Why I believe Female Friendships are Important
Female Friendships are Important
Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other, gold.
A circle's round
It has no end
That's how long
I'm gonna be your friend.
A fire burns bright,
It warms the heart.
We've been friends,
From the very start.
You help me,
And I'll help you.
We will see it through.
They sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
To keep it clean.
Across the land
Across the sea
We will always be.
Brownies & Bluebirds
Were you singing the song when you read those words above?
It's an old folk song, and I'm pretty sure I learned it a long, long time ago when I was a Bluebird. Yes. A Bluebird.
Now, if you don't know what a Bluebird is, you may not be in my generation, so let me enlighten you.
I digress a bit but stick with me. I promise we will get to where we're going!
Remember Female Friendships are Important.
So, it would seem upon reflection that I've always been pretty picky when it comes to fashion. And in second grade when it came time to pick between being a "Brownie" (which is the first level of Girl Scouts) or a "Bluebird" (the first level of Camp Fire Girls - which I think no longer exist), I chose solely on the basis of the uniform.
Here was my criteria:
Anyway, when I think of how Female Friendships are Important, I think of that song. And, when I think of that song, it brings back that memory.
Friends for Life:
Female Friendships are Important at every phase of life
Female friendships can truly be some of the most rewarding, fulfilling, supportive, and let’s face it REAL relationships we can have. If we don’t support each other, then who else is going to do it?
These are my two best friends from high school. Becky and Shelby. The girls I spent time with at school, in marching band, at football games, basketball games, sleepovers, and sharing our innermost secrets. What boys did we like? What boys liked us? Girl stuff!
Hours and hours on the phone in the evenings (back in those days, there was only one phone and it was attached to the wall). Oh, how far could I get that twirly cord to stretch?
We hung out together through college.
Becky got married first. Then Shelby. Then me.
Life took over and we got busy. Like really busy. Our friendship, although always there, just was not a priority. We had jobs, husbands, kids, parents, and so many activities. We moved away from each other. Not emotionally, but physically.
There are times in our lives when our female friendships can take a back seat to other things. Female friendships aren’t necessarily a priority when we are in those crazy years of raising our kids. At least in my personal experience, in my late twenties until my 50s, I was in the throws of being a working mom, and there was a ton of stuff going on. And it was the same for all of my friends.
Those people I spent hours and hours on the phone with in high school and at parties with in college were now living their own lives with their own families and so was I.
Throw into that the shame and pain of divorce, and I simply lost touch.
Still, female friendships are important.
The Empty Nest - or wait - not so empty
Once we became empty-nesters and I had some time to reconnect with old friends or connect with new ones. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Our youngest girls came home, and did college online while my husband and I did our jobs online as well.
We hunkered down and made the best of it.
Didn’t we all?
Thank God for Facebook and Zoom, honestly. It was a way to escape and reconnect, albeit virtually. Plus I learned a lot of technology, which in a way led to this blog!
Reunion. Because Female Friendships are Important
But it wasn’t until this past summer, 2022, that I realized how much female friendships are important and how much I had been missing my long-time, dearest friends. We had our 40th class reunion. (I know…I know… we're old). But seriously, once we got together in person, I felt my cup fill to overflowing. I didn’t even know how empty I had been until I was once again filled with that bond of friendship. That connection and empathy that you can only get from your girlfriends.
One thing I was reminded of is that we all have a story. At this age, we've all been through some pretty joyful times and some pretty rough times as well. But, at the end of the day, none of that matters. And none of the little petty things that may have caused friction or embarrassment when we were younger matters either. We were all just so glad to be together. To see each other and share memories, stories, and laughter.
Once I had it back, I vowed to never let it go again! These girlfriends mean the world to me!
Reading Between the Wines
It’s only been a few months, but so far, my dearest friends and I have lived up to our commitment to getting together at least once a month. Shelby and Becky even started a book club called Reading Between the Wines, and it’s been amazing!
Our small circle of three has broadened and will continue to broaden with other women from our class. Gone are the cliques from high school. The popular people, the freaks, the geeks. We are all just happy to be alive and happy to be together. The conversations have certainly changed. Not talking about cute boys anymore. But sharing our memories, our hopes, and our dreams for the future.
In the Company of Women
And you know what else? I see so many others who are recognizing that female friendships are important. I have had the privilege of doing some home parties again through my direct sales gig, and it is so wonderful to be an outside observer of other female friendships. Welcomed into a circle of friends if only for just one night. But, it’s so special. The warmth of feeling the women carry for one another. The support. The prayers. The love. It is truly a gift from God.
I’m so lucky that I have three wonderful daughters and three wonderful bonus daughters. And three female cousins who are like sisters to me. As a girl who grew up with two way older brothers, I never really experienced sisterhood. But, God knows what we need and when we need it, so I’ve gotten to have those female friendships and relationships along the way and they are such a blessing.
I’ll close with a fun experience I had just this last weekend. My daughter Paige came home for the weekend and we went to a fun event where we live called Junkstock. It’s a mix between a flea market, a craft fair, a food festival and a pumpkin patch. There are lots of families there. Grandparents with their grandkids. Young people on dates. And groups of girlfriends. Young girlfriends dressed in their cute flannels with their cute boots and cute fall hats. Taking selfies and laughing.
But the group that caught my attention was a group of old friends. And when I say old, I don’t mean the ladies were old. I mean that they had obviously been friends for a very, very long time. They were dressed as “hippies” because that’s probably the era when they were teenagers. And they were having the best time.
I’m normally quite shy and introverted, but I stepped outside my comfort zone and asked them for a pic. I told them about this blog and they were happy to comply. I think this picture says it all. Female friendships are important.
So, in this world of so much divisiveness at times. We girls need to stick together!