I have spent my life surrounded by women. Sisters and cousins and aunts. Women who love me unconditionally. Who call me out on my craziness. Who make me laugh until it hurts. Who hate when I cry. Who listen to my anxiety ridden ramblings, sometimes for hours. Women who are crucial to my well being. I was born into a life full of them. Ready made friends. No effort required, just born into the right family at the right time.
Growing up with these women all living within walking distance of my childhood home was a huge comfort. I was so comfortable (and so painfully shy) that I did not pursue many other friendships. Through grade school and college and my first few years of work and eventually into motherhood, I continued the trend.
It is possible I could have gone through all those years friendless. I wasn’t really good at making friends. I guess it was fate that I was given a few spectacular ones anyway.
They are my middle school friends who keep in touch even though distance and time has separated us immensely. We share such mutual respect and love for each others lives after all these years. I can only believe we were meant to be part of each other in some small way forever.
They are the friends I have gained in motherhood. The ones who provide a judgment free place for laughter and sharing and working through the struggles of parenthood and marriage. They are the voices on the other end of the phone on my worst days, or theirs. They are the quiet at the playground or coffee house as the frustration and sadness of parenting days gone wrong flow out of me. They are the mothers at the support group meetings who are passionate about their children and realistic about how difficult raising a child with (or without) special needs can be. They are the women I have found online whose words and stories move me, comfort me and motivate me. They are all in the trenches right alongside me.
They are my college friends. My roommate, who I can call at any time, even if it has been months since we’ve talked, knowing she will say the exact thing I need to hear. She will nurture me and calm me the way she has done since we shared a room so many years ago. There is my summer coworker who made me laugh and told it like it was and was the only person who still wrote me letters long after college was over. There is my roommate Liz who became a friend the day I met her.
Even though I was born with built in friends and felt ill equipped for making new ones, life saw fit to provide me these amazing women anyway. Because friends are necessary to our survival. Because we would be lost without them. Because they shape and change us. Because they build us up and hold us up. Because they are life’s way of showing us we are not alone.
Two women saw the power in these relationships between women. HerStories is the result of their passion to tell these stories of friendship.
I am excited to announce the Launch Day of The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship. I am one of 50 contributors to this anthology of women’s friendship essays. I am thrilled to be part of this amazing collection of stories and to share a little about my friend Liz, the subject of my essay. I would be honored if you would buy a copy today and share this link with your friends! The HerStories Project is the perfect holiday gift for women!
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