My heart is so full. I sit here in bed staring at my walls, surrounded by images of the incredible women I call my friends and happy tears begin to swell in my eyes and stream down my face.
I am truly floored by the luck I’ve had in life to have not only met these women but to have them accept me, flaws and fears abound, exactly as I am. For each stage of my life I have found powerful female friendships that have helped to shape the person I am.
There aren’t words to describe the gratitude I have for each unique relationship with these women. I’ve found myself at a loss, unable to depict on paper the deep extent to which they matter. But I’m attempting to regardless.
Picking up and moving to California meant to follow a dream and believe in myself. The reality of the situation is this: it was pretty damn lonely for a while. As an adult, making friends is awkward and my social anxiety was heightened at the thought of it (making me even more weird than normal).
Then two miracles happened: I met my best friend through a craigslist add for a roommate and gained an entire friend group through swiping right in Tinder. These humans have offered me a family beyond the boundary of the Midwest.
The women I’ve met here have taught me how to be assertive, to ask for what I need and not to apologize for being who I am. They’ve taught me to live freely, make mistakes and push past boundaries that make me feel uncomfortable. I laugh more with them.
Shortly after moving to California, I joined a blog group that someone suggested I check out. It started as a creative outlet to write for monthly, a coping mechanism for the loneliness. I soon felt empowered and inspired by my fellow Lady writers in this group. Before I knew it, I was so passionate about the feminist cause that I asked to have a larger role. This led to bi-weekly, then weekly, then almost daily video calls and group chats with the Obvi leadership team. It is no exaggeration when I say that these Ladies give me life. I can’t go more than two days without reaching out to one of them for strength or comfort. The amount of love, mutual respect and pure joy provided by these friendships is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or imagined possible. There is a certain energy created when your passions and values are so eagerly shared and accepted, I think every woman should get the opportunity to feel that.
Moving may have been terrifying once I got here and realized just what I’d done, but what made leaving Wisconsin so difficult in the first place was the friends I was saying goodbye to. Growing up in the Midwest means that you stay friends with the people who you met at the beginning. My girlfriends from high school are still my favorite people in the world. I kid you not, these women have seen me at my WORST (and that’s pretty fucking bad). I don’t think there is anything at this point that they wouldn’t love me through, unconditionally. We’ve celebrated together, mourned together, grown together. We’ve grown apart and followed each other back home into the others’ arms. We lead exceptionally different lives and yet remain, in a certain aspect, the same with each other.
Being hundreds of miles apart from them has only further confirmed my belief that each one of these women is a brilliant sunflower goddess who deserves the best damn life imaginable. I will do whatever I can to see that happen. When I think of home, I see them sitting around my kitchen table, chugging wine, eating my homemade pasta and cookie dough. These are girls who taught me at an extraordinarily young age that true love, for me, comes in the form of female friendships.
So thank you to all the women in my life who have befriended me. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are always, always carried with me.