Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Relationship Subject: Girlfriends…Who are they and how do I get one?

My personal revelation…

I’m not talking about the boyfriend / girlfriend scenario here. I’m talking about one woman friend to another woman friend, the kindred spirit kind, the give-and-take-friendship kind, the touch-the-heart-in-a-place-my-husband/boyfriend-never-touches kind, maybe sum it up as the unconditional loving kind of friendship.

It took me years to actually recognize it.

I was a shy girl after my father left my three sisters and my mom. Being the oldest, I came home from school and took care of my siblings while Mom worked. I didn’t have much of a social life…but for some reason didn’t want much of one either. Fifteen years old was tough if you were categorized as different – and at that time, divorce in a small town made a difference. Parents didn’t want their children coming to a house with five females and no male.

Such crazy times as I look back, but in some ways, crippling too.

I married young (18) and started our family at the same time. Didn’t have time for friends, I was keeping my marriage together and raising our children. I had close sister relationships then, which also could be called my ‘girlfriends’ at that time.

As I grew older something spiritual happened to me…I won’t go into specifics, but it affected a close relationship with one of my sisters. It devastated me, seriously threw me into a very dark time of my life.

This led me to some spiritual research, and I discovered more of myself than I ever knew…like ‘who I am’, the authentic me, the woman who isn’t what everyone wants her to be, or the one who wears this mask for him and another for her. I discovered I could simply be me, genuine, authentic, and true.

And, the new me cared for others, but wasn’t afraid to also care for herself.

The women acquaintances I had along the way changed, well…they didn’t, but I did. When I wore the same face for everyone, some of those women resonated deeper with my authentic self and I did the same with them. I found a few like-minded women without actually going out and searching for them. We sort of simply found each other.

Amazing how that happened once I opened and experienced my own truth. It took me to look at myself and figure out who I am before I could open myself to others.

I know this might sound like psychic silly stuff, but honestly it took years of inner growth before I could look in the mirror, understand and like the person who was staring back. When that finally happened, it changed something, a perception.

I didn’t know the first thing about how to maintain a friendship…how many times do we connect, what are the important things worth remembering, what things matter to her and should they matter to me, etc.? All I knew was what mattered to me, so I went with that…I know, it probably all sounds like common sense, right? But, it wasn’t common for me; I had to think about it.

I became the kind of woman that I wanted to find in a friend.

My closest girlfriend focuses only on the positive aspects of anything, never gossips – although she may ask for an opinion on something that’s more than a rumor, she always has my back and my trust, she supports what I do (my career) even though she doesn’t normally read the kind of genre I write – she reads my work, she is available whenever I call (which isn’t too often because I honor her time), and more than anything, she listens…when no one else does, she cares enough to listen and respond. I can tell her anything and I know it is safe with her. She loves me as a kindred spirit, unconditionally.

And I am to her, as she is to me; a cherished friend.

So…do you have a close girlfriend, someone you’re comfortable with as your authentic self? And if so, how would you describe your relationship with her?

Kay Dee Royal


L. K. Below said...

I've had close girlfriends in the past, but I'm a bit of a solo wolf. When I graduated from high school, I let close friendships slide into casual ones. When I quit my job, the one where I'd had the opportunity to bond with people, I did the same. And then when I moved up here, I let any lingering friendships fall away. I like to have friends, sometimes even close friends, but I've never had a problem moving on, either.

Great post, Kay Dee. I'm glad that you found that special friend.

Marsha A. Moore said...

I've gone through phases having close female friends and other times not; both seem necessary to me and just as fulfilling. As I think about it, the times I need to explore myself in periods of self-growth, I'm more reclusive.

Loved your post and a chance to know you better!

Anonymous said...

Hi L.K. - thanks for stopping. I get the bit about being a solo wolf, and I know there are times in life when inner growth is meant to be an exclusive time. All I can say about you...is I see you cyberly everywhere right now, and you definitely have quite a following (friends included). Kay Dee

Anonymous said...

Hello Marsha, Muse's Mermaid Queen. Thank you for sharing - I understand the lone self-growth times...and having a like-minded friend to share those growth times with is something quite new for me. It seems to move me forward faster...evolving me, because there is someone I can share my thoughts with and who understands them. It gives a boost to my process time.
I appreciate you stopping, thanks Marsha. Kay Dee

Karen Cote said...

Kay Dee, this was a very warm and inspiring post and ya know...made me smile. You'd be a great friend to have. I'm solo similar to Lindsay's remarks. I appreciate the Sex in the City philosophy with some envy but my best friend is my husband. We don't have a he/she different perspective relationship...we're one soulmate. People refer to us as chopsticks where one doesn't work without the other. I love your relationship with your friend as well as reading Marsha's and Lindsay's posts. This was great and you are very genuine.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments regarding my post and for also sharing about your relationship with your husband. I love my husband dearly, but he doesn't share my spiritual beliefs, so it leaves a bit of a rift between us. It's only one element of a whole life relationship, so it doesn't blur "us".
Thanks again, Karen. Kay Dee

Fiona McGier said...

I have always said that since my parents didn't give me any sisters, only one brother, that I have had to work to find some for myself. I need to have close friends that I can talk to, bounce ideas off of, and cry with when I need to. My husband is my best friend, but he's not a female...plus it's awkward to bitch about my husband to him! (g) I have a small number of BFFs, one I've known since grade school but only recently was found by her on Facebook, one goes back to my care-free college days, and the other 3 are woman I've connected with since having kids. I value all of them, and regard them as sisters. My Mom was a loner...I'm not. I don't know what makes me the way I am, I've just learned to accept myself as I am, and find friends to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Hello Fiona,
My husband is a good friend to me also, but there are things (as you've pointed out), where I need a woman to talk with. It sounds like you have a good supply of support from women friends. I like how you state, 'I don't know what makes me the way I am, I've just learned to accept myself as I am, and find friends to do the same.' Awesome! Thank you for sharing.
Kay Dee

lionmother said...

