Thank You For Being A Friend
I don’t think I’m going to shock anyone by saying that this world feels really fucking shitty right now, especially if you’re a woman. (I mean, if you’re a woman, the world has always felt pretty terrible, because the patriarchy is real and has been for centuries. Things have just gotten like a million times more intense feeling.) I’m also not breaking ground by saying life in general is tough and adulthood is a goddamn bullshit factory. There are soul-crushing jobs and endless bills and cars that breakdown and kids don’t know that silence is a thing and partners that you love but drive you insane. I’m a constant mess of rage and sorrow and anxiety and exhaustion and joy and I know I’m not the only one out there.
If I had to do all of this on my own, I’d collapse. (This is not a dismissal of my husband, who is a rock solid partner but can’t relate to my Diva Cup adventures even though I tell him all about it anyways because SHARING IS CARING.) And that is why I am grateful every fucking day for my friends. Social media can be the worst, unless you are lucky enough to have an amazing group chat somewhere with strong, smart, funny, thoughtful, supportive, gorgeous, badass women.
What started as a way to share dumb memes and feminist cartoons has evolved into an ongoing discussion that keeps me sane. We share our personal triumphs and tribulations. We crack each other up and support one another fiercely. We have epic conversations about the world we want and the world we live in and how to bridge the gap between those two. We talk about farts and pizza and adorable animals and our super weird dreams.
We’re all trying to “live our best lives” while having no fucking clue what that means or how to get there. We have kids and/or partners and/or careers, our lives and lifestyles are diverse. But I know if I’m having issues with my depression, or my uterus is attempting to claw its way out of my body, or when I find a picture of a sassy af crocodile covered in butterflies, that I have a (virtual) place to share what’s going on and I’m going to get love and support and a million (virtual) high fives.
This is my wish for all of the women out there, that you find your group. Because this world is constantly tearing us apart. Tell me we don’t need feminism when sexual assault is constantly dismissed as “boys being boys”. Tell me we don’t need feminism when every day you read about a woman murdered by a partner or ex-partner or stranger who never learned the word “no”. Tell me we don’t need a safe space somewhere when any anonymous dick can harass you in a thousand ways from annoying to terrifying with no consequences.
True, solid, unconditional, positive female friendships are tiny revolutions. If you pay attention to our culture, women are catty and competitive, shallow, obsessed with material objects and unrealistic beauty standards. Friendships are conditional props. There are the Mean Girls and the Supermoms and the Super-Totally-Real Housewives. Female friends are there to buy you a gallon of ice cream to eat when you’ve been dumped and then fade quietly into the background once you’ve found a new man to focus all of your attention on, all while secretly hating you and plotting your downfall.
Fuck. That. Noise.
Find friends that know your worth and their own. Find friends who are strong as hell and proud of it. Find friends who tell excellent stories and make you laugh until you cry. Find friends who share their fears and struggles and hopes and frustrations and aren’t ashamed of having emotions and won’t dismiss yours. Tell those women you love them, you appreciate them, you have their back and would stab a motherfucker if needed (probably not literally, because then you’d go to jail and everyone knows you need privacy to poop, but the sentiment is there). Cheer them up when their day is sucking and let them know when you’re struggling so they can return the favor.
These women exist. You might have to do some work to find them. You might have to let some friendships fade because they don’t work in ways great and small. You might have to put yourself out there and get hurt, but you must keep looking because it is worth it; it is necessary. Prioritize your emotional well being and find your girl gang. Even if there has never been a time when we were all in the same room at the same time (so far), we’re tight as hell and it’s just the goddamn best. And you deserve the best, too.