Several years ago, when I was still married, my Mom told me she was concerned I didn’t have a close-knit group of women in my life whom I could count on to be there for me no matter what.
Of course I argued with her, saying I had a couple of close friends who fell into that category.
But of course, there was real truth to her observation. One of my goals since becoming single was to build back up the friend relationships I had let go during my marriage, and build new connections as well. Freed from the restrictions of a judgey spouse who didn’t want to “take new friend applications” (yes, he said that), I could meet new people I like and invite them for dinner. I could spend quality time with existing friends and deepen or connection.
I’m rather proud of myself for doing just that.
I have several friends on whom I can rely. They have been there for me during heartbreak and illness. Men may come and go, but I am blessed to have women in my life who I know will be there forever. We joke about being the terrors of our old folks home.
And almost every single one of them has gone through some major crisis in the last couple of months.
The first isn’t a crisis but it’s definitely a time where help is needed: a brand new baby. This friend is single, and over 40. She made the bold and brave choice a few years ago to have a child, despite the absence of a partner. She’s never wanted to settle. It was not an easy road but she’s now a Mom to a beautiful little weeks-old girl.
The kid and I have been there for cuddles and to put together baby furniture for her.
Then there’s the single friend who had major surgery – serious enough, but had major complications.
Another one’s business was cyber attacked.
One has been trying to get pregnant for over a year, and finally succeeded just to find out it was an ectopic pregnancy.
Another one has been having an affair for years, is stuck in a long-term marriage she doesn’t know how to get out of, and has been going through drama with the other man in her life. We joke she’s the Tony in the relationship – and I give her a lot of grief about being on the other side of that. She reads this blog; she knows exactly what I’ve gone through.
Another just found out she has an incurable sexually transmitted infection.
Yet another’s marriage of 18 years has broken down, she has just moved out and is working on her separation agreement with a man who doesn’t seem to understand it’s over.
Nearly every single one of my closest friends.
It helps put my shit in perspective – what’s a little heartbreak compared to one’s ghost uterus punishing you. Or getting something incurable. Or the end of a marriage. Yeah, my stress is real too – heartbreak sucks, as does extreme work stress.
It also helps me focus on the things that matter – supporting my friends – instead of texting some dude who has probably sent me 10 year-old pictures and who isn’t a real potential match anyway. Or chasing someone who isn’t putting in any effort.
I firmly believe in karma. I believe in supporting my friends because it makes me feel good. I like to help. I hope to get back what I give.
And these women mean the world to me. I don’t know what I would do without them.