Many mornings I put on my running shoes. I don’t really want to go running, but I’ve committed to meet my friends. We tease each other that between the three of us, we only have about one motivation. When it is not my day to be motivated, which is often, I simply show up anyway. I show up because I need my girlfriends for much more than just the exercise.
Yes, we’ll run, but, more importantly, we’ll talk.
We’ll talk about anything and everything that is on our minds because it’s safe out there in the woods with no one else listening. Husbands are discussed, troubles with kids, things we are proud of, or scary things that are running through our brains and won’t quit. Our entire lives are fair game. And on some days, we are definitely running too slow to make any real difference to the size of our asses, but the time together is still precious and, somehow, life-sustaining.
After spending time with my friends, I feel more capable. It eases something inside of me knowing that someone else is going through similar stuff; kids can be shits, husbands can being annoying, our boobs don’t look exactly like they used to, what the fuck do we do about fifth grade math homework, parents are getting older, life doesn’t always look exactly how we thought it would. I feel heard and listened to and seen.
Women see other women.
We notice all of the things that other women do during the day, because we are doing them too. We know what goes into the tediousness of making dinner every night for kids who won’t eat it, how constantly folding clothes and wiping counters can sometimes chew away at little pieces of us, how sometimes we are just so tired. All of those time-consuming, soul-sucking things that we do during the day that no one else notices or cares about? Our friends notice.
We know that, even if we aren’t with our friends every day, that they will show up for those important moments in our lives and probably bring a casserole, or our favorite latte. We know that it’s okay to fall apart occasionally because there are other strong women who have our backs and know what kind of snacks our kids will eat and exactly the right thing to say to us.
“You’ve got this.”
“Kids are such shits.”
“I’ll bring over vodka.”
Women will always need other women. From the moment we understand how different the male species is. Yes, our husbands are great, but sometimes they just don’t understand that visceral need for chocolate, or how it feels to almost bleed to death every month, or the exact nature of the bond a mother has with her child. Women get all of it.
Recently, my mom needed to go to the ER and I was a couple of states away. Feeling helpless, I immediately called her best friend who was at the hospital in ten minutes flat. She held her hand and made her laugh and did what all best girlfriends do: she showed up for that important moment. She went where she was needed. And until I could make my way to my mom’s side, my mom’s friend stayed there and, of course, brought us dinner the night we got home.
So hug your bestie, or give her call, or send her a random piece of chocolate because you guys will be together for a long-ass time — meeting each other at the hospital, giving each other hugs, and probably delivering soup and/or vodka.
Because that’s what women do for each other, they show up. The bond between us? There’s nothing like it. Find your person, or your people, and hold on tight.