I know, I know.
You are probably thinking that drama between women must end at a certain point in adulthood, but I will be the first to tell you that they don't. The bullshit actually can and will continue if you are not careful about nipping all that toxicity out of your life for good.
We all have had girlfriends that have either cut us off or have given us the side eye for petty reasons.
You may have held some past resentment against them for some reason that you now know is stupid as fuck and shouldn't have even been an issue in the first place.
But we grow and we learn and the more we live the more we reconnect with past acquaintances, a perfect opportunity for some to hash out differences that may have gotten in the way of a potential friendship.
When we enter our twenties, life gets dramatically hectic and the changes are unbelievable. One friend may have gotten engaged and is now too caught up to even remember who you are, another may have secretly moved away without telling anyone in the hopes of finding herself, or another friend may be just be chilling, waiting around for someone to actually acknowledge that they are here and trying to get it together just like you.
Recently I reconnected with an old gal friend that I hadn't seen since my high-school graduation. Not only have we not seen each other in a while, I am going through my own existential crisis that made me feel like I would be judged if I saw her.
All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. Will she think I look a mess? Will I have a total anxiety attack and just want to run away? Will I tell her my story and then she'll judge me? Maybe this was just a huge mistake and I should just take my tail home and call it a day.
I paced around the bookstore, beginning to sweat because I was fussing about everything. The way I looked, how I was even being perceived in the store itself. When you are going through something hard in life, your self-esteem takes a tremendous hit and everything seems more magnified than it really is.
But something in me told me to stay, to have the courage to rekindle a past friendship and to see where everything would go from here and if it would truly be for the better.
When we finally found each other in the crammed book store, we instantly greeted each other with a smile and squealed at the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in like forever, like literally five years since my high-school graduation.
The last time we had an encounter was years ago and it was over some serious petty shit. I sound myself comparing myself to her constantly, believing she had a better life than mines, a habit we have all dealt with or for the most part, are still dealing with thanks to social media.
But in her presence, I noticed something that I found refreshing; we were exactly alike and had the same stories to share.
The big elephant in the room was that my depression had taken over me for months and I didn’t want her to have that image of me. I wanted to reunite and for her to see me have it together. But no one really has it all together as I learned throughout our discussion that evening.
Chowing down on our burgers and fries, we reminisced about how much we have grown, detailing inside sex jokes and talking about our love lives and the gossip that had accumulated since we had seen each other.
We were both free and absolutely ourselves.
While I had my anxiety about her noticing any signs of my recurring depression and even sharing my story in general, she opened up to me about her own critical moments with depression and even how her family had been affected.
Hearing her speak was like listening to a story about myself because that is how much our lives mirrored one another. We unfolded our truths that evening and didn’t bother comparing ourselves to one another. It was not a session of catching up to see who had it better, it was a moment to be human and share in each other’s authentic truth.
Going through what have I gone through this past year, being in her presence was a beautiful thing.
Rounding up the bill she looked at me and said, “I think our high-school selves would be proud.”
I smiled as she giggled, my mind going back to my insanely nerdy and awkward high school self.
Ladies, it’s seriously time we stop looking at our girlfriends as competition. It’s seriously not only a waste of time, but the amount of energy we put into trying to one up our friends is the same amount of time we could be using to actually just get to know each other and be real, because you know what, we ALL have a story. The chick you think looks better than you? She experiences hurt. The woman, who seems to have the most perfect Instagram, is going through some real family drama you don’t even have a clue about.
If I learned anything life changing with my encounter with my old gal pal is that life is almost never as how you think it is for the people you are trying so desperately to compete with.
The time you spend hating on someone, especially another female, could be spent trying to hear her story and see what she is all about and how she has been navigating life thus far, a battle that only God himself knows is a challenge.
I left my dinner with a long time friend not only wondering why I ever was afraid to reach out to her and also realizing how awesome and beautiful she is as a person.
This year, don’t bother holding grudges and stop competing with other females because you want to one up them or because you believe you always need to be the one doing better in life. Stop the pettiness for good!!!! If you want to meet up with someone and hash out your differences, do not let pride ever get in the way. Be an adult about your issues and face them head on.
Most importantly, as a woman, having meaningful friendships that last are absolutely possible in your twenties if you put forth the effort to see beyond foolish gal tendencies.
You don’t have to compare, compete, or hold meaningless feelings of jealousy towards other women.
You can shine, win and slay together.
Do that this year and see how your life improves and how much better you feel as a person.
It’s worth it, I promise.