Much has been said about relationships between girls. Girls are high-drama. Girls don’t/can’t get along. Girls gossip (about other girls). Girls are plain feline (and the other female canine word which i refuse to type out!). Society has bred girls to be hyper-competitive and much of that being directed at other girls. Of course, pop-culture, and cinema only fuel the volcano that keeps enraged.
Let’s admit it. Growing up, some girls just got along better with boys. We swelled with pride when our guy-friends called us ‘low drama’, ‘unlike other girls’, and generally thought of us as one of the ‘dudes’. Why was fitting in with the guys considered a privilege and a compliment? And i wonder how much of this childish play continues into adulthood as we pretend to be booze binging locker room talking glass-ceiling shattering corporate top-shots, just to fit into the old boys club? (Esp. in Consulting, Private Equity and Banking) (A messy topic for a different blog-post someday.)
While some of us tried to completely hide the fact that we were of the feminine gender, so was lost in the bargain the opportunity to build real sisterhood. I still remember, barring my sister (who of course is my eternal girl-friend!) it was not until the 6 grade when i finally found a best friend who happened to be a girl. And we were inseparable! Endless discussions on the latest teen-fiction, speculations about what romance might mean, and giggles into the night about how cute the cutest guy in school was! Of course, she also turned out to be someone i ruthlessly competed with in academics. After all, girls will still be girls and evolution trumps all else. When i moved to another city, our friendship turned to eagerly awaited letters which held our vulnerable desires, hopes and heart-breaks in flowing ink smudges.
Luckily since, through my teens & twenties i have found some truly wonderful girl-friends; on and off still relying pretty heavily on guy-friends for much of the emotional heavy-lifting. However, towards my late twenties and in my early thirties, in addition to my life-partner, i have deliberately reconnected with and turned to my girlfriends more so often.
Girlfriends inspire you during your lowest lulls, support you through your deepest heart-breaks, cheer you on in your greatest victories, not judge you as you make stupid mistakes, re-assure your quirky fashion choices, and fiercely stand by you when you are being wronged. And really no other person can fill this role in your life except your loyal girlfriends.
But I have come to realize, like all relationships in life, you need to take time out for your girlfriends to keep it special.
Fly across multiple states to see them at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.
You see, people don’t just miraculously remain friends forever.
Especially if you de-forest everything without planting anything new to replace what you took.
And under the blaze of intense life-long competition.
Friendships sometimes char.
Turning feelings and hillsides barren.
Devoid of vegetation or emotion.
Letting misunderstandings tumble down like volcanic rocks.
Irreparable cracks appear.
Vitriolic sulphuric words steam.
Until they bubble up to an explosion of uncontrollable mud-pots.
Before you know it there is nothing left to take from the volcanic crater.
And neglect accumulates running deep into still algal waters.
The question then remains, are these serene relationship parks with our girl-friends salvageable?
Luckily like most things in life and nature, yes!
You need to breathe in fresh air and start anew.
Take long walks into the woods to understand each other’s life stories and paths since you last truly connected.
Take time to reflect deeply on decisions, choices, and dilemmas.
Open up about your vulnerabilities and apprehensions without the fear of being judged.
Build bridges to your challenges and struggles in life.
Until you reach a place where you can stand tall on the ruins.
And feel closer again, like you once did.
As you grow older, keep your girl-friends close.
They are going through the same phases of life as you are. And most of your male friends (including your partner) just can’t relate! You need someone you can just vent to and someone who can rely on you to just listen in turn.
And much like volcanoes, relationships with your girlfriends are sometimes super active and other times slightly dormant. But the trick is to never let them turn extinct – because that would just be pure pity now, won’t it?
So what are you waiting for? Reconnect with you girl-friends, make all-girls trips that last a life-time of memories and repeat it!
Featuring in the coming posts some truly wonderful girl’s trips i have been able to take with my girlfriends.
Check out my previous blog on Saguaro National park and the one coming up soon!