I'm a big believer in surrounding oneself with strong women; not necessarily in the literal sense, but where they build you up and vice versa. I really don't know how I would have navigated these last two and a half years, much less my entire lifetime, without female relationships to hold on to and keep close to my heart.
It's hard to describe the love and gratitude that I feel toward my sisterhood, since those sentiments are frequently echoed throughout much of what I've already written. The majority of them don't all come from the same circle; some are from my hometown and others I met in recent years. Our beliefs and values sometimes differ, but that allows us to talk about a variety of things that I'm not always comfortable discussing with others.
The interesting thing is that I don't see the majority of them every single day; and the only ones I was ever truly inseparable with were those that either lived close to me and it was during my childhood. But I don't view that as a negative thing; in fact, it's quite the opposite.
And it saddens me when I hear other women put each other down, or proclaim that they like hanging out with guys better because girls are "so full of drama." How is it possible to hate your own gender to where you can't be around them? And if a female makes that kind of remark, does it mean that they hate themselves as well?
What's even worse is that the power and beauty of a woman to woman support system is so under-appreciated and underestimated. I get that not everybody wants or needs a gigantic pod of girlfriends in order to function; but what irritates me so is the reasons why.
While it's understandable to not want the immaturity and cattiness, it's slightly unfair to automatically write a person off like that just because that's how the majority appear. It's also unrealistic to think that relationships won't experience disagreements or issues at some point. Every kind does, regardless of how hard you try to avoid it.
But from my own experiences, I do know what feels healthy and what doesn't; what is a rough patch and what is simply too much to handle or deal with. The best thing you can do in that situation is to recognize when you should be the bigger person and step away from the circumstances; perhaps for a little while, or for good.
The other half is believing in the notion that a man will (be able to) give you everything. It may appear that way in the very beginning, but in hindsight, that is so far from the truth. Guys will only be able to offer so much emotional support, and you will both need time away from each other in order to stay true to yourself as well.
Some of the greatest memories I have (and will continue to make), whether it be this year, in college, my twenties, or in life, are the ones with those that I call "sisters." While we do have our fun nights of getting dressed up and going out, the moments that have always stuck out to me are the ones where we just sat down and talked openly about what was going on in our lives. No sugarcoating or "I'm fine" jargon; just pure, no filter honest-to-goodness truth. And that's the way it should be.
This season, I give thanks for the women in my life. Without them, I probably wouldn't be experiencing the kind of healing that I have been in these last couple of weeks. More than likely, I would have allowed myself to become trampled by the hailstorm of curveballs that I've often had to withstand, particularly throughout this year.
If you're a friend, family member, or someone I've only known for a short time, thank you. Thank you for teaching me so many things and being an incredible blessing. God is good, and I hope and pray that I have been able to do what you have done for me.