High school girlfriends. College girlfriends. Post-college girlfriends. Book club girlfriends. Play date girlfriends. Sisters. Sister-in-laws. Blooma mamas. My life is surrounded by a band of strong, loving, passionate, beautiful, powerful, rock-star women.
Friendship is a remarkable reality, isn’t it? Especially deep and lasting friendships. Many friendships begin over common interest, some odd circumstance, or a shared life situation. But, what clicks? What makes a friendship last? What makes your heart want to grow to make room in your life for this other person (or people) who are not family? Love. Love for the other person. At some point, you fell in love, in a certain sense, and in this grand journey of life, you want to walk alongside this person in relationship. And, these relationships make life better, they help us bring humor into potentially dark days, a comradery when life might feel lonely, and the perfect advice you need to get through the next big decision (or the next three year old tantrum ).
My own mother surrounded herself with a band of women. I grew up seeing her talk daily on the phone to her own beloved mother, her sisters who lived from coast to coast across our country, and other women from throughout her life. She cherished each of these relationships, each of the perspectives on marriage, family, and life that they brought to her, and the humor and support she gained from each conversation. As I think about my own band of women, I am grateful for my own mother’s example of friendship.
My own girlfriends intertwine through different periods of my life. But, each is marked with fabulous women. These are women who have supported me, and each other, throughout years of friendships, marriages, deaths, miscarriages, successes, postpartum depression, moves across the country, infertility, divorces and everything in between. The beauty of these friendships is how, no matter what you are going through, you often will have a listening ear who has been there before. These friendships are deep. Yes – we may not always agree on everything, but there is a base of respect, compassion, and gratitude for the other in your life.
For example, the group of my local college girlfriends got together for brunch a few weekends ago. When one of them walked up to the table, she exclaimed, “Look at us! You would never guess that we were all married with jobs, and 12 kids between the 5 of us!” We all eagerly nodded in agreement – only to have our brunch conversation center on mini-vans, health insurance, job changes, house projects and birth stories. A long way from when we were 19 and in college, talking about our next exam, roommate problems, and that really cute guy in our English class. Driving away, I laughed to myself, wondering what would come in our next 10 years. For these are women who I know will still be in my life.
As our families grow, our relationships deepen, and lives become more full, I am grateful for each of these remarkable women in my life. Each, in her own way, rejuvenates me to be a better person, a more loving wife, and a more gentle mother.
I am lucky to say that my band of sisters, mamas, and friends has grown since my first classes at Blooma. Knowing that the women that surround me are going through the same things. Maybe before class, they too fought a toddler about wearing a coat. Or, maybe they debated leaving the house into the frigid cold to come to class (Tots and car seats in hand). They are dealing with the same struggles, witnessing the same milestones, and crave the same connections. Maybe you, or someone in your life needs to experience the community that can be found at Blooma. Take a prenatal yoga class to connect with other expectant mothers. Find a comforting ear at New Mama Group. Challenge yourself surrounded by other hard working students at barre class. Whatever it is, share the love at Blooma.
Written by Shea Olson- Wife & Mama Trying to Make it All Work