Find Your People: The Importance of Female Friendships
I've been thinking a lot about the beauty of the female friendship. It's something that is often maligned, a phenomenon that is pushed aside with comments like "Oh, women are so catty" or "women secretly hate other women because they feel threatened" and other nonsense like that. In truth, some of the most valuable relationships a woman can have are friendships with other women, and those friendships can grow into sisterhoods, the most sacred of relationships. It is true that women can be terrible to each other, sometimes - most times - out of jealousy and insecurity, but when a woman begins to bond with another woman, beautiful things can happen.
I am lucky enough to have some truly powerful and loving women in my life, after always hanging "with the guys" in high school and college. I bought into the "never trust other women" idea, and spent most of my young life comparing myself to other women, instead of finding our similarities. It was a feeling born of deep insecurity, and although my friendships with men are fantastic, my friendships with other women are sacred. It took a long time for me to learn that, and I am so glad I grew as a person enough to realize that.
For who else than another woman can you text "Help, my period is here and I am drowning in woe" and she will respond with "on my way, what flavor Ben and Jerry's?" Who other than a woman will listen to you, really listen to you, when you are having relationship problems with your partner or are dealing with family issues? Who else, I ask of you, will tell you that the teal eyeliner that you bought on a whim makes you look like Cyndi Lauper in 1984 and not in a good way? Not out of meanness, far from it, but out of love for you and concern for your very well being? Women have an intuition about each other, and when we connect, we really connect. There's a reason our monthly cycles will sync up, and it's that deep biological tie to one another that can make women so indispensable in our lives.
And we will fight tooth and nail for each other, make no mistake. I have said countless times in my life, that if you mess with me, you'll break my heart. You mess with my friends? I'll break your face. The Mama Bear mentality is real, and when we lift each other up instead of breaking each other down, incredible things can happen. Get a bunch of women together for a common goal, whether it be personal, political, regarding children, or a job, and we are a force to be reckoned with, a wall that cannot be penetrated. We are a force of nature, a phenomenon that will not be stopped.
And we are funny. We are so, so funny. I can stomp into a room wearing a new outfit and shriek "This is all wrong, there is nothing good here" and my best friend will say "Turn around and take that off immediately, I don't know what that designer was smoking when they made that, you are way too pretty for that mess." And she'll be right. In turn, I just bought her a Cadbury Creme Egg for no other reason than it's Monday and I knew she wouldn't buy one for herself. More importantly, she DESERVES that Cadbury Creme Egg, and I will tell her as much. That's what best friends are for.
So take a little time today and text your best girl friend. Let her know that you're thinking of her. Let her know that she means the world to you, and let her know that no matter if she's wearing sweat pants for the fourth day straight and the kids are screaming for the third hour straight, no matter WHAT, she's a goddess. And so are you.
But I'm sure she'll tell you that too.
All artwork by Sarah Anderson http://sarahcandersen.com/