Girl friendships

thanks to Stuart Miles for the image.
thanks to Stuart Miles for the image.

It’s been a long, bumpy ride with me and girlfriends.  The kind of girlfriends that Romy and Michelle are (if you are of a certain age, hopefully you get the reference)the type of best friends that are girls.  Girl relationships.

They are hard, to say the least.  But they are lovely, necessary, and add a whole depth to your life that you never knew about before.  They are like a hidden spice that once you discover it, you feel the need to use it in all your recipes and when you leave it out, maybe others can’t tell, but you can.  Something is missing. The recipe just doesn’t taste as good and certainly isn’t as satisfying and there’s a depth that just isn’t there.

These girl relationships have always been a bumpy ride for me.  Bumpy in that, I strap on a seatbelt in hoping for a convertible type ride of a relationship, only to discover it’s not enough, and we are in a jeep with no shocks and wandering through dessert or deluges of rain with no top.  I usually end up feeling overexposed, painfully vulnerable and shy, expecting to have had a nice drive maybe through a forest or somewhere safe only to discover that it’s a ride I’m not so sure I should have signed up for, as  it was rugged, extreme and not at all what I expected.  And  in the end of some of these best friend-like relationships, I’m not so sure whose fault the bad ride is, mine or my former friend’s.

So, needless to say I’ve been hurt many times by these relationships.  They hurt deep, where it’s a mix of anger, vulnerability, pride and the feeling like maybe I’m just not the right person. And though I tell myself it’s maybe not you, I can’t help but think it’s all me, that I simply wasn’t  good enough to be a part of a pack, part of a gang of the girlfriends, a la Romy and Michelle or The Ya-Ya Sisterhood clan.

It’s not unlike dating from what I remember, I’ll say that.  And I’ll also say I’m not sure which is harder on my heart, and I’m not sure I’ve got that all figured out either.

Not sure if you’re like me, but the kind of girl relationship that I’ve longed for is a friend who knows me so well, that they use the back door.  We of course, don’t have a back door (or one of those half-doors that all of the houses in the 50’s sitcoms were seemingly equipped with) but, we do have a garage door that takes you through the scenic, messy garage to scenic, messy laundry room into the kitchen.  One of those friends is what I long for: one who knows the back entrance, and uses it, and accepts you and your mess along the way to finding where you are.  And the friend that you are not afraid to share your mess with or let them see, either.

And I’m here to tell you that those friends yes really, do exist.

First, yes you, if you are in this boat with me too, you will recover and will move on.  There are others who long (yes, long) to be friends with you.  And you will find them one day.  Promise. And yes, you are good enough. Double promise that one.

And second there is this in the case you are like me, and still searching a bit.  Here’s a good and safe place to start-

The in(RL) conference in April.

(in)RL.  Totally worth it.
(in)RL. Totally worth it.

I know it’s wonderful, because I’ve tried it, I did the whole conference thing last year, you know what?  Blew my socks off.

Everyone who is in this conference is vulnerable, honest, kind, and also: broken.  Some of them have been hurt too, and that’s what this is all about: sharing the hurt and the scars and the broken places in our lives, but still dancing.  Still trying, testing the waters, and knowing that if we break, there are others there to help up glue things back together, to pray, and to most importantly: laugh.  Where there could be potentially a lot of sorrow, there is also laughter too, as in you only crack when you don’t laugh.

We talk about the things that matter most, of course: honest pain, high heels, casseroles, good friendships, God, Nutella, chocolate, pedicures,when the kids annoy you the most, jokes, date nights and how a good cup of coffee can save you, we talk about all of it.  Anything you would talk about with a true-blue girlfriend, is what has been (or probably will be) talked about here.

I invite you to join in the conversation.  Only requirement is you bring your authentic, vulnerable self, including that middle school one that is all nose and height and has no idea how to wear eyeliner.  Bring her too, because she will be among confidantes and equal-footed friends.  Oh, and other requirement is that you be a girl.  Sorry boys, but this is all girly-girl stuff, all nail polish and pink and swirls and all sorts of stuff that I imagine give you boys nightmares to even think about.

And hey-if you have a family, sounds like a good idea for a Girl Day for Mama and maybe a Guy Day for Dad, don’t you think? Call up the grandparents and or baby-sitters, I’m sure they would be more than happy to help and watch the little ones while you take a little time for yourself.  And remember this especially if you’re a mom: this isn’t selfish.  To be a good mom, you need time for you, too.

And again, promise this won’t be a bad time, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had with other women, and it is community, it is home.  Truly.

For all the details, check it out here: http://www.incourage.me/inrl

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6 thoughts on “Girl friendships

  1. I’m looking forward to this conference. I didn’t participate last year, but I most certainly am this year!

    I’ve had those friendships and I long for them again…someone close by to use my back door.
    ~FringeGirl

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  2. Hi Liz! If we weren’t so far from each other, II’d walk through your back door in a heart beat! It was a joy meeting you at the (in)RL meet up last year and I know our paths crossed for His purposes…some still possibly to be seen 🙂

    I’ll miss seeing you at the meet up this year…but I’m joining one that is in my own back yard this time ~ looking forward to meeting women just like the ones you so perfectly described in your post. Tell Mary and the others hello for me…we’ll be meeting together in the virtual sense!

    ~Tami

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  3. “the kind of girl relationship that I’ve longed for is a friend who knows me so well, that they use the back door” – this. me too. This is the stuff of friendship that gets us through the hard days with laughter. Thank you so so much for sharing it with me. It’s a beauty and I pray that (in)RL this year is just as blessed for many other women on the fringes of friendship.

    warmest of wishes
    Lisa-Jo

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