Friends Are Never Apart, Maybe in Distance...
The company I started a year and a half ago, My Girlfriendships®, emanated from the first girl’s weekend trip that I took with my three high school best friends. (Actually I knew them way longer than that. One of them since sixth grade, the other two since seventh. So, yeah, tack on three more years beyond high school is how long I have known them). Something happened on that trip that made my mind race and my heart yearn to change what we do as women and how we honor our girlfriendships®.
It’s funny isn’t it? When you reconnect with your old friends and you realize that they are so similar to who they were when you were besties all those years ago. They still have that same smile. Idiosyncrasies. Laugh. It’s so cool and so comforting. It’s as if the clock stopped, or maybe sped up just a bit, but never forgot the foundation. Here’s ours:
Sydney and I have known each other the longest. There were three sixth grade classes at Skycrest Elementary and we were in Mrs. Freeman’s class (which had all of the “cool people” in it...or so we thought). Mrs. Freeman did something that we students both anticipated and expected, but now looking at it as an adult, I shake my head.
Each year, she awarded three boys and three girls from our classroom with certificates for the “Best Looking”, “Best Personality”, and “Most Popular”. Seriously, I’m not an “everyone-gets-an-award'' type gal, but what a way to give a prepubescent kid a skewed self-image. Whatever!
Sydney took the best looking award and I garnered the most popular. Big deal right? Ha!
Later in life we were also college roommates at Chico State University.
I met Charlie in seventh grade because I think I had her in a couple of classes. She was shy, wore geeky glasses, and no one really noticed her. By the time eighth grade began, everyone noticed her. Over the summer, she lost a bunch of weight, her bra size moved up a couple of cups, and her parents invested in contacts so she could ditch the glasses.
We didn’t live far from one another; her house was within walking distance of mine. We often rode to and from school together, and I walked there daily just to hang out and have sleepovers. This was a time in my life when my mom was actively dating Tom (a married man), so I always wanted to get out of the house. Charlie’s home was much more pleasant than mine.
She was also my maid of honor in my wedding.
Mallory was tightly connected to her elementary school friends when we met in seventh grade. New school, new friends, new environment, but those girls from Harry Dewey Elementary were tight. In junior high, we were just a big group of friends, but when we got to high school, we became better friends because her house was the closest to it. After school her parents were rarely home, so it was a good place to go and raid the refrigerator after classes ended.
The four of us have been through the good and the bad, but our deep friendship has kept us afloat. We’ve stayed connected to one another over the past few decades, but not always consistently. Sydney is probably the least communicative, while I am the most. Nonetheless, we are now all four back into the swing of things and are committed to taking a girl’s weekend trip together every year.
We started our new-found tradition in 2019. Since I am the planner in the group, I rented a really adorable single family home right on the beach in Santa Barbara for us. (Sydney and Mallory still live in California while Charlie and I live in Colorado and Minnesota.) Naturally, California is often the best choice for us to travel to. Charlie and I usually extend our trip on the front or back end so that we can visit family members and other friends who are still there.
I am the caretaker. I am the mom of the group. I strategically planned to be the first to arrive on the Santa Barbara trip so I could hop in my rented Jeep wrangler and head to Whole Foods first thing. I am also the cook of the group so I wanted to gather all of the groceries to prepare meals.
Just So You Know
I say I am all of these “of the group” titles because I like to serve. It’s not because they are lacking in any way. Each one of them would do what I do if I wasn’t. Each one of us has a part in our friendship. I just choose to be the overdoer. I am very aware of this and they are all flexible in allowing me to serve them. We all four have certain traits, and we all respect who each other is.
Back to the Story
After the trip to the store to get food, I was the first inside our rental home to unload groceries and set a gift and card on their pillows. I love to recognize people with gifts. That particular year, I got these really cute coffee mugs. On one side it said, “Friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart”, and on the other side was a picture of the backs of four women sitting on a dock with their arms around each other. I was able to pick from a bunch of different options for hair length, style, and color. I swear it looked just like the four of us. So the box with that mug in it, wrapped with a pretty bow, and a card, went on each of their pillows. Once I was finished unloading and getting everything set up and ready, I went back to the airport to pick up the three of them.
We had a blast that weekend. I personally felt like my heart had returned to its full capacity being with them for that length of quality time.
The Pivotal Point
It was our last day of the trip. I remember it was a beautiful, sunny Sunday. We were sitting on the outdoor deck on the second level, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I used the leftovers to make a big omelette for all of us. As we were eating our breakfast, Mallory spoke up. With tears in her eyes and a scratchy throat, she said, “I have worked with many women who have become my friends for over 25 years. Those women don’t know me like you guys know me. I need you and we need to do this trip every year!”
Those words rang true in my head for all those days that have passed between then and now. My summation of what her words meant is this:
Women need one another for many reasons. In Mallory’s case, it’s for comfort and support. For me, it’s to help and serve others.
So that is how this company, My GIrlfriendships, came to be. It was her reaching out for help and my caretaking side wanting to serve. It was those very specific words and a few tears from Mallory that started it all.
How many Mallorys are out there? And how many Lisas? I would assume many.
We are over one year into it with three blogs, one podcast, and over 5000 Instagram followers. It’s an amazing journey to fulfill a dream to help women reconnect, cultivate, grow, sustain, and honor what matters in this life. Not every woman gets the chance to experience a deep girlfriendship, but with My Girlfriendships, it is my hope that most will now have the opportunity to know how.
I love that you were with me today. See you next time!
Lisa A.K.A. Loopie