February is my birthday month and this year I’m turning 36. I have a few special ways in which I celebrate, purchasing a favourite magazine, going to a quiet restaurant and having a special lunch by myself. Anything that involves quiet and a chance to reflect. A good friend told me when you take the time to reflect it creates wisdom. So, for me, work slows down in Feb and I get to take that time.
My mind floats to my girlfriends and how unlikely it was that I would have such good ones. I had a super hard time trusting girls, and I don't think I'm alone in that. Lots of us have been burned, and most times it was either unintentional or due to just being young.
My friends have to deal with the distracted, type A, interrupting me, but also get the shoulder to cry on, non judgemental, easy going me. And I'm just so glad they have chosen to take the bad with the good. I am also a vulnerable person, and I’ve worked hard on becoming that way. Personally, I think vulnerability and humility are the keys to lasting friendship. They distinguish damaging traits like defensiveness and jealousy. At times I still get defensive and jealous. We are all guilty of it. Best thing to do is listen when a friend tells you and then just stop... simple as it may sound.
A little about me and why I am how I am... when I was little, about 12, I came to school one day and all my friends had closed the circle on me. I could no longer find a way in. I'm sure I wasn't totally innocent, and it’s not something I talk about often, but even at age 36 I think about it every. single. day.... what did I do? why don't they like me? maybe if I'd been prettier//more fun//richer//insert your insecurity here...
So, I didn’t trust other women. I believed that once they got to know me, they'd realize that they no longer liked me. Until one day I met my Chelsea. Oh my chelsea. She loved me and kept on no matter what! I was shocked, and I still find myself wondering when the day will come when she says ‘ok, you're out’. But somehow, after 15+ years, that day isn't coming. She has taught me to let other women into my life too. Be choosy with who you trust, follow your gut instinct ~ and having been burned so badly I do have quite a strong one. So let this be a letter of thanks for my girlfriends.
I love you my girls. And you know who you are. You improve my marriage, my self esteem, my business and complete my life. You laugh at me, along with me, and don't just tell me I'm right. I don't mind being the brunt of your joke. You'll know I trust you if you see the cookoo-cray~cray-woman that I am. I believe we were created for community, gathering often, and sharing dinner and wine among friends. Perfect house be damned! I won't let the mess stop me from inviting you over! And I'll give you the shirt off my back if you ask, prob even in a crowd, I love you that much.
Remember that movie ‘the Fockers’ where Robert DeNiro has a circle of trust? That’s me yo, I got my circle and just a handful of girl in there. But they are my go-to. And my top 5 characteristics for a friend?... trustworthy, down to earth, honest, humble and hilarious. My girls celebrate my successes even if they are not their own. They tell me my faults with love and acceptance. They encourage positive change and openly pray for me. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more and can’t believe my luck!
So go hug a friend today. Call them, tell them they are loved. I now love freely and without hesitation. And I'm not completely where I want to be yet, but I'm on the right path. I plan on teaching my little girl the importance of friendship. To be kind and accepting, instead of selfish. To value other women and rely on them. Hubbies are great for a lot of things, but they should never take the place of your girls!
Let’s be the best girlfriend we can be, in spite of our flaws.