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.
SamileenJanuary 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm
This literally brought a smile on my face. You don’t need labels to define your friendship. All you need is a moment that clicks n connect you and you know you’ll have a lasting friendship. I have always been very shy n home bound kind of a person n even my mum’s sister is hardly 5 yrs older than me. She is more like my sister so I can’t call her aunt either n she has been my best friend ever since I was born I guess.
And this blog space has seriously been such a fantastic platform to connect with some amazing like minded people.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 11, 2017 at 11:05 pm
My mom’s sister is 10 years older than me and we sort of grew up together. She’d always yell at me when I called her “aunt” haha :) She’s the one who bought my first deodorant and introduced me to makeup and hairspray haha! So happy that you got to experience the same kind of relationship! :)
Mary AnnJanuary 11, 2017 at 11:37 pm
As always, I love reading your blog, sharing your experiences in life.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 11, 2017 at 11:55 pm
Aw thank you so much!
HoneyanddewskinJanuary 11, 2017 at 11:50 pm
I so relate to you in many ways! I’ve never had a lot of girlfriends.. I just didn’t relate to most of the people I grew up with. I was one of the only minorities, a full time athlete, introverted, completely tomboy-due to the fact I just looked like a boy with muscles.. When kids would go partying and drinking, I’d stay home doing homework, reading and watching xfiles. Girls and women can be caddy and so judge mental. I’ve always thought that women should empower other women. Thank you for sharing this. Xo
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 12, 2017 at 12:00 am
This is one of those things I love about blogging and the Instagram community- I thought I was the only one who had to deal with a lot of those things and experiences; turns out there are so many others who share my feelings. :)
Kristina WildeJanuary 12, 2017 at 3:09 am
Oh my gosh loved this babe! I’m so happy you created this blog and had the courage to share it with the world. I’m kinda in the same place right now with not having a team of fellow girls I get along with for that same similar reason. I don’t like drama or negative people bringing down other people. Instead I choose to hangout with my boyfriend and his friends. I try to forget about it and focus my engery on creating content for my blog or my YouTube channel. So many things has happened this year in terms of seeing who was my true real friend, espically when moving international. Thank YOU for having the courage to share this post. Such an amazing read!! Totally needed these words of encouragement. You’re seriously amazing. Keep it up babe!! xoxoxoxoxo
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 9:43 am
Thank you so much Kristina! I also can’t stand drama or negative people, I feel like both just drain my energy and it’s so hard to keep up positive attitude when you hang around with people who talk shit about others, gossip and are discouraging. I love putting that energy into creating, too. So happy you enjoyed this post, it’s nice to know that someone can relate to what I’m feeling!
Kiss & Make-upJanuary 12, 2017 at 5:08 am
I am also both: a guy’s girl and a girls’ girl. I don’t have many super close friendships though. But the ones I do have I cherish immensely.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 9:43 am
It’s definitely better to have a handful of close friends that a ton of “friends”
Paula LoretiJanuary 12, 2017 at 10:55 am
This was so amazing!! I lost my group of closest friends last year and I keep the real ones (which a lot of them were guys) and now I feel so much happier. I love reading it, your courage is so admirable.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 9:44 am
Thank you so much Paula! So happy you liked this post!
Jaime, GirlLovesGloss.comJanuary 12, 2017 at 7:16 pm
Paula, it’s like you reached into my thoughts and put them on paper! I’ve always felt the same way, right down to the twin sister LOL. I felt so torn as a teen because I loved makeup, hair and reading YM (totally aging myself here) and Seventeen magazines, but hung out with boys and felt more comfortable around them. The girlfriends of these boys would want to gossip and go to the mall (or later in life it was wine and chick flicks), but I’d rather drink beer and play pool with the boys. That of course, made it hard to make new female friends…
When I hit 30 I started my blog, and it connected me with so many women online who loved what I did and it renewed my faith in having good female friends around. It also helped me connect with women that were already in my life but at an arms length because I just wasn’t a “girls girl”. It’s been incredible to “meet” and get to know some incredible ladies through this blogging journey and it doesn’t matter if I prefer to stay home with my husband, or drink beer over wine. It’s opened up a new world to me!
Jaime | http://www.girllovesgloss.com
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 9:48 am
Haha omg no way! So funny that I’m not the only one who thought they had a long lost twin sister haha! :) I found it so hard to find things to talk about with other girls.
That is one of the reasons why I love blogging so much. It’s amazing how much support other women show each other, and at first it wasn’t something I was used to. I couldn’t believe how kind and loving other girls can be. It’s changed the way I look at friendships now.
