A group of four women sat at the water’s edge, side by side, looking out on the water stretched far beyond them as they chatted and laughed. A group of four men stood in a circle in the deeper water, far enough away to have private conversations but close enough to pass something along to the women if necessary. I heard an older gentleman walk up to the women and joke, “I’m doing a sociology experiment and just wanted to know: what’s wrong with those men that they abandoned all you women at once?” One woman responded, “They didn’t abandon us. We told them to go away. We needed some girl time.”
We all do.
Some have no trouble seeing the need for girl time. They regularly set days aside, make their friendships a priority, and get rejuvenated by the connections. Others struggle with the concept. They’ve been hurt by girls and women through the years. They assume girl time is all about giggles, pink, silliness, fakeness, and judgment. But girl time requires none of those things. It’s specific to each relationship or group. For some, girl time is quiet conversation over a cup of coffee, a walk in the part, story-telling, deep discussion, or some kind of creative expression.
Girl time is meeting each other where we are, finding common ground, inviting each other into our lives and risking vulnerability to reveal ourselves, too. It’s not saying “This is me; take it or leave it” or “This is the image of the me I want you to see.” It’s “This is me right now. But I’m growing, changing. I want to be more. I want to be real with you. I want you to know my strengths and weaknesses. I want to share the joys and harshness of life. I want to be able to talk about the tough stuff with you, and I want you to be able to challenge my way of thinking and behaving.”
Of course, not every moment of girl time is serious, but it’s meaningful. It can be nourishing, healing, uplifting, and challenging. Friendships are risky. They’re messy. But so is life. Life is also full of hope, joy, and possibilities.
So are friendships.