I adore what this picture symbolizes.
For years, I’ve been reading blogs like this and this. And this and this. They are stocked with stories of women living deliciously full – complete with sisterly friendships and bonds that feel like they’ve gone on for centuries. They are tied together by trust and unconditional love. Experiences are shared and heard. Tears have been shed and caught. Laughter catches like wildfire and the support is undying.
My lack of female friendships, on most days, doesn’t phase me. I’ve got a full schedule, things to do, and places to be. But I’ll admit – some days it does.
Like when I see photos like this:
I want that.
When I was younger, my mom and I were close, but the extent of our “girlie-ness” was her trying to teach me to walk like a lady as we crossed the pharmacy parking lot. (It was a good effort.) We didn’t do nails and share stories the way some women confide in each other. Of course, it didn’t help that I was a tomboy and the notion of spending hours chit-chatting and doing hair was enough to make me want to barf.
During my school years, I had a variety of different friends. Gamers, jocks, brainiacs, and everyone in between. When given an option to do girl things or play outside – I was outside. I loved to laugh and the girls I was with were working hard to be “cool.” In middle school, I was invited to an all-girls party. The usual snacks and punch was available, but the whole experience made my stomach churn. If being labeled the host’s “8th best friend” (out of the 8 people there) wasn’t enough, I had the thrill of being excluded from their “leg comparison circle” because mine were unshaven. (I wasn’t allowed.)
I don’t get humiliated easily, but that was one of those moments.
Around the same time, I remember being completely honest with a friend, I told her that I thought it was awesome that she made things seem so easy. Friends were easy. Outfits were perfectly matched. Makeup was nice. She immediately gushed and ran to tell her mother, who came downstairs basically to have me repeat what I had said – like I was worshiping them and calling them royalty. Later on, I had another friend who would bash me in front of guys because she wasn’t comfortable with herself and it was easier to put the target somewhere else.
It was enough to derail me from wanting to hang out with my female counterparts.
Even as an adult, if I’m at a BBQ and there are backyard games from horseshoes to hoops – I’m playing. What can I say? It’s fun! So let me set the scene on how it normally goes; The moms are off chatting by the fire in their UGGs, looking put together and wielding fruity beverages… And then there’s me. Over with the guys, throwing a football and zinging Frisbees while trying not to spill my beer.
I take full responsibility for missing those bonding opportunities, but surely there has to be a happy medium?
Where are all the other active, fun girls out there? I know they exist since I have recently met a few (that I’m moving away from, naturally) and I have a pretty tight-nit group of quality people who are definitely not asshats. Though, it crushes me they are sprinkled throughout the country.
In my usual form, I have to look at my past to help me assess my contribution to the current situation. Looking back offers me the chance to look to the future. And this is what I see: We are relocating and I have a game plan. Changes are afoot, folks!
Good things are coming and I am so ready for them. (FYI: I’ll still be flinging Frisbees.)