female friendships

The Health Benefits of Female Friendships

Growing up is weird. The clichéd phrase about women “having it all” sounds like an annoying way to market a new pink-hued tampon to women, but you do find the older you get that “having it all” becomes harder and harder.

It was so much easier when your life was small, everyone you knew lived in a few mile radius, you all played on the same playground, and your mom was responsible for your snack consumption.

At 30 now, my life seems like a weird mix of adulting when not feeling ready to and constantly having to let go of things I don’t want to let go of. Want to be good at your job? Your relationship might suffer. Want to put time into your relationship? Cut out exercise or like…calling your mom. And then you need alone time on top of all that. While you should ALWAYS make time to call your mom, one thing I’ve come to realize is just as important is the relationships I have with other women.

My core group of friends in the city is this strong-willed, ambitious, group of creative women who are photographers, stylists, artists, and designers who love fully and offer their friendship fiercely. When my dad passed away and I could barely leave my apartment, one of them had me move into her spare room for five months so I wouldn’t feel alone. I have had my apartment broken into so I could have a cupcake on my birthday, long road trips, music festivals, and good and hard cries on their couches. It’s a chosen sisterhood. Sometimes I struggle with giving that kind of love and thoughtfulness back, but it is something I strive to do and I couldn’t be prouder to know the women I do. 

Last week I took a trip up to Portland, Maine with one of my closest friends Lauren to visit one of our other closest friends, Chantal. She had moved up from the city a year ago because she missed things like trees and smiles, and spending that weekend with them and all that female energy made me realize that I need to spend more time putting energy into those kinds of friendships that I think really can only have that special nature and intimacy that comes from being around other women.

During the few years she lived in the city, she taught me the warmth, open heartedness, and the positive benefits to being so open. She taught me to think critically about your own existence, take care of yourself, and be honest with yourself about who you are. You have to be willing to tolerate the discomfort of believing in yourself.

Surrounding myself with these women makes me a better version of myself, and will make me a better woman as I grow older – motivated and non-complacent and passionate.  You should be able to walk up to the most beautiful woman in any room and tell her she looks good. No hate, just support – you’ll be a better person for it.

The truth is I am generally an introvert – gaining energy from being alone rather than being with people. However, I do get an excitable energy from being around my best girlfriends, an inspiring giddiness that just doesn’t come from anywhere else. I think it comes from good vibes and good hearts.

I guess maybe those babes from Sex and the City had something going for them, after all.