When I was young, pre Jr. High. My circle of girls were “mean girls”. I had to remember every day as I rode the bus to school who we were friends with, who we hated, who had cooties and so on. I never chose this, the leader of the circle did and it changed constantly…. I was a follower and I had really low self-esteem. Eventually everyone in our circle would take their turn at being the outcast because you would somehow offend the “girl in charge”. Even then I knew there had to be a better group of friends. When I made it into fifth grade and met my best friend, I ditched that group of girls and only had one or two friends at any given time for much of the rest of my life. I loved the friends that I chose but from time to time I still longed for a circle of girls that could just be “my girls”. Even though I’d learned this lesson in elementary school, it wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I consciously realized just how important it is to be very selective of who is in this circle of girls and therefore “who you travel with”.
This is a tribute to ALL the women who taught me, the good, the bad and the ugly of having a circle of friends I could call “my girls”. I had to learn this by trial and error.
Now in my previous adult life when I was married I didn’t really have a lot of girlfriends as I mentioned and I had never gone on a Girl’s Trip but I had always wanted a group of gals who I would just call my GIRLS! Well, I not only learned how important it is to choose those “GIRLS” carefully, I also learned that all Girls Trips are not created equal and most important that not all girlfriends are “Girls Trip” material.
The first “Girls” I thought were my girls were heading out on a weekend to Havasu and I was lucky enough to get an invite. I was so excited. I had waited for this my whole life. The ride down was fun. We launched the boat and enjoyed a sunset cruise. After we docked we thought we would head into town for some fun. It was a blast. We could only find one little place open but we convinced them to open the kitchen and make us some nachos and other appetizers. There was music and we were the only ones on the dance floor as the other four locals in the place stared at us from the sidelines. It was a Thursday night so the party had not arrived in Havasu yet. The next day we went out on the boat, cruised around, listened to tunes and soaked up some rays. We had a great night on the boat singing and dancing and my girls trip was shaping up to be everything I’d dreamed about. The next day was about the same fun, fun, fun…. Then we docked the boat and headed into town for dinner and dancing. That’s when everything went south….. One of the girls drank too much and wanted to fight everyone… I mean everyone. It was so weird. I’d never experienced anything like this. The other one drank too much and got indignant with everyone. Everything she did was superior and we were all just little idiots. I’d never seen this side of her. I had also never experienced such a disaster among friends since my elementary days when the girl in charge told me who I was supposed to hate that day. All I wanted was to go home and I was five hundred miles away, so there was no possibility of that happening. I ended up having to take Miss Fight Club home in a cab and carry her up several flights of stairs. Needless to say, the drive home the next day was NOT as fun as the drive down. My dream had turned into a nightmare!! I had learned my lesson. I might be able to be friends with these gals but we would not be traveling together again. I now knew I needed to know my “friends” a little better before I traveled with them on a Girl’s Trip.
A couple years later an opportunity presented itself to go on another road trip with a different group of “Girls”. We knew each other from some retreats we had attended together so I had actually spent time with each of them in that type of setting and felt like it was a little better match for me and it was! I picked two of the beauties up at the airport in Portland as I had flown in a couple days earlier to visit my boys. We headed down to Eugene to pick up the fourth member of our little Soul Squad. We had an absolutely wonderful weekend. What I loved the most was how easy going each of these amazing women were. In the morning we would head down to the beach for a little yoga and meditation…. If one of us wasn’t feeling it, then it was fine!!! Total acceptance, total allowing…. No judging….. No pressuring. These were my GIRLS!!! This was an incredible trip that brought back my hope and love of possibly traveling with women on Girls Trips. We have continued to get together from time to time to love on each other. I absolutely adore each one of them and will be forever grateful for how they gave me a renewed passion to really build great relationships with amazing women.
Last year, yet again, I found a gang of girls that are absolutely my Best Beaches!!! This little group had been together and had each other’s backs for a while. I was invited to join the gang and I was honored! We attended a retreat together and because we had been “quaranteaming” together we were able to all stay in the same room together which meant our wind down evenings would be a huge cuddle puddle of women laughing and giggling on the king size bed in the room. After retreat we had some Ladies Nights Out until COVID shut us down but these friendships are still strong…. We text, we send hilarious memes, inappropriate videos and do just about anything a band of sisters would do to keep everyone’s spirits high! The love, support and encouragement from my Beaches is all that I ever dreamed it could be. You know who you are and you are all MY DREAM COME TRUE!!!
Thank you to the women of each of these groups of my “Girls” …… you taught me just how important it is to surround myself with AMAZING people and to never settle for less than the best! From the girls back in elementary school, to the fight club gals, to my soul squad and my Bestest Beaches you have each contributed to my life in one way or another…. Because I want to be more like you or I am aware I don’t want to be like you. Because I now know each of you ….. My life is changed for the better!