"A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts who you have become, and still, gently, invites you to grow."
I recently had an opportunity to take a short vacation with some girlfriends. This trip was totally needed, as I was about two seconds away from either disowning everything and everyone around me or having a total b*tch-fit, and THEN disowning everything and everyone!
The one friend and I have been close for the last 14 years. The other women I didn’t know. It was my absolute first time meeting them.
Like most ‘first-time’ encounters, I had some apprehension about how we would mesh. That’s normal, right? I’m usually of the mindset that although I meet people all the time, the ‘hey girl hey’ sentiments are reserved for those I truly deem close to me. Being open to bend my rules a little proved to be a win!
The quote I share above truly expresses my sentiment from the trip. I had an absolutely fantastic time, and gained a couple of new friends. From the moment we encountered one another, we laughed and laughed until we parted ways four days later. No one was pressed about what time we were going here or there, what we were doing once we arrived, or how we chose to individually ‘show up.’ It was refreshing. It really started me thinking about how I have ‘shown up’ for friend relationships in the past.
I cannot say with all confidence that I’ve been the best friend-girl to others. My intentions have been good, but many times I’ve been selfish, mad for no reason, judgmental, jealous…you name it, I’m sure I have been guilty at some point or another.
What I have found as I grow older, and particularly on my trip, is many of us are looking for others who are just as real as we attempt to be on a daily basis. We are not looking for perfection or mixed emotions housed in good intentions. I believe we have the full desire of accepting people as they are—so long as they resemble the best of who we want to be ourselves!
We want to connect with someone who laughs at the same inappropriate jokes without feeling condemned. We want someone around who isn’t afraid to ‘turn up,’ and do a two-step when the right combination of Biggie, Bell Biv Devoe, and Rob Base come on at a party. We want to cry on the shoulder of a homegirl, hear an encouraging word, and stop her from grabbing tennis shoes and Vaseline all in the same instance when our hearts are overwhelmed. We want a homie. We want a counselor. We want a sister-girl. We want a ‘good-good girlfriend.’ And it’s possible to have exactly that person when we start by looking in the mirror.
You see, the women on my trip would not have been for me what I needed had I not been what they needed as well. We allowed our sisterly best to shine through and had the time of our lives on land and sea! I think we low-key started a tradition.
Here’s to good good girlfriends everywhere—now go out and find yours!
Until next time,