank the misogynistic Kool-Aid. I’m sorry that I spiked it with double doses of *that girlness* and thought that my version of being true to myself was better than yours. Or yours. Or hers. Or theirs.
I’m so sorry, amazing women I let fade out of my life because I didn’t fight hard enough to define my own version of girlfriendness, with how that could have nourished my life and perhaps even sped up healing in so many fractured areas of my life. Because sometimes, no one but another girl can understand how our lady hearts can shatter, how our psyches can splinter and our minds crack; sometimes only another woman can coax that hidden strength from in between and under the fragments of ourselves.
My guy friends are still important of course, and I know I can call on them anytime for help or for ‘hey’. I just wish I had put equal effort into my girls too. Because beyond ‘sorority’, female friendship is solidarity in the face of this great, big life we live.
I miss the friends I never made. And I miss the ones I let fade.
If you ever read this, I’m so sorry for the combination of flaws and wounds that fed my withdrawal from “us”.
For those of you still here, buckle up, because I’m NEVER going to let you go!
I’m so grateful for my flesh-and blood bestie, my sister who had no option but to stick around until I could understand the magic of our friendship.
I’m so thankful for the bestie born months after me that neither fight nor foreign could ever dissolve, and for friends who can readjust friendships without ever truly letting go.
My maid of honour, my ride or die kinda bestie who knows all the real Me’s. But sticks around anyways. (Probably because no one reins me in quite like her.)
For the camping trip that brought me my soul-Twin, and the job from hell that brought me 2 guardian angels (who also event plan, life coach and provide laugh therapy);
My current job that has given me 10,000 new gray hairs, but 2 friends who will be in my life forever, even if this job is not;
“Little sisters” who have grown into proper women, wives and moms, who never stop loving, calling, supporting and waiting to Be There for me;
My drama days with the friends who are there with just a click, a link, a text (Ten, BMae, we are FOREVER);
Lunch groups, and co-workers (esp one amazing redhead whose life has bumped gently into mine our whole lives long) and the women who have shaped my life under the banners of “Auntie” too….there are SO many who have a place in my warmest memories, and in my heart.
Thank you for your lives, for your love, for your presence.
Forgive my foolish days when I thought I didn’t need you.
Because I do.
I always have.
I always will.
And if ever YOU need me, I’ll be here
With cookies for reconciliation. And courage.