Monday Notes: Friends

December 7th, 2018, I took a girls trip with five women. I’ve known one of these women since first grade and the others since seventh. While many of us have gotten together separately over the years for high school reunions or visits back home, the six of us hadn’t been together as a group since high school.

I admit I didn’t know what to expect. But I’m happy to report that it was one of the best trips I’ve taken with a group of women. We all got along just as we had over two and a half decades ago. It’s as if we were the same people, just 45 years old, with more life experiences to share.

Afterwards, I found myself reflecting on what made our time together so special.

img_8603-1We’re similar. All six of us attended an academically talented and gifted school called, Whitney M. Young for both the Academic Center (7th-8th grade) and high school. At the time we attended, it was the best high school in the nation. Meaning, we’re all not only intelligent, but we’ve also faced some of the same challenges throughout life when it comes to education and career choices. I mention this not to brag, but to highlight that when friends are similar at a core level, then deeper conversations ensue. Most of the time, we didn’t have to provide background information prior to talking about a shared issue.

We respected our differences. Prior to this trip, I believed that friends are such because they have similar interests; therefore, there is little need for compromise. You know what I mean? But that weekend revealed that while we are similar in some ways, we’ve grown to be different in others. That Friday, one of us wanted to sing karaoke, so we made our way to City Walk’s Rising Star. Another friend exercises daily, so she awoke each morning before everyone and walked on the beach. To our surprise, one woman enjoys watching NASCAR; so, we all paid our $20 and toured Daytona International Speedway. These are just three examples. While we weren’t necessarily fully invested in each other’s events, we each partook. I can only speak for myself in saying the reason I participated in everything is because we were there to visit with one another. Whether that be at a fancy dinner, on a jet ski, or at the pool, I was happy to compromise to hang out with women I considered to be friends.

We listened. On this trip we had constant, intimate conversations. We not only revealed events that had happened over the years, but also how we felt about these experiences. Not once did I feel negatively judged for sharing myself or my shortcomings. At no point did I think, “I shouldn’t have said that” for fear of the side-eyes or subsequent comments that accompany saying something not aligned with society’s values. Once again, I attribute the warmth of this inviting and supporting environment to the quality of women I’d unconsciously chosen to befriend years ago.

I’ve spoken a lot about relationships on this blog. But this trip solidified my overall feelings about them. Whether friend, familial, or romantic, good relationships feel warm and loving. They are non-judgmental and, in some ways, symbiotic. They are as natural as the ocean’s waves and as long lasting or fleeting as the sand that surrounds it.

As of today, that’s my answer on this topic. Let me know what you think.

40 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Friends

  1. The best friends are those who you can talk about anything with and feel no concern about being judged. I, too, find that those are usually the ones I picked many years ago, in Junior high/high school. It makes me question if I am still as good at picking friends. Great post!

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  2. Yeah! 😀😀 Kathy, it’s wondeful when a reunion works out so well … you seem to have had the best of times with love, care and respect between you all. These three elements are paramount and when egos are left behind everyone can have an enriching and fascinating time together. So happy for you!

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  3. Beautiful post, Kathy. It’s a wonderful thing to be in company of friends who get you. I completely agree with the last part of your post, good relationships are natural and non-judgmental. Each time I visit South Africa, I always try to organise a get-together with my friends. Like yours, we go way back to high school days. It’s always good to see how we are still the same and yet so grown up in other ways.

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  4. I completely agree! I also have friends that I take a Girls Weekend with once a year or so…and it’s the same thing you describe. We have much in common, but we also respect our differences. But it’s our conversations that mean the most: we talk about the “real” stuff, very openly, knowing that we will get the support from each other that we need. That’s what real relationships are all about!

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  5. What wonderful memories you ladies made with your trip! I hope you keep doing it whenever it’s possible for all of you. The older I become, the more I realize how important things like that are for us to nurture ourselves, reconnect and recharge the soul. Lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic post, Katherin! That is also for me what connection is about 🙂
    As also understanding we all are busy and have to prioritize; going to share this post..think it’s a perfect ‘contribution’ to my connection-serie. Big hug, XxX

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  7. What a beautiful story. This year I reconnected with a few people from my secondary school and I think we all feel that we are on a similar beat in our views and in our experiences. I wonder if it’s due to the fact that we’re grown up and more mature now which allows us to be far more compassionate than our 16-year-old selves allowed us to be? Growing up means understanding.

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  8. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to treasure more and more those relationships that carry my history. Being with my old friends brings back our youth and there’s no way to describe how wonderful that is. Your trip sounds inspiring and energizing. Terrific that everyone was able to reconnect this way and hoping you’ll get to look forward to it again someday!

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  9. Hi Kathy! Today I am reading some of my favorite blogs after some months away, so it was good to land on this particular post.

    The fact that after decades the six of you could come together is a blessing in and of itself! One thing I could never foresee when I was younger is how rich and good it feels to have enduring friendships that have history!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks Leslie! I’m honored to be among your “favorite blogs.” Also, I’d wondered where you’d gone to. Glad to see you back.

      Yes, friendships with a bit of history are a little weightier and I’m fortunate to have each of these women’s camaraderie in varied ways!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I want a girls’ trip now. 🙂 It sounds wonderful!

    I found as I got older I became more introverted and reached out to people through my creative writing more than to real life people. Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends in life I get together with here and there but not as often as we’d like. We all have similar lifestyles.

    A trip like this though…that sounds like something I could enjoy too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL Everyone should have at least on in her life!

      I do have online friends that seem closer than my IRL friends. I think it just depends on the connection. Like you say, similar lifestyles and interests do bring people together in a different way.

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