Friday, July 6, 2018

An Open Love Letter to My Best Friends

While taking to Hannah one day, okay one of the several times that day, and she told me about a book called TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME by Kayleen Schaefer that she heard was about female friendships and how important they are and I knew right then I had to read it. Let me start with the book review. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was quick, easy to get into, and I loved the very honest truths the author spoke about her own female friendships over the years. She didn't always get it right and it took her awhile to figure out that being a girl's girl vs a guy's girl was something she should have been striving for instead of distancing herself from. She referenced multiple pop culture platforms and how movies, TV shows, and popular opinion has influenced how society views female friendships and how that view has evolved over the last 100 years. She discussed how women are biologically engineered to reach out to one another in good times and bad. She dissects the guy's girl and girl's girl mentality. And best of all, she goes in deep about how find a best friend or friends is just as important as romantic love and that it is a kind of love.

I--pun intended--loved this. I loved reading about the evolution of how female relationships have been portrayed in pop culture and all the different examples of how power female friendships are in our lives. But what I loved most was that it made me reflect on my own female friendships that I'm going to go deep on in a moment. While the book itself felt like it had some repetition in it, the overall sentiment for me was that it's purpose was to help you reflect on how you view your friendships and how important female friendships truly are to women. I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about how impactful this book felt to me while reading. It is a celebration of women, our connection to one another, and how beautiful it is when you find another woman to connect to and call your best friend.
Now...lemme talk about how much I was moved by this book. I couldn't help but think about all the amazing women who have impacted my life and who are still doing so today. For those who don't know, I have had a very long, very brutal, very hurtful history with quite a few friendships over the years. I'm talking dumpster fire implosions of friendships that I thought I would have forever. I know I'm not alone in those situations either. I don't think there is a woman on this Earth who has not felt the devastating loss of a friendship they thought was going to stand the test of time, however, I'm not here to talk about them.

I want to write an open love letter to all the friends I have today. Mindy Kaling nailed it in The Mindy Project when she said 'best friend isn't a's a tier' and I believe this 100%. The women in my life today I consider my Inner Circle would all have the title of best friend. It is a tier. It is a level of vulnerability, compassion, and understanding that more than one person can reach. The purpose of my writing--and spastic flailing if we're being honest--today is to say thank you. Thank you to those women who know who they are who have picked me up when I've been down, laughed with me, cried with me, encouraged me, hyped me, listened to me, and inspire me to be the person I am today.
There is a special kind of high I get when hanging out with my best friends. I feel energized and loved and appreciated in a way that only a best friend can give me. After a long phone call where we talk about everything and nothing, I feel a level of self-love that I never thought I could reach. Society has molded women into thinking they are one half of a whole, they are complete when they find their male counterpart. I'm not denying that a romantic relationship is an important one but I think that there is a different level of understanding that comes from a female best friend. Women get women. A woman's intuition is something legends are made from and the positive encouragement I get from my friends when I need it or at random is something so, so special because it comes from a place of deep understanding.
Thank you. Thank you to the friend who I can't get enough of and who I talk to all day, every day. Thank you to the friend I don't talk to every day but who I know is always there for me and vice versa. Thank you to the friend who dropped everything and drove an hour and a half to comfort me after I initially didn't get into nursing school. Thank you to the friend who knows what I'm going to say before I even say it. Thank you to the friend who acted as a human shield when I was viciously dumped and humiliated in public in front of a group of people. Thank you to the friend who dresses up and goes to nerd events with me. Thank you to the friend who offers bodily harm to anyone that hurts me. Thank you to the friend who can snark with me and the best of them, who always makes me laugh. Thank you to the friend who let me cry on the phone to them after another failed attempt at a relationship. Thank you to the friend who knew I needed a phone call when I had a health scare and wouldn't take texting as an answer. Thank you to the friend who is my constant hype girl, never doubting me and what I am capable of achieving. Thank you to the friend who sees me. Thank you to the friends who know this is a two-way road and that as much as you're there for me, you know I'm there for you as well. 
Female friendships are so important to women and I think it is the most underrated relationship and most criticized. I recently saw Ocean's 8--which was amazing, by the way--and my favorite line from the entire movie fits this post and book sentiment perfectly. One character asks another why she wanted to join the heist and she responds, 'I don't have a lot of female friends.' Reply: 'So you wanted to be a felon because you're lonely?' I found this not only hilarious but also so sad and true. Female friendships are powerful, they are strong, they are inspiring. They are the phone calls both good and bad. They are the ones who pick us up when we are down and hype us up to the next level. They are the heart and soul of almost everything.
It took me reading this book to really pinpoint how crucial female friendships have been in my life. I always loved them but I never really thought too deeply about how much they've shaped my life and how central they are to me. I am single. I've never had a longterm relationship, I don't know what that romantic companionship feels like. I don't know if I ever will. I would like to but we never really know the direction our life is headed. One thing I do know is this, up until this point and possibly for the rest of my female friends are the loves of my life.  
Backstage Pass
If you love reflecting on your female friendships, the evolution of female friendships, and your girlfriends...this book is for you.

Genre: Adult Nonfiction Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 288 Publication Date: February 6th, 2017
Source: Bought
Find on: Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. So beautifully written and said Kelly!! Have you ever seen How I Met Your Mother? There's a time when they start to fall out of touch, but are always there for the "big stuff." Very true. My bffs are 2 hours away but still my besties. Then my 2 MKE besties moved away-very isolating. I am happily married with a baby but couldn't agree more that there's nothing like a best friend relationship. I love my husband, but he's not my best friend, nor am I his. I am looking forward to reading this book!!!


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