Reaffirming Self in the Company of Friends

I just left our 2nd annual Weekend with The Girls, a gathering of five dear friends from college.  After years of focusing on our careers and then (most of us) having children, we’re finally in a place in our lives where we have found time, once again, to nourish our friendship.  Our chosen life paths have been different – different geographies, different career paths, different relationship / family paths.  Yet, as we sat together, sharing our lives, our thoughts, our convictions and our doubts, we were reminded of our collective similarity:  Learning to embrace a life that is uniquely ours.  Accepting that life can not be fully controlled and planned; yet we are completely accountable for our destiny.

There’s something magical about sharing the contours of our deepest thoughts, hopes and fears with lifelong friends; friends whom you trust, with whom you share similar core values.  This weekend, I recognized with great relief that some common questions are asked in certain phases of our lives. Knowing that my closest friends share the same uncertainties provided meaningful comfort to my curiosity if I’m simply just insane, given how many questions and concerns I have about this and that.  Sitting among friends who know me so well is an amazing reminder of who I truly am, who I’ve always been and who I’ll always be.  As our physical appearances change, as our children grow, and as our partnerships evolve, we find that our laughter, our convictions, our joie de vivre have always remained, untainted by the passage of life experience.  And if we are in doubt of it, each of us is sure to remind the other with gut-bellowing certainty that this is who “I am”.  With so much changing in life, so many daily decisions that have low and high impact on our lives, it is a gift to be centered into our knowing of ourselves once again.

My girlfriends and I weaved through the hours of the day, evening and twilight, with delectable food, drink, snacks and more snacks in a constant yet deeply organic rhythm of announcing, sharing, hypothesizing, laughing and belly-aching hollering, only to be satiated by the greater need for sleep.  These are hours in one long year, but hours that are deeply cherished.  For in the company of my lifelong friends, I remember.  I remember me.

So as you journey through life and find yourself in passages in which you feel uncertain of yourself, reach out to those you trust, those who have known you well, to help you regain your footing and sit again with certainty in the knowing of who you are, embracing your joie de vivre.