I've never been one to hang out with the girls, instinctively preferring the company of boys. The boys, they liked me, I liked them, and it was pretty easy to crack their code. Girls on the other hand, they were nuanced and mercurial; they felt like trouble, high seas at high tide.
As I get older though, it's my relationships with women that see me through the days and months and years. These relationships come in all shapes and sizes, the women in all ages, personalities, and locales. They take up huge chunks of real estate in my heart, gracing and inspiring me, rounding out my sharper edges, bringing the details into focus. It is different than what I share with my husband, but finally, just as necessary.
The pettiness of youth falls away under the weight of a life fully lived. All of us are both less and more than what we were. Sorrows have been endured, disappointments shouldered. There is a certain heaviness that bestows a lightness of being. My generation of women, we are older now.
There is less competition for the joy in life, an understanding that there's enough to go around, indeed that it's better when shared. We support and hold each other aloft, finally having learned that jealousy eats holes into the very fabric of our being, leaving us less than whole.
There is more laughter now, more weariness, too. We speak in truth not code, our time too precious for anything less. The fears and weaknesses so carefully shrouded in our youth have become more exposed. There is less judgment now, more compassion for ourselves, leading to more for others. It is often those very flaws that expose the beauty.
It is a new season for me, this season of women. The timing is right now. So to all of the women who grace my life with their friendship, whether peripherally or in the trenches, I give you my whole heart in this season of love.
Happy Valentine's Day!