Friendships have been written about using all kinds of cliches and cheesy phrases.
Love has been ravaged and anointed in the same way.
I’m going to make this lesson simple. Work hard on being honest and opening up to the people around you – family, school mates, uni friends and colleagues. These people will all come in and out of your life depending on where you are living, travelling, or how intrusive work life is for them or you.
When you can, spend long insouciant hours in the playground, coffee shops or pubs opening up about your life story and who you really are. Open up your heart by listing your worries and fears, and listen to theirs.
Work hard on this. Your work or study or boyfriend will always (hopefully) be around. It is not a waste of your time to be having girly girl chats.
I say girly girl chats, because in my experience girls have always beautifully featured in my life in this way. I’ve never had a close male friend, except for my husband. But this will always be a different relationship to the one you have with your girlfriends.
BECAUSE when you are having a burdensome run of events, you will need someone who you can just call on and unload to and not be judged or lectured to or misunderstood.
Find that friend and treat them well.
And finally, from another literary great who can astutely embody my lesson with a few words:
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis
Dedication: to all those women out there who I have called on in tears. I heartfully thank you for being in my life.
Follow up: Since I wrote this post, my darling first born has started school. I thought I had seen the best of female friendships, but nothing had prepared me for the ways women go completely above and beyond once you are part of a school community. Having my third baby, suffering surgeries….pain, and other issues made getting Mj to and from school very hard. Having women drop off dinners, some of whom I barely knew, was life saving. Some picked up and dropped off my daughter many days in a row….their kindness suprising me in ways that made me want to almost cry. I thank you ladies, I could not have survived kindergarten and a newborn without you. You women were truly generous, and I am still so grateful.