I’ve always had girlfriends. I’m lucky in this way. My very best friends I’ve known since kindergarten. Only in the last 20 months though have I realized how important it is to have girlfriends in my life. I self admittedly neglected my girlfriends when I was married. I certainly didn’t do it on purpose, it just happened. Not only do I have my oldest friends, I have new friends that I’ve made (gasp) through the internet. I’ve actually always had a rather small and tight group of friends that gets added to slowly. In the last two years though I’ve added quite a number of friends quickly and I treasure my friendships with them as much as I do my oldest ones. The support a woman gets from her friends is different from support from family members or a spouse or partner. I would not have made it in one piece to the place I’m in now if it weren’t for these friends. The night my ex-husband told me he was leaving I had instant support from the friends I had neglected and from the friends and acquaintances I had made in my online community.
The relationships that women have with other women is so unique. We are simultaneously banded together as the same sex, divided in that we are all competing for the opposite sex, critical of each other and the way we look and dress, but quick to be there for another woman who needs support. We can understand woes about husbands, ex-husbands, children, parents, friends, jobs, our bodies and how they work and don’t work and so much more. We can be angry at a friend but in her time of need forget the petty reason we weren’t talking and be there for her. We might not even know another woman, but hear her story and immediately feel for her and want to drop everything to help. It’s an odd relationship we have with each other.
Because I’ve been friends with the same women for so long we’ve grown and changed together. We’ve certainly matured. We’ve gotten old enough to be at the point where we’re dealing with sick kids together, losses of family members and jobs, and divorces. It just brings us closer. My girlfriends are my family; when they hurt I hurt, and when they are happy I am happy. They can tell me how it is and I know they are doing it because they love me.
Thank you to my oldest and dearest girlfriends and to my newest girlfriends. Without you in my life I might not find the strength to get through the bad days, the laughter to make it all ok, and the support and advice every girl needs. Thank you for accepting me for who I am. I look forward to many more years of bun poking, boy crazy movies, silly talk and general goofiness.