We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends
The bond between women is so special. I am not saying men don’t have it with each other, but I am saying it’s different. When it’s true, the union that is created between one woman and another is unbreakable. It’s mutually accepting each other, despite any, and all, differences. It’s “I’ve got your back” … and then some. It’s taking your “best” and making yourself a “best friend,” because when the going gets tough, you always go looking for your best friends.
Friendships start at every age. They’re also tested at every age: from the middle school years of hurt feelings at sleepovers to alligator tears over boys in high school to shared glasses of wine analyzing your life (and body) post-children. Once that first gesture of kindness, empathy, and loyalty is made, you have the gift of a lifetime.
I am so thankful for the amazing friendships I have made throughout my life. I have had a friend from high school for 22 years (okay, writing that made me feel really old). We went to each other’s graduation parties, I visited her in college, and I was in her wedding. We lost touch for several years during our 20’s, but it didn’t matter. We both hit 30 and picked up where we left off. I have watched her make her college sweetheart a husband, supported her through his challenging profession choice and also through a significant life move for her family. I wish I could list more, but the truth is the foundation of our friendship relies on staying honest and keeping each other’s confidence up. She would be the one I would call if I needed a sincere opinion.
College was a funny time for me. I’m not sure I was in the right environment, but I know things happen for a reason. I was a squirrely little freshman from Maine who came to a college in the heart of the South. I didn’t know what a sorority even was so can you imagine where my head went when they asked me if I wanted to “rush.” Rush where?!? She was a Senior and took my open hand. She had the most level head of anyone I had ever met. Her genuine heart and ability to understand any situation kept (and has kept) me afloat. Post-College, we lived with each other when we both were at a mid-twenties low … I helped her get through an awful break-up and, at the age of almost 30, was her first roommate post-college. I haven’t seen her in years, and we probably speak every six months, but the second that phone conversation occurs, I appreciate her even more. She would be the one I would call if I needed someone to take charge.
I don’t know what lottery I won, but I met some of the greatest women during my twenties. And, the crazy part was that it started with a guy who had moved down to Jacksonville, Florida before his girlfriend. Ha, how bad does that sound? Nope, I am not a homewrecker, but he was definitely my friend first if you know what I mean. Once his now-wife arrived, we were two peas in a pod, and from there it snowballed. We started as a down-to-earth two, then thanks to my job, became a super fun three… next, by far my most happy friend, joined in to make four and then the sweetest of us all made our group final. The five of us have formed a bond that is unbreakable. There are no secrets, no people breaking off to be separate, and never any cheap shots. We all bring something different to the dynamic that makes it work. I bring the organization because, without me, we would never get together . I call them the most just to catch up, but the beauty of our friendship is most visible when we get together as a team. They would be the ones I would call in a crisis and would (all five) be on my doorstep the next day.
Having children does a number on your life, particularly the amount of time you have to give to anyone else but them. When my husband and I moved to South Florida, I didn’t have much time on my hands, but enough time to Facebook-stalk an old college friend who had just moved to the area. We immediately reconnected and have even opened our own business together. By being a homebody who goes to bed at 9 pm, I have helped her acclimate to a slower Florida pace. With both of us having traveling husbands, we’ve spent many a glass of wine out taking a much-needed breather from “mom-ing” and talking about the struggles of this balancing act they call “life in your 30’s.” She would be the one I would call if I was having a bad day and needed to vent.
My little girl’s new school has been just as amazing for me as it has been for her. The parents, mothers of her friends, have been nothing but warm and welcoming. We’ve formed fun book clubs, had perfect play dates and even been able to squeeze in time for coffee. I look forward to forming new life-long friendships with some, if not all, of these fabulous women. They would be the ones I would call if I had a concern about my child, probably just as important as any phone call.
So after telling you about what I have done for my friends, let me now tell you what they have done for me. I went through a massive life change after meeting my husband, and they all stood behind me as I walked away from a 10-year career. When my father was on life support a few years ago, they all called, texted, checked in every.single.day. And, when my marriage hit rock bottom, no one blinked an eye at who had done what. It was all about how are “we” going to get through this … This is, of course, just the start of how these amazing women have kept me afloat. They all add something different, something positive to my life and for that, I am forever grateful and forever indebted to all of them.
Do these people sound like people in your life? I hope so. And, I hope that the next time life gets tough and you feel like you’re completely lost, or you have something to celebrate, take a deep breath and embrace your besties. Taking the oh-so-perfect words from our favorite English Musicians, we get by with a little help from our friends …
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