I’ll be honest. Can I be honest? I was never a girls’ girl.
I’ve always believed all women to be strong, smart, beautiful, brave… I just didn’t like being around them very much.
Growing up, my cousin, sister and my mom’s sister- who I won’t call my aunt since there is a small age difference between us- were my best friends. I remember always thinking “I just don’t get girls“. I remember being in elementary school, playing soccer with some of the boys from my class. The next day, none of the girls from my class would talk to me and I was told I shouldn’t be trusted because I’m too much of a tomboy.
Kids can be real assholes sometimes.
Throughout my teenage years, I always got along with boys a lot better than I did with girls. Maybe it was because I dressed almost like a boy myself? You know, baggy cargo pants, hoodies two sizes too big, backward hat. Maybe it was because despite reading Cosmo and stealing my mom’s makeup on occasion, I didn’t like talking about boys, or clothes or all those other things girls like to talk about. I wanted to talk about music, or football, or the universe, or books. While my friends liked to plot how to get a boy to invite them to a school dance, I dreamt about finally having a best friend; someone who I can have meaningful conversations with, someone who would just “get” me.
Playing dress-up with my mom’s sister, Ania. As a little girl, I loved hanging out with her and her teenage friends.
Actually, for many years, I was convinced that I had a twin sister who was given up for adoption and on my loneliest of days, I’d imagine her knocking on my door. Well, my mom assures me that I never had a twin sister, although I’m not quite sure I believe her…
In High School and college I was too busy working to make friends. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I started putting myself “out there” and to be honest, I hated it. I’d go out with one of my friends and her girlfriends and although I’d have fun for an hour or two, I usually spent the remainder of the night wishing I was in bed, next to my husband, watching Netflix. All I’d hear was them talk about clothes and other girls’ engagement rings and how small or big they were, and the drama and that someone’s boyfriend was looking at someone else. At the end of the night, I felt like I was surrounded by this cloud of noise and negative energy. To be honest, I’d even avoid going to places like hair salons, because being around that many women always made me feel uncomfortable and always left me feeling terrified that I’d say something super awkward.
I go through the same thing whenever my sister tells me a story about something that happened at work, or at a party or a get-together she attended. I always get lost and pretty soon I’ll have to start writing the names of her friends and coworkers down, because it’s so hard for me to keep up with who isn’t talking to who and who invited themselves to whose wedding. Listening to her and my friend’s stories, got me thinking that I must be weird. I’d always think “dude.. how can one person know that many people, how do you keep up?“
When I started this blog, I didn’t tell anyone except Mark, my mom and sister. I was suuuper shy and the thought of someone I know reading this blog, horrified me. But Mark was so proud of me that he begged me to let him tell some of his close friends. I was so embarrassed, and then blown away at the support two of his closest friends showed me. They kept telling me how cool it is, how proud and happy for me they are; it literally brought me to tears. That night, I teared up when I told Mark “I am so happy that you have such close and awesome friends, I think that’s so fucking cool”. Truth is, I never had such strong friendships with other women.
As it turns out, though, I have more than just one “twin sister” out there. Writing this blog, connecting with other bloggers and women who read my posts, proved that there are a ton of girls who can relate to my past struggles with depression or anxiety and can understand me better than anyone else. There are girls who are just as driven as me, girls who don’t like drama, girls who like to watch football, girls who hate romantic comedies, girls who love supporting one another and pushing each other to do better and bigger things. There are girls who, just like me, like to obsess about pretty makeup or good skincare, without being superficial. As it turns out, I’m very much capable of being friends with other women and female friendships can feel pretty empowering.
Let’s face it: women are pretty fucking amazing. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to realize just how amazing they are, if it wasn’t for the friendships I’ve built thanks to this blog. Over the last year I’ve received so much support, so many encouraging words, it seems that just now, at 27, I am learning just how special female friendships can be. I’ve come to understand that there was never anything wrong with me, or with the girls/women I tried to be friends with; we just didn’t have much in common, had different values and looked for different things in a friendship.
Remember that people who want less than the best for you, people who don’t make you feel good about yourself, are probably not worth your time. If my experience has taught me anything, it’s that female friendship doesn’t have to be difficult and filled with drama; it doesn’t have to involve weekly cosmos, gossip and mani-pedi sessions, if group visits to the nail salon aren’t your thing. It also taught me that the easiest way to build new relationships, is picking up a hobby and connecting with like-minded people who love and are interested in the same things as you are.
….and, I don’t have to worry about defining myself as a “guy’s girl” or a “girls’ girl” anymore, because I can do both: watch River Monsters and drink beer with my husband and his friends, and talk makeup all day long with my friends.