When I was younger and in school I had a few close girlfriends. But they drifted away or disappointed me in some way. Later my husband was my best friend for a long time, and I had a few close girlfriends mainly as part of a couple with whom we hung out. But when I had my children I found a few women who got me.:) We hung out together and our children played together too. Then I moved away and spent a year without a close girlfriend. But life is funny and I met the woman who has now been my best friend for over twenty years. Though we live at least two hours away from each other, we manage to keep up with each other's lives. When she calls I have a smile on my face the whole time. When I need comfort I call her. She never judges anything and I can tell her anything. Any time I really need her she is there. She came to the hospital when my husband had his bypass surgery and he was having some healing problems with a wound. She is a nurse and she took care of him when she came. She is the closest thing to an angel on earth!!

Sharon said...

I will put money on it that you have more than one special girlfriend. You are that open loving kind of person. I am close with my husband but my girlfriends do hold a different place in my heart. I think it takes years and shared experiences to grow a true bond. Wonderful post, touches the heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story - I love that you say your friend doesn't judge anything - that's the unconditional love part...isn't it awesome. Respect and integrity with a kind and loving heart - perfect girlfriend relationship.
Kay Dee

Anonymous said...

Hello Sharon,
You're correct - I do have more than one special girlfriend. Since I've started writing, networking, and connecting with like-minded women, I've been fortunate to have found a number of women I feel close to (you being one of those women *G*). I'm so glad you stopped by...thank you for sharing your thoughts. Hugs.
Kay Dee

Christine London said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful post Kay Dee. My gf's have been with me through the years, though the moving about the state and country we have done seldom puts us in close proximity. They are those type of friends that require no time to reconnect when we do see eachother. It is as though the seperation just melts and we resume where we left off.

This writing gig has isolated me--maybe too much. Recently one of my long time gfs turned suddenly judgemental, which has thown me for a loop. But I suppose as in all realtionships times and people can change. I have found my best friend in a man (Platonic believe it or not!) as of late, but still enjoy that special sharing you can have with another gal. My webmistress is a great and supportive friend. Most of all it is fun to be able to laugh and relax when so much of your life is spent in the serious pursuit of career.
Thanks for sharing such a personal and authentic piece of your life and self, Kay Dee!
Warm Regards,
Christine London

jolenejolenejolene said...

Where to start...simply said....girlfriends are something I simply would never live without. If I dare say...I have lived without a husband, boyfriend, parent, a lover....but a true friend....never.

They are liquid light.

I have put forth the time and effort to develop long lasting, lifelong, friendships which are based on trust, courage, acceptance and love and I wouldn't give them up for all the tea in China. There is some sense of comfort knowing when someone loves you for your quirks and oddities and is in your corner....regardless.

Brace yourself...our relationship is going to a whole new level. :) I once said to a friend, I would not judge you if you got up, walked across the floor, pulled down your pants, and crapped right on my hardwood floor. I would NEVER judge you and would still be your friend, but I would expect you to clean it up and then explain yourself! ;]

You can't chose your family but you certainly can chose your friends.... so chose wisely. I'm grateful and blessed to say I have friends from all walks of life. Man, it takes a village to raise me! LOL :) I truly believe people make the mistake of relying on one person [typically their partner] to meet/parallel many of their interests and needs. I've never done that...too much pressure for one mere mortal. I have the potter mate, fun friend, intellectual buddy, spiritual guru, culinary goddess etc. etc. and we reciprocate lifelong personal development and progression.

However, at times that poses a real challenge for a partner if one has not fostered a relationship based on integrity and trust. Again ~ chose your partners wisely as well. :)

Friendships can be bittersweet though...as I have a friend right now who is terminal and I'm her primary support. It's heart breaking but a risk I'm willing to take...time and time and time again....for a dear friend. I hope each of you find the time and courage to make one new friend this year. Thoughts become reality and I guarantee you there is someone who needs you just as much as you need them.

This tune is a somewhat cheesy....but I simply couldn't resist!



jolenejolenejolene said...

I just reread that I see typos chose vs. choose....errrrr. Where's an editor when you need one. *kidding* :)

Anonymous said...

Christine - thank you for stopping by and sharing part of yourself and your relationships. It is tough when someone comes across judgmental. And, you're also correct in saying our career keeps us fairly isolated...thank goodness we have other awesome writer friends that we can cyber connect with...you know.
We'll be cyber seeing each other soon - on my blog. Til then, enjoy life and writing.
Kay Dee

Anonymous said...

Hello Jolene - wow, I love your story. You made me LOL with the poop on the floor bit - yea...Loved it. Hanging in there for your friend in need is such an integeral part of the whole kindred spirit thing - your friend is Blessed by you. BTW - I went and listened to James Taylor and Carol King's You've Got a Friend - excellent choice for this posting...and for any time.
Thank you for sharing and writing it perfectly. It touched my heart.
Kay Dee

jolenejolenejolene said...

YIKES a comedy of error.....*shakes head*

this is the correct link.



Anonymous said...

AHHH- Celine Dion, Carol King, Shania Twain, and Gloria Estefan singing You Got A Friend - I liked both versions - this one was pretty awesome how they harmonize.
Thanks again for sharing Jolene.
Kay Dee