Sunday, July 10, 2011


People tell you when you are young, "Don't choose a boy over your girlfriends. Your friends will always be with you, and a boy could always leave." When I was really young I remember thinking "what silly advice. I would NEVER choose anybody over my best friends!". But adult women kept repeating the advice. As if it was a lesson they had learned the hard way. Happily married women would say "Don't give up your girlfriends. They are important!" and you could see, it was a painful thing for them. A true piece of advice they hoped that these girls in their teenage years would hear.

As I got older I remember questioning the advice. "But...shouldn't my future husband be who I am closest to? Shouldn't our family be first? Girl friends are good...but this's better." But I always remembered the advice. Remembered that it was told to me from women in great marriages and broken homes. It didn't matter who they were, they would say "Keep you girlfriends. They are important". So I tried to listen. Oh sure, we have grown apart over the years. Life and babies, men and jobs, moving to other cities, making other friends, LIFE. It's a lot to keep up with. And so we did grow apart. But never all the way apart. Never to the point where I felt like they were gone. But sometimes far enough apart where I worried that someday soon they would be. That I was losing them. That all this life was getting in the way, and these friendships that used to be THE most important thing, were becoming nothing more than surface. Just something to put up and say "Look! I knew they were important! We are still friends!". But really...really...did they know me? Did they know where my heart was? That it was sometimes broken? Did I know them? Did I know what was REALLY happening behind all "life is good" and "we are just so busy" statements?

I am very lucky. People online talk a lot about wishing they are girlfriends close by. I have eight local girls and one long distance dear friend that I know would always be there for me. Always. Two of them are my sisters, one is my sister in law and one is my cousin. So the deck is stacked in my favor, having such a female heavy family. The rest might as well be family too. They are to me. But going into this summer I knew that time and distance was effecting us. It was changing us. It had been for awhile. And I think we all felt it. We all knew, we need to change, or this amazing thing is going to be gone. So we started doing brunch. Once a week, on Wednesdays ,whomever could come would come. And it was good. It was better than good, it was awesome. And then we added in a once a month Sunday brunch, for those girls who couldn't do Wednesday due to work. And it felt amazing. It felt like we were getting back there. Back to where these friendships were important. One of the most important things. We were spending time together, cookouts and pool parties. We were healing.

But at the same time... things still felt a little surface. Like our time together was not for the hard stuff. It was so rare, lets enjoy it. Lets get back to having fun together! But at the same time, there was heartbreak in the room. We all sorta knew it, we knew it was in ourselves, but maybe not as much that we each had it. That in the last few years life had happened, and shit had gotten hard. And that in times like these, 'you need your girlfriends. They are important'.

This weekend my sister in law planned a fire pit at her house. It was a girls only event. Not husbands, no babies. Just us. She called it a cleansing. A way to let the past few years go. And I think we all felt it was important. Everyone tried to make it, even on a Friday night after a holiday week. One girl was on vacation, and a couple couldn't work it out, but for the most part we were there. Seven girls...women I guess... sitting around a fire laughing and talking. My SIL had brought paper and simple instructions. Write down what you need to let go. You can share it or not. No big deal. But I want to burn the stuff I am carrying around.

You could tell she was worried we would think it was dumb. But I think that was quickly forgotten as the tears began to flow. Over three hours we talked. A lot was just laughing and sharing. Jokes and memories. And then sometimes, mixed in, was the hard stuff. The stuff we wanted to let go. The broken hearts. And it was amazing. And so very personal. And will never be mentioned beyond the fact that it happened. And oh thank god it did. Because now, in my heart, I feel like my girlfriends are back. Not back for brunch or the pool. Those things are good. But they are back in my heart. That now at 31, they know where I am. They know that I am much more broken that I was at 21, and they love me more for it. And more importantly, that I know where they are. They are much more broken than they were ten years ago too, and I love them even more for it.

I think everyone knows what I needed to throw in the fire, or at least the one biggest thing. But my girls sat there and listened. They listened as I talked and cried myself out. Something I so desperately needed. They listened and told me they loved me. That their hearts were breaking for us too. That life sucks, but they are there with me. That these amazing women are my girlfriends. And that they always will be.

Hold on to your girlfriends. Make them a priority. They are more important than you can ever realize.

Thank you girls. For listening. For sharing. For taking it all seriously. Those of us who were there will never forget it. And it will be an annual event for our group from now on. A cleansing. I can't recommend anything more.


  1. Wow, envy doesn't even begin to cover it. I would give most anything in the world (except for my family) to have that. I have no good girl friends near me. The "good" girlfriends I do have are all far away (both physically and emotionally). I was just talking to my husband today about how I feel I have no female community and that it hurts my heart in a way I hadn't expected it would. I feel like a huge piece of myself is missing and that I don't know how to find something to fill it because I don't think I've ever really had it to begin with. And it's hard. A lot of the time I think it doesn't really exist, that it's a myth perpetuated by movies and sitcoms but then I come across a post like this and I see that it does exist, for some people. I don't know if this post makes me more sad to know that it does exist for some, but not for me or if it gives me hope that someday I might get to have it too. Probably a little of both.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful girlfriends with us.

  2. Love you and our girls! Xoxo

  3. What an awesome post, awesome experience....

    The girls I was friends with in high school (20 years ago this year) and I get together for "Bitchfest" on the 3rd weekend of March every year. It's the same idea, a chance to get together in a different place every year to reconnect. In 2 years for our 40th, it's Vegas baby!

    Thanks for sharing your experience with your "sister friends" as I like to call mine!

    Excuse me while I go contact my girlfriends and tell them how much I love them all (from 1500 miles away).

  4. I'm so honored that I got to join the group. Thanks for including me! You are all the best and I really appreciate all you've done for me! I am so sad to be moving away but I hope that we can still hang out because really people, we have The Cheesecake Factory!!!! :) I'm so bummed I missed Friday, it sounded fantastic and something I needed too. Thanks and love you!

  5. Awww. You are so blessed to have so many wonderful women in your life. You are even more blessed that all of the women in your life are in each other's lives too.

    I don't doubt Friday was very theraputic. I have often thought about doing the same type of thing. Have you heard of the Burning Man? I think they have it every year in Arizona where people go and do what you gals basically did. It sounds really cool.

    Hug your girlfriends tight my friend.

  6. What a great post! It's true life gets in the way but there are your core group of gals that will be there for you. I feel fortunate to have my girls in my life too!! I'm glad to hear your Friday was so cleansing!

  7. Yay, friends are the best!
    I love what you wrote about being more broken and being loved more because of it. I always feel like the more things that break me the less I fit into the world...need to remember that that is not necessarily the case.
    Hope you're doing OK...been thinking about you...