How to have great girlfriends and be a great girlfriend.


I was watching Nick Jr. with my boys the other day and they have these commercials about the American Girl doll.  It’s quite the following they have, these dolls. I am not much into all the crap advertised on the kiddie channels and it irritates me when they create these cultures, these ideologies surrounding a toy.  With the American Girl Doll, they have created this philosophy of “girl friendship”.  The commercial has a grown woman sitting with a little girl and asking her advice on how to handle an unruly gal pal or female coworker.

The philosophy of the American Girl Doll is to always be kind, have fun…yada, yadda.  I’m sure I’ll get to revisit the commercial another 20 times to absorb it all.

I have to say that I really like what the cartoons are about these days, though.  When I was growing up it was a lot of violence set to classical music.  A hunter and a wabbit, a cat and house mouse, a coyote and roadrunner.  I often wished that someone would just catch someone and be done with it.

Now the cartoons are not only extremely educational from reading, math, science, history, and all sorts of filling in between, but the biggest focus is on compassion, friendship, kindness, community, sharing, integrity, self-reflection.  This is beautiful stuff.  I feel like the cartoons are raising my children better than myself.

Bullying is no longer acceptable, girls are learning about being loving and supportive through dolls…I tell you, this future generation has hope!

I have been brainwashed by the cartoons and all the love since having these boys.  I have been doing some soul searching myself and in so doing, I have realized what a real, big, judgy asshole I really am.  And I dare to call myself a Christian in the works (an expanded Christian that uses choice words at times).

So, I was reflecting on the past and this time, instead of crying about all the rudeness and uncaring acts of others, I saw clearly that it was all my fault.  It sucked and I had chest pains and so much nausea, I thought I was pregnant.  My tubes are tied so that’s silly, but it went on for days.  I could hear the guides from the other side say, “write these letters, send these letters”.  I swatted away the voices and limped along as I got worse.  My aunt suggested aspirin and a trip to the doctor.  I knew the truth.  When I could no longer take it I sat down and wrote many, many letters…and mailed them all that night.  I just wanted to have the misery end.  I emailed those that I had no address.

Fast forward a couple months.  I have no chest pains or sickness.  That went away a day later never to return.  I have now reunited with several quasi-aunts (not by blood) and a really good, old childhood friend and an old high school friend.  I have 2 new phone numbers on my phone and I am feeling so blessed and grateful that I couldn’t sleep for days.  That made me feel a little wacko.  There has been so much love, healing, and forgiving that my vibration is soaring through the roof and my books have actually started to pick up in sales, people are reading all kinds of my stuff like crazy lately and I’m getting all these dreams that are giving me ideas for other fiction.

I am inspired and creating.  Why?  Because I have cleared the air, made amends, healed the past, righted my wrongs.  I am no longer weighed down with loss and woe.

This is how we thrive as people and in our lives.  We live and let live.  Instead of judging and wondering what is in it for us, we ask, “what can I do to serve, give, help?” We won’t get taken advantage of in the end.  We will know if it’s an energy sucking friendship and just take the space politely until we have it clear in our minds.   We know when we have a good friendship and when it’s poisonous.  The real problem is being too demanding.  It’s not a marriage.  Friends even disappear for years and pop up here and there.  People love us how they know how and it is usually  a far cry from how we would like it to be.  We fall short ourselves.

I have learned, in my 46 years, that a really good friendship is one that you don’t have to censor anything of yourself.  You ARE completely yourself around them.  You don’t try and entertain or say the right thing.  They have seen you at your worst, best, drunken, sober, funny, mean and hateful…and they still adore you and are loyal to the bone.  I love the friendships of likemindedness where there are sometimes super deep talks and analyzing dreams.  But I really love the girlfriends were we laugh our asses off at almost nothing.  There is just a chemistry there and the same humor so when you are together it’s all funny.  Real life becomes light and sparkly.

Each friend I have is completely different from the other, literally.  They are reflections of all my personalities.  Look around you, they are all your alter egos.  Not one friend can meet all our complex needs as we can’t for them.

Being married to a good man has been the most stabilizing and sane thing I’ve ever done, however, my husband can never compete with some of my girlfriends.  First of all, he doesn’t get all my subtle humor.  I thought it was an intercultural marriage thing but my friend says her very American husband doesn’t find her funny either.  We find each other hilarious.  I have missed that for 6 years.  Now that I have my comedic comrade back my husband is getting a little more slack.  So, he doesn’t find me funny…I have a friend or two that do.

There are many reasons that friendships end.  I had lost some girlfriends that had known my whole life story.  They knew the “before” Kate.  They understood me to the umpteenth detail.  I figured I would make new friends and community but there is something so lonely, so empty about that.  Starting over is not fun.  New people don’t know you, don’t know your past and why you are the way you are or what makes you tick.  They don’t have funny and embarrassing stories about you (that might not be so bad).  There is a “going home” feeling having old friends back in my life.  I feel strong again as if I just got my old super powers back and reconnected with my old tribe.  I have backing now, my foundation, my old roots.  Oh hell, I don’t know how to explain it.

Let’s just put it this way.  Even though I’m still new to this town and don’t know many people or have that community yet, I have a whole community back home and that fills my heart.  I really don’t need new people. I have old girlfriends and I have children…and a great husband.  That is more than enough.

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