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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Girlfriends

Our epic weekend in the city.
It is amazing what you can learn from watching friends interact with each other.  I spent three days with four of my closest friends in one of the greatest cites in the world.  We ate (A TON) we drank wine (in GIGANTIC quantities) and spent a wonderful day at the beach.  But the sun, the wine and the food were not the therapy here… it was the conversation, the comfort and the sheer joy of being in each other's company. There's just something about girlfriends… you may not even know you need it, but there's a healing power in spending time with your best friends.

I'm lucky, because I have two pretty amazing groups of friends.  I have my high school "soul mates" as I call them… and my college "sisters."  Both groups of friends are incredibly dear to my heart, and I'm not sure I could survive without them. 

Blessings, each and every one of them.

In knowing I have all of these amazing people in my life, it's can be hard not to be jealous at times.  Especially, when talking with friends who are in different stages in their life than you, perspective can always fall from view.

Someone always makes WAY more money than the rest of us, someone had the most GLAMOUROUS wedding, someone has a BEAUTIFUL baby, someone's job makes them INCREDIBLY happy, someone is taking the BEST vacation, someone has the most GORGEOUS engagement ring...

Those things… I like to call the "Facebook worthy material," while all are amazing things to have, don't all typically happen to one person (if you have them all… I want to know your story).  

Instead, when you get past the Facebook notifications, and are able to spend time with the people you love, you can learn some pretty amazing things.


The wine was good, the laughter abundant and the love
between friends… stronger than ever.
For instance, we are all still the person we were in High School (to a certain extent).  One of my favorite parts of spending time together is reconnecting with these old versions of ourselves.  The versions we may have left behind when we went to college and have since dwindled away a bit.   Spending time with my high school friends reminds me of the girl I was 10 years ago.

But, as amazing as it is to revisit the past, my favorite part of reconnecting with these ladies is getting to know the people they are NOW.  How they've grown, how they've changed… and how their past has shaped them into these amazingly strong and beautiful individuals.

If this is what womanhood is all about, then I am content.

I had the opportunity to hang out with a younger generation recently.  Three friends who have spent the better part of a decade with each other… and they're only eighteen.

Me and "the three best friends that
anyone could have" ;-)
My much younger sister recently went off to college.  Two days before her departure, I spent a whole day with her and her two best friends.  The three of them have been inseparable since they were about 8 years old, and I wanted to treat them to one last day together before they went their different ways.

They could have picked anything to do that day… a trip to Chicago, a mani-pedi, a day at the mall, movie, fancy dinner… you name it.

Canoeing.

They chose to spend the day floating down a river in crummy old canoes, eating a packed lunch,  getting hot and sweaty.  Needless to say, it was a freaking awesome day.

We headed out early, driving about an hour to the canoe rental.  They talked about their friends, their boyfriends and going to college.  They sang out loud to songs on the radio and started snapping pictures to document the day.  Their biggest concern in life was that they were going to three separate schools, and I could feel a tiny bit of desperation coming from the back seat.  They loved each other, and missing each other terrified them.

Can I go back to being 18?

We spent 4 hours on the river that day.  Floating side by side in two canoes, my baby sister with me, her two best friends to our left.  I remember thinking how perfect the day was.  It was about 80 degrees with a lovely breeze.  We floated along in our swim suits, playing country music, laughing about their pre-college adventures, and simply enjoying each other's company.  We ate lunch on the water, (they) got teary eyed at the concept of leaving each other, and (I) felt a bittersweet and heartfelt similarity to the friendship I shared with my high school soul mates.  Amy, Krissy and Kasey
are living our sisterhood just a decade behind us.

The love they have for each other is so pure and heartfelt.
The thing about growing up, that no one tells you, is that your past will sometimes sneak up and smack you on head.  Listening to their stories that day on the river, brought me right back to that terrified feeling that I had when I went off to college.  Letting go of your 'normal' is hard, and moving into the unknown can be terrifying.  But I know that if I hadn't made that big leap of faith when I was 18 years old, I would have missed out on some incredible opportunities, and some pretty amazing people.

So, to my beautiful baby sister and her soul mates:  Keep on keepin' on as best friends… show your love and your support and be proud of each other in everything you do.  But DO NOT be fearful of what lies ahead, because you will always take a piece of each other with you.  Share your friendships and your hearts with everyone you meet.  Because if you're lucky… you'll be like me.  You'll have your soul mates, and your sisters… and your life will not be complete without either.

Love True,

Allison

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