Tuesday, October 1, 2013

{Life} Female friendships

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There is one weekend that I look forward to every year, without fail, and that is the annual weekend away with my group of friends from high school. I am forever grateful that after ten years of friendship, having been through the hardest times of our lives and the best times of our lives that our friendship is only getting stronger. This weekend away with these girls only confirmed for me how lucky I am to have these girls, or really I should say women now, in my life.

I also love that even though we are older now we are still just as silly and fun and no one takes themselves too seriously. We headed down the coast to Woonona for three days and managed to score an amazing house, with its own pool, 100 metres from the beach (our friend Kelly is the queen of event organsation) and to top it off we had amazing sunny weather, warm enough to swim in the freezing water for at least a few minutes.

We had a dress-up party on Friday, just for no reason at all, seriously how good do I look with a moustache and beard? We laughed, drank and ate the weekend away!

For most of my life I have been a girls girl. Even before school, when there was really only boys in my neighborhood to play with, I wasn't deterred. Mum often tells me she would walk outside to find me and all the boys having a tea party or undertaking some other stereotypical girly activity that I would subject them to. Once I got to pre-school and met lots of other girls I was pretty hooked - female friendships were my thing and unfortunately most of the boys got the flick.

I am lucky that the best friend I made in kindergarten is still my best friend today and I have this wonderful group of ladies above who I know will always be there for me. As well as friends I have made more recently during uni and work who I have quickly become close to and can't imagine life without now.

One of the longest lasting friendships is with the  girls above. I remember being at the end of year nine and I had spent the last three years not really sure where I fitted in, who I was and being bullied by this girl who insisted on stealing my ruler all the time (??); Penny and Pene encouraged me to come and sit with them and their group of friends and I have never looked back. These ladies are some of the strongest, honest, funniest, kindest people I know - it is the kind of friendship that you know whatever happens or even if you don't see each other for ages, no matter what you are still friends and when you see each other it is as if no time has passed at all.

At the same time though I have also lost wonderful friends over the years -we grew apart and wanted different things from life and our friendship suffered the consequences of that. I struggled a lot with the loss of these friendships - should I have tried harder, was I not a good friend - whose fault was it? I honestly think I have been more upset about the friendships I have lost with these women over the years then with any break up from a boyfriend.

These days I have made peace with those things and realise that some people are meant to be in your life at a certain point and just because they don't continue to be there doesn't make the friendship any less important or special. I can only be thankful that I have been lucky to have such strong women in my life who have helped to shape who I am today.

I also now realise how important it is to surround yourself with people who inspire you, make you a better person, challenge you and make you happy. I have had people in my life who I know have been a bad influence on me but I was too scared to upset them or make them cranky if I tried to end the friendship. The older I get though I realise that friendship is about quality and about surrounding yourself with people who have a positive influence on your life and want the best for you and of course vice versa.

I have had a few people say to me over the years - I am not friends with many women, I find female friendships bitchy or I prefer to be friends with guys because they are easier to be around. I completely understand that but I think my advice would be don't give up there are lots of fantastic women out there and I honestly believe a strong female friendship that is mutually supportive, kind and fun is one of the greatest assets you can have.

So how about you - do you find yourself surrounded by women or do you prefer to be friends with guys? What experiences have you had with friendships over the years and what advice can you give for a long lasting friendship?

15 comments:

  1. Oh Megan I loved this post, and can relate on so many levels. I am definitely like you and have always been better friends with girls. I do have some pretty solid guy friends, though. It took me a long time to learn that some people only come into your life for a certain time too, and honestly sometimes I think I'm still learning that. I give a lot to friendships, and find that if you understand how the other person works, and what they want, and vice versa then there is no reason why you shouldn't stay friends for a long time. Most of my best friends are people I see sporadically as opposed to all of the time as they're based in other parts of the country. I do meet up with some high school friends every couple of months though, and it's always nice to rekindle that friendship in a way!

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  2. i absolutely adore that top photo of you and your friends! It looks like a photo from a magazine editorial! I can definitely relate to this post - and unfortunately those girlfriends i had from primary school and high school I had a falling out with.

    But I know it's for the best, some few years back I too adopted the mantra that I only surround myself with those people who lift me up, inspire and challenge me and support me. :)

    Right now as Im living in Darwin, some of my best friends still live in Melbourne/Geelong but it doesn't matter that I don't see them for months (or years at a time)...

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  3. I have to admit to having a major case of the green-eyed monster after reading this. Female friendships are something that I cherish but that never seem to last. It hasn't helped that I have made 3 major moves in my life, all at critical times. The first at 12, 3 hours away from all my primary and early high school friends, the 2nd just after uni which meant losing touch with most of my Uni friends and the 3rd about 2 years ago when I came to Melbourne. Also when I was acting, many of the friends I made were show-friends in that we were very close during the show but once it closes you begin to realise that you don't have a great deal else in common.

    I spent many years trying desperately to hang on to one of my high school friends even after it was clear that our teenage years were all that we had in common. There was a great chunk of time when the only time I would see this girl is at drunken Friday night barbeques where invariably she would be stressed out because she hadn't finished the prep and I would spend most of the evening in her kitchen doing the cooking while she downed cheap red wine. There is nothing wrong with that, it's what friends are for; but when she could never make any sober time for me I had to give up and walk away.
    Your post did however inspire me to randomly contact a girl that I have a fledgling friendship with that I haven't seen in ages though:)

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  4. I love that you have these weekends with your girlfriends. What a special thing to look forward to.

    My friends are a mixture of boys and girls, but generally I tend to get along better with boys which I think comes from hanging out with my brothers a lot. Also, I'm not a super girly girl. That said, I love the girls I'm friends with and wouldn't trade them for the world.

    x Jasmine

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