Inspired by Periscope Broadcasts by Bexlife, Danny J & Grace Smith I wanted to write about my experiences with friends. They did live broadcasts discussing friendships on the new social media platform and it got my brain churning yesterday. I didn’t do enough this weekend to feature some of my fun adrenaline-seeking adventures on the blog today so instead, I’ll dive into some emotional blog therapy 🙂
I speak in quotes so here is what friendship over my short 33 years means to me.
I am not the girl who still has the same best friend from grade four. I was not the girl who had the pack of high school girlfriends that saw me through thick and thin in University and as I grew into my own in my 20s. I’ve never been that girl and I always questioned if there was something “wrong with me”. I even dated a guy at one time that was so emotionally harsh with me. He told me at one point that “I was so messed up to not have any girlfriends that have stuck with me through life.” That used to be a really hard hurt button for me until I came to the realization that as I evolve in my life so do my friendships and that’s perfectly ok. I’ve had amazing friendships. When they leave it hurts but I can look back on many fondly for how it got me through tough times or gave me beautiful memories. You may read this and think I’m justifying not having any long-term friendships and that’s ok. My life is my own to explain and I truly believe everyone who has crossed my path was meant to be a part of my journey in exactly the way it happened.
I’m not the same girl I was at 23 and I’m definitely not the same girl I was at 28 or even 30. My priorities and life growth have changed. My interests and hobbies have changed. I had beautiful friendships that developed when I was a cheerleader with the TiCats & Argos. I was a party girl back then though. I loved to drink and go out and dance and date way too many boys. We were party girls together and so when I chose to stop drinking as much as I did I even had one girl say “I don’t know how to hang out with you if you don’t want to drink anymore”. I tried to find things we could still do together like yoga class but I understood eventually through the hurt when they didn’t invite me out anymore. I didn’t want to go to the “club” anymore anyway. It just took a while to realize that they weren’t abandoning me as a person but the kind of girl I was. Which I was doing too 🙂 I will always giggle at our memories.
I’ve had two best friends break up with me in a way that hurt just as much as if they were romantic relationships. They were friendships that were in my life at the most emotionally tumultuous time that I’ve experienced. They watched me in a toxic relationship. They were to be bridesmaids by my side when I got engaged to marry that man. They were my life preservers as I started to drown in the relationship. One left me as I was planning my wedding in 2012 and one left me shortly after I called off my wedding. All three of us have evolved as people and although I miss them something fierce some days I have nothing but the best thoughts for them as they grow in this wonderful life.
The friendships that have stood by me as I grow into my early 30s I cherish so deeply because I’ve truly surrounded myself with people that make life amazing. I thankfully still have a friend from my cheerleader days and although our lives are so very very different now I know I could call on her in a heartbeat if I needed her. I haven’t been very grateful for that support over the years as I’ve lost other “cheerleaders” but there is something to be said for our bond despite living apart and going through different life milestones. We definitely have the friendship where a conversation could not happen for a year and then we pick up where we left off.
I’m grateful for new friendships that are developing in my newfound “hobbies”. Some of the women I’ve met at fitness competitions and now at my obstacle course race training gym are beautiful souls. I’ve walked into the gym and they’ve walked into my life and we’ve locked eyes and it was definitely mutual friendship at first sight. Or at least I hope so 😉
Of course, I’m over the moon happy with the “besties” in my life now. They make me excited for life. I am thankful for our many laughs. I cherish that we are able to support and celebrate each other in our career success. I’m thankful that I have them in my life for tough times. They showed up for me in the hospital when I was diagnosed with MS. They celebrate all the good and join me on crazy living life adventures. We’ve found each other in our “later years” but still giggle like we’re 20. We’ve seen friendships come and go and value what we’re building now. They feed my heart on another level that a significant other will never be able to bring me and for that reason, I cherish my friendship soul mates that are on the journey with me now.
For Andrea, Dre, Shay, Bria, Shannon, Carla and Michelle thank you for being a part of the journey.
For Kyla, Kate, Aubrie, Chivon, Michelle. I don’t tell you daily that I love you. This blog is just a bit of my gratitude for our friendship today.
For my Alpha Females at AOT; Rania, Sylvie, Kat, Megan and Tara + Honorary Members: Allegra & Emily. You are strong athletic beasts that have just appeared in my life through training and I love how our friendships are growing.