Girl Friends Are Important Because I’ve Never Learned the Art of Eating Alone

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I just got off the phone with a good girl friend from many years back. It’s been so long and yet, as I hung up, I was thinking about how good it felt to be able to just pick up where we left off—so many years ago. Come to think of it, I’ve been thinking this thought a lot since a couple of months ago, when I was back home in the Philippines.

 

{On a personal note, one tough thing about being a stay-at-home-mom is that the days can feel so isolating. When the kids are asleep or in school, and the hubby is busy at work, the hours can stretch on endlessly and the loneliness can be so daunting. And even when you’re grateful for the privilege, you still learn to hate those few friendless hours when they hit.

Back in the olden days, long before Facebook, I would read or sleep. I even vacuumed our old apartment floors twice a day just to break the monotony. And while I got more stuff done, the feelings of isolation were an insidious part of my week. Oh, it wasn’t like it hit every day. But when it did, it was like going through PMS and the first months of pregnancy at the same time.

But my, how things have changed since my oldest son was a toddler. Now, at the very least, we can keep in touch with family and friends. In real time! That has to be the best part of being in Facebook, or any other social networking site.

However, a note of concern: one great danger of the social media age is that we are lured into thinking we are in intimate relationships with people when we’re really not. We’ve simply gotten more public with our sharing. The potential to make good friends is always there, of course. But it remains that—a potential—until time and life events conspire to change it.}

 

So—girl friends. Right. Let me say this: I believe that every woman, whether in a fulfilled marriage or not, needs strong relationships with other women to ever know what it means to be content in life. It’s a pretty bold statement, but I’ve learned that it’s true.

A good girl friend can go beyond the most understanding man or husband. By virtue of simply being of the same sex, and a kindred spirit, she gets you. Just like that. And whether it is just a couple of hours out or an hour on the phone, our time with them, those short captions in our daily routines, can mean more to us—be of greater value—than days on end with people of a different mind and heart.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, if you’re a woman, you know the value of having good girl friends. Like, really close ones, and not just those you don’t mind sharing stuff with. Girl friends who/whom:

  • you don’t call on the phone regularly, but when you do, you talk like you spent time together yesterday. And had a blast.

 

  • you miss cause they moved, and yet the phone and internet prove to be enough because the friendship bonds somehow stretched and stayed strong over the many state or country lines between you.

 

  • you weren’t really close with when you knew each other back then, but through the years you found you have so much more in common. And that you actually like each other enough to stay in touch.

 

  • you know will tell you the truth no matter what, respect the silence while you’re nursing your wounds, and say “I told you so!” with a smile when you come to your senses.

 

  • you barely see, but when you do, you hardly ever notice the changes in them since you still look like schoolgirls to each other.

 

  • you don’t always agree with, but you know they’ll always have your back when your big mouth gets you in trouble.

 

  • you have nothing in common with at all, and yet you still like wasting hours arguing with. You never, ever, agree on anything, but they make you feel smarter.

 

  • you trust with your secrets–or have no choice but to trust with your secrets, since they knew you at a time when you weren’t so bright and got into all kinds of trouble. They threaten you with blackmail all the time, but they’ve never spilled the beans. That you know of.

 

  • you love. and hate. Love because they are so much better than you. Hate because they are so much better than you.

 

In my older years, one thing I’m very grateful for is the wealth of girl friends I have—even if I don’t live next door to them. Life has gotten in the mix, but in a roundabout way, that fact has also served as a sieve–straining out the shallowness and strengthening the relationships.

And in my older years, I am learning to watch out for superficial relationships that feel good for a moment, but never go beyond that. So while I am always on the lookout for kindred spirits, I try to stay away from associations that contain great potentials for hopeless drama and therefore a waste of time. And yes, while everything is redeemable, there is only so much one can do with what one is given. Wise choices go a long way past regrets and wasted opportunities.

Here’s a final thought before I go: I really believe one of the ways {church} women’s groups can stay relevant is by encouraging older women to take young wives and/or moms into their confidence and build relationships that are intentional and lasting. A disconnect between the two leads to superficial relationships that have nothing to do with kingdom building and everything to do with plain social networking.

 

 

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4 responses »

  1. hi ma’am,

    thanks for ur comment on my review. i just read it today .i commented to ur comment there:) thanks! hope to meet u someday.

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