Katie @ Over The MoonyJanuary 12, 2017 at 7:21 pm
Being friends with girls is a lot of work. I say this to my boyfriend all the time and he says it to me all the time. I often go through those teary sessions about how I don’t have that one “best friend”. I think it also has something to do with not spending your whole life in one place. I know you haven’t lived where you are your whole life, and I moved right before high school to another state. It’s hard to compete with those life-long friendships and you kind of end up feeling like a third wheel when trying to find someone.
Even with my current group of friends I sometimes feel like the odd one out as two of my best friends are sisters, but I definitely agree that the internet and the blogging community has opened up so any more doors and brought me together with such cool people! I’m always glad to hear I’m not alone in feeling a little left out on the female friend thing, though. As if being a girl doesn’t have enough pressures, I think pop culture always focuses so heavily on big groups of girl friends that I always feel like I’m wrong for not having that one go-to person. Honestly it’s probably my Mom if anyone. So I hear you loud and clear on this one!!
Katie | http://www.overthemoony.com
Anna MioJanuary 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm
That’s totally me. I always felt like I was doing this friendship thing horribly wrong, because I never had that type of “BFF” kind of friendship going on. I usally had a group of closer friends, it always chaged to whom I had a closer relationship, but I switched schools several times, and of course we always grew apart. I went from a private upperclass foreign language school to a worse-than-avarage public school, then another private school with a more liberal mindset and so on, so we deffinitely had different life paths.
Most lately I felt like I finally found my place. My friend group consisted of some equally awkward girls, who liked deeper conversations and went through a lot of shit, but were still fun and silly, so I felt like they’d understand me. Then my mental health issues began to take over my life, I missed out of school, and my life was centered around dark thoughts, emotional rollercoasters, insomnia and a tonne of anxiety. I chased my past self for some time, I ran after them, I didn’t want to feel left out or like I was stuck, while everyone else’s life was going on. But the only people who stayed loyal to me, who didn’t see me as a negative, draining burden were my guy friends. There was no drama, there was no talking behind my back, I didn’t feel like something just didn’t seem right.
I attempted suicide in September, and after that I felt like things needed to change. I began to talk to one of my friends, who was the kindest to me, and seemed to still be interested in me. I felt better, and it seemed fine. I wanted to get back to talking with another one of them, but she always put me aside, and I got angry and sad, wrote a horribly worded rant, and then shit broke loose. The friend I was already talking to got mad at me, blocked me. She also has bipolar depression and was going through some rough stuff, and I just thought that maybe she felt like I was a threat to her, so I called the friend to whom I wrote the letter to, that maybe she could give the support and help I couldn’t. Then I was told that she was fine all along, and they just avoided me, as I am a hard person to be around, so they just lied to me for the whole time, because they didn’t want to hurt me. So that’s it.
Sorry for the rambling, I just lost another bit of hope since then, and I sometimes feel like I can’t get through this state of life, and that I’m just broken, and my life to this point was just a coverup to my fucked up personality.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:12 am
I know where you’re coming from, Anna! I used to think I was doing it all wrong, but I think at the end, it was just the wrong kind of people that I tried to be friends with. I felt like a lot of times I had to almost like change my personality to hang around them, and it just didn’t feel good.
It’s even more difficult when you’re dealing with mental health issues. When I suffered from depression a few years ago, a lot of “close” people would just think that I’m lazy or they’d tell me to “snap out of it” without understanding that it’s a real issue and not something I’m making up. I was also made fun of having anxiety, and even though it was meant to be a joke, I kind of closed up afterwards because I felt well, if I can’t share my feelings or talk it out with a friend when I need to, then what’s the point of having friends?
I think that as hard as it is at times, it’s a lot better to not have any close friendships than to have friends who stress you out, don’t understand you or don’t make you feel good about yourself. One of my favorite quotes is “never less alone, than when alone”. I’ve learned to accept myself and practicing self-care and doing things by myself isn’t as scary as it once used to be. I think that now I’m so used to being alone, and love my quiet time, that I probably wouldn’t be able to handle having a big group of friends. I know that it might sound a little cheesy, but you have to heal, and learn how to be your own friend before seeking to start new friendships. The right people will come around and that’s my wish for you! Sending my love your way!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:00 am
Oh Katie you are definitely not alone! I can’t tell you how many times I’d cry to my husband saying that I wish I had close friendships like he does. Then when I started hanging out with some other girls my age I hated it. The whole club scene and the way they’d get guys to pay for their drinks and then ditch them and all they’d talk about are material things and I just thought well, this isn’t for me. Even though I’m very close to my mom and sister, I always feel like because they live together and always hang out, I’m missing out on a lot of things. There are so many things that I had to do alone, from stupid things like getting my nails done, to looking for a wedding dress, etc.
