This year I spent Valentine’s Day with my pals. Let’s get this straight–I’m not one to whine about being single on Valentine’s Day. In my 5 years of dating I’ve never been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. Do I mind? No. Is it still one of my favorite days? Yes. Why? Because I love love, and I’m a hopeless romantic. This Valentine’s Day however, I experienced a different kind of love and I owe that to my girl gang.
I went through a phase where I’d find myself saying things like, “I don’t really have many girlfriends” or “I don’t know it seems as though boys just get me more”. I’d stand up and say this proudly! As if having male friends deemed me worthy. However, time has passed and I feel so strongly about having positive and strong relationships with other females. Don’t get me wrong, having relationships with the opposite sex is awesome.
Friendship groups don’t have to be made up of a huge amount of people. My friendships encompass all types of wonderful humans. In high school I fell in love with 3 wonderful women–Elena, Clare, and Emma. They were (and still are) the utmost examples of grace, beauty and intelligence. I clung on to them (and still do) because they provided me the kind of support that any girl going through the trials and tribulations of puberty needs. We called ourselves the sisterhood, and on our last night together before we went our separate ways we vowed we’d meet each other again. To this day I can pick a the phone and call anyone of them and they still feel like home.
College was different. My college girlfriends are amazing (don’t worry!!). In college I got closer to a girl I met in high school (Erin) and our relationship blossomed even whilst we were miles away. However, whilst at school I made 3 great friends–Chelsea, Tare, and Shelby. (For some strange reason my friendships are always in groups of 4). I met Tare during freshman orientation and we bonded over the similarities of our names. I fell in love with her strength and her emotional maturity. I met Chelsea through Tare. Her spirit was contagious. She was (and still is) soulful and so gentle with my heart. Shelby and I met in biology and we bonded over school and our significant others. At that time we were both battling a major that was not meant for us, along with relationships that were unhealthy and toxic. We stuck together, and there was an unspoken contract that we’d always tread the waters together.
I owe a lot of the last 2 years to Erin. Erin and I met in 2011. To be honest, I wanted to be her friend so I could get my hands on her best friend, whom I had a crush on at that time. My relationship with Erin has the kind of familiarity we think of as exclusive to long-term mates, or possibly siblings. We spent our late teens dealing with mental health issues (still relevant), but also living life with a certain carefree optimism. We spent every moment together in consistent party mode. Taking shots. Texting boys. Working out. Ah. The life! Our 20s hit and there was a sudden shift. I learned to distance myself from friends who added drama to my life. I learned the difference between quality and quantity. The remaining ladies (Erin included) lifted my spirits and fed my soul. We graduated from boozy all nighters to happy hours and dishing about all our “classy” shenanigans over mimosas at brunch. Presently I surround myself with strong women. I live with strong women. I am a firm believer in girl gangs. And I say that proudly. Our girlfriends can’t save us, for only we can save ourselves, but girlfriend can make life a little more bearable.