This past weekend I escaped the great North Woods of Wisconsin to head south for a weekend of wine drinking, shopping and girl time. As the weekend loomed closer, I couldn’t wait to enjoy a dinner with two hands, 8-hours of consecutive sleep and an opportunity to shop. What I didn’t expect was to come home bursting with gratitude and carrying a dried up meatball that is currently sitting in my fridge.
The introvert in me is quick to embrace the few moments of solitude I get—especially now as a new mom. Add to this, I live a state away from many of my long-time girlfriends or gal pals I’ve reconnected with over the past few years. This personality and geographic conundrum, added with the general hustle and bustle of everyday life creates the perfect storm to let friendships fade away.
In fact, in many cases it’d be easier to let this happen. It’d be easy to blame life’s milestones and daily complications as an excuse to quit caring. To say, my life is complicated enough without adding the group dynamics of a gaggle of girls whose interests and opinions may or may not match mine. But, man I’m glad I don’t.
Real friendships are about more than likes on a Facebook page. To me, it is about peeling back the layers and connecting on a variety of levels. Maybe it is a shared life experience—past or present—career, or acquaintance. Maybe it is an intense debate about a matter we are passionate about where we agree to disagree. Maybe it is a hobby—a shared joy of reading, writing or a trashy television show. Whatever the case, these complicated connections matter and enhance my life.
Sometimes I forget that. I forget that while I enjoy being by myself, my greatest moments are those I share with others. This weekend was no exception. In a mere 36-hours, I laughed until my gut hurt over red wine and Mojitos. I learned about sex drives, surgical enhancements and celebrated another expanding family. I discussed religious differences, the meaning of marriage, the guilt of parenting and the complexities that come with both in real-day life. I relived birthing battles, near-death experiences, pivotal weight loss journeys and the on-going complications that follow. I stayed up way too late and never got my 8-hours of sleep. I broke a bed. I drank good coffee. I watched an Ikea meatball resurface in unexpected places, including my mitten. I was identified as a musher. And most importantly, I did it all unfiltered.
There is nothing better in life than surrounding yourself with folks where everything goes. Where you can drop your guard, remove your make-up and polish and just be yourself. Better yet, do all of this and leave feeling good about it. I shouldn’t have had to drive down south to have this a-ha moment but I’m sure glad I did. You ladies know who you are and thank you for keeping it real.