Blogging community definitely opened my eyes and showed me that there are a lot of girls/women who share the same interests as I do, I just didn’t have a chance to meet them yet. And I hear you on the whole pop culture thing. It’s so annoying to watch a movie, tv show or anything else and see these cliques. My husband always tells me that it’s better to have no friends at all then to have a whole bunch who gossip or aren’t supportive. The thing about moving around is something that definitely played a huge role too. Whenever Mark and his friends get together and they talk about their times in High School, growing up upstate, re-living all those funny stories, it always makes me feel so sad, because I don’t have anyone to talk about those things. I think it’s something that I find much easier to deal with, as I get older though. x
Breanna MarieJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:03 am
I totally relate to this post! Except I grew up with mostly men in my life (three brothers). Now I work almost entirely with women and they amaze me every day!
Thanks for the post!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:12 am
Growing up with three brothers must have been fun! :)
Aleksandra // bunniesaremagicJanuary 13, 2017 at 3:53 am
I am stuck in a men’s world. Literally. At school I used to do mainly Maths and Physics, so my classes were full of boys. Then I went on to study Physics. Then I went on to work in Tech… I speak to maybe one girl a day? and that would be a receptionist, apart from Fridays when I go to my ballet classes. My best friend and most of my girl friends stayed behind in my home town – and although I love seeing them, I only get to do it maybe twice a year.
I love guys, I have always had a better connection with guys around me, but sometimes it is just not enough.
Especially now, that I have even less in common with the likes I work with; crazy about their superheroes and their TV shows and their games that I know nothing about. They are all nice and everything, and we get along very nicely, but it just feels like there is not much we can talk about aside from work and occasional cat pics.
Blogging is probably my only efficient way to get my girl time – and although I always thought the true girl world is a massive cat fight (Mean Girls anyone?), I discovered with surprise that now that we are not thirteen and absolutely nuts, it is actually a really nice place to hang out. Very accepting but also very diverse. Internet is truly a magical place sometimes, where everyone can find people alike and it doesn’t matter they are on the other side of the globe :) Ofc, it is also a massive hive mind… But that’s a completely different topic.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:25 am
Pretty much the only time I get some girl-time is blogging, too :) I find it so much easier to open up to men, for some reason. With girls I’d always felt a bit like I couldn’t trust them, but I think that was because of my past experiences with female friendships.
If anything, I find that I love hanging around with people who are older than me. Most of the girls I know my age are still living at home, whereas I’ve been living with my husband for almost 9 years now and we just do different things. I have a house to take care of, while working and running this blog. My sister calls me “grandma” all the time and it did used to bother me because I do have a bit of that fun craziness in me that comes out every so often, but I really don’t mind it now. I learned to really love my grandma life and don’t think I’d want to change it any time soon haha :)
Natalie HarneyJanuary 13, 2017 at 5:59 am
I love this. I’m in a position where I’ve just moved away from a lot of my close friends, and in a big city finding more is tough. But I’ve spoken to so many cool and wonderful ladies through my blog and it has been amazing.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:25 am
Blogging community definitely is amazing! So glad that I got to meet so many wonderful women through this blog. x
Alice TruongJanuary 13, 2017 at 7:59 am
Count me in the girls-who-hang-with-guys gang! I has always been one of the boys. Though I do like make-up and clothes and looking pretty. I can manage to hang with other girls but theres always this negative energy I feel while sitting with them talking about other boys and of course other girls. So just as you did find your faith here, in blogging, I realised there are more than hanging out with girls to be girly or to make girl-friends. I still write and do make-up reviews, outfit ideas, and other girly-ish stuffs to share on my blog posts everyday. And I found other girls who enjoy it as much as I do. Thou I still keep my blog more of a “for my own self to read” blog since I’m too shy to let’s any of my “humans” know. But thank you for sharing this with us! Glad I found your blog! All the best <3
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:28 am
Yess! I know that negative energy feeling because I always felt it too. Now I think that it’s just trying to be friends with the people who don’t have the right vibe. Like, the chemistry just isn’t right. This is why I’m so glad I started this blog, because it introduced me to the kind of people I always wished I’d meet. :)
Mikéla DavelynJanuary 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm
I can completely relate to you! Even though I enjoy wearing makeup and doing my nails from time to time, I’ve always preferred conversing about travel, politics, sports, etc. Guys were always the easiest to do this with. And in high school I also suffered from a lot of bullying by the girls. Just because I had guy friends, rumors started to circle that I was a slut – even though I hadn’t kissed a single one of my guy friends! Most of the girls were just mean. And it all got worse when my two closest friends (a brother and sister) moved away. The mean girls managed to ruin my relationships with practically all of my guy friends. And then after high school the girls who were nicer (and whom I thought were my friends), shunned me for leaving church.
Luckily, I now have four close girlfriends that I can hang out with and have easy conversation with. But I totally know what you mean about not fitting in with the typical girl circles well.
