Women’s Friendships: A Year of Lessons

Friendship

There’s something special about the bond between us girls. Maybe it’s because we understand each other in a way that no one else can. We know what it’s like to feel strong, vulnerable, capable, and scared. That shared experience makes us stronger. That small chat we do during a busy day, like a quick therapy session, keeps us going for the day! We need that, us girls. We need female friendship.

 For most of my life, I have been trying to understand the complicated relationship between women and their friendships. Lately, as I got older, a woman in her early fifties, Opps, did I say that out loud? I reflected on my own women friends that I had since I was a little girl until now. We all heard the term best friend, or Yes, we are close friends, my favorite; we used to be friends, but I don’t know what happened, or she is like a sister to me! 

Early Years friendships are simple and pure 

School friendsWhen I was in high school, there were five of us inseparable; we did everything together except sleepovers. I only had one sleepover at my friend’s house as we were studying for finals after I convinced my mom for hours to allow me. As I reflect on that period, our friendship was simple. We talked about homework, activities at school, church, and helping our moms around the house. We were all on the same social level. Lived in similar homes, eating the same food—simple life.  There were no complicated dynamics or relationships, just simple friendships. After high school, we got separated in our ways. I moved to the United States to start a new chapter in my life, and for some reason, I didn’t keep in touch; we just all drifted apart. But I will always treasure those precious memories.

 

It just got complicated, jealousy, shaming, and toxic relationships

When I moved to the US, It was just before my seventeenth birthday. Things changed drastically for me-I got married in an arranged marriage with no family or friends around; life as I knew it didn’t exist anymore! But eventually, after adapting, a new set of friends came along that helped fill those voids within me. Soon enough, what I thought was friendship ended up being fake: there was no substance. It was just drama that kept unfolding, from backstabbing, shaming, jealousy, and competition. My only thought about this experience may be these particular groups of women are stuck on their past regrets rather than moving forward, which leads them into harmful behavior. I don’t particularly appreciate believing that women do such a thing to another woman. I knew better than to remove myself from this as it became toxic and didn’t set well for my well-being! 

Sometimes I think certain women’s friendships blossom in your life for a purpose, a reason, and when their role is over, they naturally disappear.

FriendshipTwelve years passed by, and I had three children. My youngest was only seven when I got divorced and started a new chapter on my own with my three children. I was in a place of peace and panic simultaneously, not knowing what to do! One evening after I dropped my kids to basketball practice, I stood outside in the parking lot. Tears were coming down my face when this woman approached me to ask if I was okay! I instantly felt the relief that someone cared. That moment ignited the light on a new friendship. We both understood what it meant to be there for each other as women to support each other. There is only respect for what we are going through at that stage in our lives; being there to listen to show up when needed, she opened her home for my children and me and Helped me find a job, and I was there when she needed me to lend a hand in the kitchen or help with kids’ homework. We supported each other in every way we could. We didn’t count what we did for each other; just did it!  In the past few years, we drifted apart; not sure why I was in a different place in my life, and she was going through changes in her life too. I will always be grateful for her generosity and support! Sometimes I think certain people show up in your life for a purpose, a reason, and when their role is over, they naturally disappear. 

There is a whole new world out there I didn’t know about

During my time in the cafe, I met a lot of women and men who were friendly and supportive of a single mom who owned her own business and raised her children on her own. Felt what it meant to be part of a community. I understood that families come in different shapes and forms. Also, felt supported and loved. I watched women gather and chat over coffee. Strangers meet to work on various projects. I saw women talking, laughing, and working together for a good cause. I was witnessing bits and pieces of their lives, and they were witnessing mine! My heart was full of gratitude. 

The Bond of Women’s Friendships ?

During my time in the cafe, I bonded with a few women. This was the first time I formed friendships with women who didn’t share the same culture or upbringing. It was more like a slow dance. I tried to understand where they were coming from and learn more. In the meantime, they also tried to know where I came from. As we discovered that we have so much in common, rather than our differences, we became friends, sharing, laughing, bonding, and supporting each other.

You may smoke a joint to show your support

 With our small group of women, I connected with a woman I called my best friend and more than a sister. Maybe because she worked across from the café and we lived across the street, we saw each other a lot more often. We bonded in a friendship that has been going strong for the last twenty years. Both of us care about each other’s well-being and deeply listen to each other. We talk about everything, kids, food, weight gain, menopause, what makes us happy, what makes us feel miserable; we cry on each other shoulders, watch movies, take long walks, discuss politics, maybe smoke a joint there is no peer pressure there, talk about sex. There is no topic off-limit in our friendship.

Celebrate friendships between all genders

The Beauty of Non-Judgment in Women’s Friendships!

We love each other just the way we are! We both have opened our hearts to all the love and gratitude that our friendship brings into our life. And what a blessing to be able to experience this kind of friendship, isn’t it? A friendship between any gender is beautiful and must be celebrated!  A lifelong friend or a passing friendship, the bond between women is essential for our well-being. Friendship provides us with laughter, comfort, and support – something we all need from time to time.

So, all my women readers, do you have a female friend you love and support? What have been your experiences with female friendship? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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