|Chillin' with my girl, Hansel.|
“The sisterhoods. The lifelong friends and bonds that will never lessen. Years can go by, and I will pick up with each of those sisters as if a single day hasn’t passed. Only we can truly understand one another.” - Angela Ricketts
Recently I did something I haven't done in a long time. I talked on the phone with a girlfriend. For an hour.
Most people who know me know that I hate talking on the phone more than going to the dentist. In this day and age, it's faster and easier to chat, text, or email when I need to communicate with others, but during that conversation with my girlfriend, I realized that I had been missing an important piece of the social interaction pie.
When it comes to my friends, I have always found it easier to get along with men than women. I'm very choosy when it comes to adding women to my circle. I have very low tolerance for bullshit, game-playing, and insecurity. I prefer to be around women who are smart, independent, fun, and at times a little outrageous. Everyone brings something different to the table.
The few female sister-friends I have are my true soul sisters. They are the kind of friends who would not ask questions if I needed a hole dug in the desert in the middle of the night. They would simply organize the event and assign who would bring the shovels, music, and beer.
|Shaena & Me. Friends from VA to AZ|
Shaena and I met in 2008 when we were both working at the Cancer Center at the University of Virginia. She had an awesome job while I was stuck in the first job I ever hated.
Shaena was the reason I showed up to work each day during that time. She and I shared a similar sense of humor, a love of spontaneously dancing in the hallways or elevators, and a passion for cake. When she moved away, technology made it easy for us to stay in touch. I even visited her in Arizona for the birth of her second child.
Several years later, when I quit my job to begin my quest for happiness, Shaena sensed it. I remember confiding in her about my uncertain future and how terrified I was of not knowing what I was going to do at the time. She listened patiently and then said, "I know what you're going to do. You're going to move to Tucson." A few months later, that's exactly what I did.
“We're connected, as women. It's like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there's trouble, we all know it.” - Sarah Addison Allen
Upon arrival to my new city, I relied on my mindfulness practices to keep me calm and even provide income. I began teaching yoga and Nia right away. Those practices helped me stay afloat while putting the finishing touches on the book.
One day, I was teaching Nia to a group of women in the park. As an ice-breaker, the group's facilitator handed out pennies to everyone. We were asked to look at the year on the penny and then tell the group something significant from our life that happened during that year. Shaena's penny was dated 2013. When it was her turn, she told the group, "This year has been pretty shitty, but the best thing that happened was when I asked my friend, Kristy, to move to Arizona, and she actually came." Yeah, Girl. I sure did.
|Private Yoga at Inspiration Rock|
Mt. Lemmon, AZ
One of my friends was recently going through a tough time. She really needed some peace in her life, so I drove us up to Mt. Lemmon one sunny afternoon. We made our way to the top of Inspiration Rock where we did yoga and deep breathing. It felt like we were the only two people in the world up there in all that silence.
Another new friend invited me to brunch at her home a few weeks ago. The kitchen was full of friendly faces and busy hands. Everyone was pitching in to help prepare the meal. There was so much laughter and warmth radiating from that space, it felt like home.
|Ladies Who Brunch|
While I have made many new friends in Arizona, I am grateful to also remain in touch with the other members of my sisterhood. Even though we may be on opposite ends of the country, or even the globe at times, I never feel as though our friendship has faded. A simple text, call, or message on Facebook is enough to keep our bonds strong.
I've been in Arizona for almost a year now. Being over 2,000 miles away from my own family, it's been important for to form close bonds with other women. I have been fortunate to find women who have not only embraced me as a friend, but have adopted me as a sister.