I also know exactly how you felt in regards to keeping your blog a secret. I did that for an entire year myself. Sometimes, I still wish it was a secret haha, because I preferred it better when only you and my other readers from around the world were the ones seeing it.
Thanks for always supporting my blog dear! I’m glad we’ve met through our mutual love for writing articles and taking pretty photos :)
Have a fabulous week!
xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:34 am
Yes, why the fuck is it that hanging around boys equals being a slut? Honestly, teenagers are so weird! I actually got accused of trying to steal my “best friend’s” boyfriend (they weren’t exactly dating) just because we got along very well and shared our love for music. He’d always call me his “little sister” we’d beat each other up and I really used to dress like a boy myself, but she still claimed I was trying to steal him away haha ;) ahh I don’t miss being a kid, seriously! Being an adult is so much better lol :)
I sometimes wish I kept my blog a secret too, but then again, it’s not like a know too many people irl lmao! :) All kidding aside though, I’m really happy to have met you too, the blogging community really introduced me to so many amazing, interesting and talented women, I’m so happy to be a part of it! x
L U C AJanuary 14, 2017 at 11:59 am
I love this post and I completely agree ♥ I never had a lot of close friends and actually I still don’t (but I am grateful for the few I have!) but sometimes your friends don’t have time or you don’t want to talk about drama with boys or whatever. Here in blogging community you can talk to whoever about whatever :)
Your blog is one of the places where I feel like talking to a close friend over a cup of coffee :)
Have a nice weekend!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:37 am
Aww Luca, thank you so much for your kind comment! I actually teared up, because when I started this blog, my main goal was to create space for girls who, just like me, felt a bit lonely at times and knowing that when visiting my blog feels like visiting a close friend makes me so happy! xx
Lisa AutumnJanuary 15, 2017 at 8:52 am
I am probably beeing a little dramatic here but this really made me tear up.. I can totally relate. I have struggled with really really close friends especially in the past few years. I have friends.. but it is just not as close as some people do. I am very lucky to have my sister who is my best friend but other than that..
Blogging and Instagram really showed me how encouraging and motivating girls can be with each other.. I can relate so much to my Instagram/Blog friends and I am so happy about it..
Thank you for this post lovely!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJanuary 15, 2017 at 10:42 am
I teared up when I wrote it too, just as I teared up reading some of the comments, so you’re definitely not being dramatic :) I’m very lucky to have my sister too but she has a very close circle of friends as well, so I always feel like I have to compete for her attention haha :)
Instagram and blogging community are truly amazing and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. x
Erin of Very ErinJanuary 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm
Wow, I can’t even tell you how much I relate to this post. I would never have dreamed that there was this entire community out there of ultra-supportive woman. I’m an introvert to the extreme, and I honestly struggle to make friends in real life. Since starting blogging, I’ve made so many amazing friends through blogging.
SadieJanuary 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm
Loved reading this post, although I never had problems with other kids in school I only had a few close friends. I wasn’t really one who went to the parties or anything. I’ve always been a pretty closed book and worrying about people judge me and it is through the support of lovely people like you on my blog when opening up about my struggles that have allowed me to open up in “real life” too. I’ve never experienced anything but support and kindness when it comes to the blogging community and it has restored my faith in the fact that people will support rather than judge me :) xx
steff @ brighterdarling.comJanuary 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm
This is beautiful! I’ve always been a girlie girl, but I can completely understand because although I’ve loved all things girlie and always valued female friendships (not only was in IN a sorority in college, but I then WORKED for it’s Headquarters for 6 hrs afterwards LOL), I’m SUPER no BS and super NO DRAMA, and I’m not secretive about it lol. I’m basically a walking #nofilter. But I’m also so glad to find more girls like me in the blogging community. It’s so supportive and I’m also so happy to be a part of it <3
ThePartyParrotBlogJanuary 19, 2017 at 5:25 am
Thank you for sharing this Paula, when I have discovered your blog I think that at some point I left a comment saying that we must be twins or something; whenever I read what you write it is almost as if you read my mind. Glad to know you! Hugs xx
GraysonJanuary 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm
Beautiful! Really well said. I often feel the same struggle myself, but as a blogger as well, I have started to see the silver lining within my female relationships.
MichaelaApril 20, 2018 at 11:38 am
I was blown away as an adult when I fell into mixed groups of friends – where you have people of all genders chatting about the same stuff – from makeup to music to which guitar is better for live shows to whether IPAs are better than Pilsners, etc. And that was awesome.
Because like you, the only girls I’d ever really been exposed to in my early life still bought into the narrative that you had to like certain things or act a certain way to be a “girl”. It’s nice that when you grow up and find yourself exposed to different kinds of people and lifestyles that those prescriptive ideas kind of fall away and people can just be their truer selves more freely.