In college, I joined a sorority. At the time, I pledged because it was a small school and the "greek" life had all the action...parties...fun! It was quite something to experience all the shenanigans and ridiculosity (I think I just made that word up) of the pledging experience as well as the aftermath of active sorority sisterhood. There was bonding and sharing through our experiences of drinking, partying, and drinking some more.
Somehow amidst our cheap debauchery (think Busch and Boonesfarm), we managed to perform a few good deeds in the community, we felt important as we held our chairs in the society, and took our jobs seriously. At the time, we had rituals and songs dedicated to the lifelong connection this sisterhood offered. I thought it was cute and fun, but looking back I had no idea how important and significant these friendships would be...how they would provide me with so much support and love as I got older and grew through life.
Cut to the summer of 1997...a few years after graduation. Some of my college girlfriends and I decided to gather ourselves for a weekend away...just girls. We had no idea at the time that it would grow and develop into an annual event that we would look forward to all year long. Girls weekend. That first girls weekend is a story of its own...."full of memories that we can share...and some we cannot." I can tell you this though. My boobs were at their finest (as I had picked that weekend to stop breastfeeding), we saw a penis, and we laughed until we cried (we didn't laugh AT the penis...we laughed WITH it).
Over the years now, we have consistently joined together to take time out of our busy lives to relive the memories of college, and also to share our experiences of adulthood... marriage, divorce, births, deaths, and the lessons we have learned along the way. As we get older and more in touch with who we are as individuals, we are able to share more of ourselves with each other. As our confidence has grown so has our willingness to reveal the scandals in our lives and skeletons in our closets providing us with a rich collaborative growth. We have cried together and for each other.
This past year, as well as next, each of us "Girls Weekend Chicks" are turning 40. We decided this year to celebrate in style by treating ourselves to an uber special trip to Mexico. We wore flowers in our hair, drank mojitos on the beach, and had to be told to quiet down in our rooms at night because we were laughing so much. Who knew that we would still be causing trouble and whooping it up twenty years after our college days. Some things just don't change.
On the beach one day, we were having a serious and loving discussion about our individual attributes, showering each other with credit and compliments. We decided that if we combined each of our strengths we would be the Queen of Mexico. (yes okay we were drinking Dirty Monkeys, but don't let that devalue our lovefest).
We chose that warm and fuzzy moment to gather together in a circle and read a letter that was sent to us from an older "sister" of ours with special instructions to be read on the beach. She had graduated a few years ahead of us, and was an actual familial sister to one of us. Her letter was touching and made us cry happy tears realizing the significance of our bond as we grow older. Mostly, it brought to light how lucky we are to have a special sisterhood providing depth, vitality, and reassurance that we are never alone in this world.
I want to share this letter of love with all of you...the special friends, cohorts, and soul sistas I've met along my journey. These words are reminders about the importance of love, friendship, as well as having a healthy sense of self. As I go through a painful period in my life right now, I'm forever grateful for sisterhood.
(see below for the letter) A special thank you to Kelly. xo