I had dinner and cocktails this weekend with my first friend from 1st grade. I feel regrouped and revived and more ‘myself’ after spending some time with her. I don’t know why, other than that she has seen me at every stage of my life; this fall it will be 40 years that we have known each other, and perhaps because she has known me always, she sees through any and all of my delusions, or bullshit, and cares not for anything but authenticity.
I realized Saturday night, slightly drunk on perfectly mixed margaritas and extremely full on homemade Mexican, that I am so NOT alone, I’m every woman…we, she and I, and us, women of our age, have so much in common, so many similar things going on at once, that there is nothing I have felt or wondered about that she, or any of you, have not. We talked about women we know, women we know of, women to whom we are related, and ourselves…and I realized, perhaps for the first time in a long time, there is not much at all different about us, ANY of us.
We all share the same insecurities, dream the big dreams, laugh and cry and love and loathe…Some of us do it privately and some of us do it publicly. We talked about money, family, gray hairs, wrinkles, skin, sleeplessness, energy or lack thereof, responsibilities, relationships, worry, elation, and envy…we talked about how we have all kissed so many frogs over the years and some have found a prince and some are still searching, hoping there is another pond or stream she hasn’t found. We talked frankly with one another, shared things that were on our minds, issues that were bothering us, things that had recently made us laugh or smile or cry…I got a lot off my mind that has been heavy in my heart for months, said things that I had to get off my chest and she listened, commented, nodded understandingly, asked valid questions and most of all, did not judge me…she just let me be, and I extended the same courtesy to her.
I realized in my hours with her, we all, us women of the world, are so much alike, we suffer with feeling criticized, we struggle with wanting to be the best versions of ourselves, we look at the pictures in magazines we look at each other in the grocery store, most of us look in the mirror before we leave the house and think, “well this is the best I got, here I am world.” I realized while spending time with this lifelong friend that we are all guilty of perpetuating the madness…in that we ALL see each other every single day and think what we think, you know you do it too…and we have to stop.
We have to be kinder to each other, we have to be more supportive of each other, we have to judge less and accept more. We are “sisters” and we have to be nicer to each other. I too roll my eyes when I see women ‘too old’ to be wearing clothes and shoes made for 17 year olds, I too snicker in my mind when I see women going up to the beach with more hair spray and makeup on than I’d wear to a coronation, I too grin when I see the covers of the rag mags with stars looking not at all camera ready, I too sigh when I am annoyed by some old lady moving too slow either in her car or with her shopping cart in front of me..but I don’t like it, and I understand, more clearly with each passing year, that I will be her someday…
We are all at some time in our life, not enough, or too much, and I think the world would be so much easier to live in if we all, we women, we sisters, could just be comfortable in our skin, every day and accepted fully…too fat, too skinny, too much makeup, too many wrinkles, too fancy, too frumpy. I decided yesterday morning that I am going to try to compliment every women with whom I have direct contact from now on if at all possible. Say something, say ANYthing, positive, or uplifting, or kind, perhaps even be kind in silence, like a smile or a nod or an understanding glance. I know that I am a better person and act like a better person when I feel good about myself. PERIOD. I am a better partner, friend, and mother when I am happy with myself. I suppose we all are. So my effort is to try to make others happy too, by being happy, by being kind, by being understanding and accepting…I’m every woman, and they are me.