From a teabag: "Appreciation is like an insurance policy. It has to be renewed every now and then." AMEN!
Last night, I celebrated a "girls night out" with a group of six FABULOUS women (including me) and during the course of the night, as we were reading our fortune cookies, one declared, "I have the best girlfriends in the world!" and I have to agree with her. Not only the five women I dined with last night, but my life is chockfull of women who have "been there" for me. Which is an amazing thing in and of itself since I am a self-declared lover of male friends as opposed to female friends. (And not just for the obvious physical reasons either!) As a child (and even into adulthood), I was hurt several times by female "friends" who, out of spite or jealousy or over some man or whatever reason, lashed out and caused harm. And, if I am brutally honest: I KNOW I have done the same to some women who have passed through my life. And even if/though I have apologized, the wounds are still there. So for YEARS, I have loudly proclaimed, "I would rather have a male friend than a female one." And there is still some validity to that statement, but I have found (as I get older and hopefully more mature), there is value in having good female friends as well.
A magazine I was reading recently had an article about the "7 Female Friends Every Woman Needs" - and I don't remember all their categories, but it went something like: a travel buddy, a comedian, a wet shoulder, a spiritual guide, the childhood friend...etc. etc. I remember as I read the article thinking that I was blessed to have female friends who filled all their categories and then some. In a blog I did around Mother's Day, I paid tribute to a lot of women who have impacted my life...and in the spirit of the appreciation quote above, I'd like to briefly say "Thank you" to all the female friends, my sistagirls, the girlfriends, "my girls" who:
...continually lift me up
...support me in all my crazy endeavors (and I have more than one occasionally)
...are there at 3:00a when I text them crazy messages
...pray for me and with me
...offer financial advice and solutions to situations I put myself into
...don't judge me
...love me unconditionally
...are "related" to me, even if the same blood doesn't flow through our veins
...go shoe shopping with me
...remember me when they travel
...stand in line to get the autograph of my favorite authors "just because"
...travel with me - and still desire to remain my friend after we get back home
...laugh with me
...are honest with me when I mess up
...compliment me - even when I'm having a bad hair day (and yes, people with locs can have them too!)
...help me dye my hair because I need a little "pick me up"
...help me feel better when I decide maybe I should have stayed with the original color after all
...listen to me vent about ... whatever ... no matter how many times I need to vent
...tell me I am fabulous when I am feeling less than
...know me and love me anyway
...give me my space when I ask for it and wait patiently for me to come back
...encourage my ministry, even when I am feeling less than worthy
...send me little notes in the mail because they know how much I enjoy going to the mailbox and receiving personal messages
...text me just to say "hey, how you doing?" or call because it's been a while
...nourish my soul in inexplicable and unexplainable ways
I am truly blessed to have each of them in my life. I pray you have a circle of friends who do the same to and for you. If you do, take time to tell them how much you love and appreciate them. It will mean the world to them...and a lot to you.