I have a dear friend who is moving away, and I’m…let’s just say…not thrilled about it. It’s made me reflect on my female friendships and how important they are to me.
I’ve never felt very good at maintaining multiple female friendships simultaneously. High school was not my jam. I felt like a 40-year-old stuck in a teenager’s body, and I was probably perceived the same way. I was into my studies, after school activities and sports, and hanging out with my boyfriend (now husband). Yup, I snagged him early.
Things turned around after high school. I was able to make friends in college pretty easily. There were a bunch of us thrown together into residence halls, and I was able to find people to hang out with, share an apartment with, join on trips to the library, and travel abroad with me. Then we all graduated and spread ourselves throughout the country. Ugh.
After college was a different story. I jumped right into the working world where I made friends with coworkers. I’ve been with the same company since I graduated college – a rare occurrence these days. Many of those work friendships persist today, especially with my colleagues I’ve collaborated with for years. There are few that I get to see outside of the work day though, since our teams are all over the country.
Then came my kids. I sought out new people with shared experiences. I tried a couple of different mommy groups and finally jived with one I found on the Meetup app. What a relief it was to find a group of women who were trying to figure out this whole parenting thing at the same time my little ones came around! I will forever be grateful for their support during that time, though they probably don’t realize how our library meetups, home art projects, and outdoor play dates saved my sanity.
Once we moved to our “forever” home, a new world of friendships opened up. There were a ton of new friends to meet at the bus stop, and I met so many more during our neighborhood’s monthly ladies’ night. (Boy have I missed those during COVID!) We have a neighborhood tribe of women I know I can reach out to and that I aim to serve, whether that’s to pick up a kid from the bus stop, host an outdoor movie night, celebrate major life events, or give a hug when the going is tough.
I’m incredibly lucky to have all of these wonderful women in my life. Some friends have come and gone over the decades due to the nature of our busy lives and where time has taken us, but I’m thankful for each and every one of them. I don’t think it’s necessarily a negative for relationships to change over time.
I want my female friends to know, near and far, no matter what stage our relationship is at today. I am grateful for their friendship. I’ll cherish the memories we’ve created together and the times you were there for me. I can only pray that I was just as good of a friend.