“Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends.”
— Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
I’m a fan of men; after all, I am raising three little ones. Men are awesome. But women — women are essential to me. It is true that without my girlfriends, I just wouldn’t make it. I am blessed with good, true friends, near and far, who quite literally keep me from losing my ever-loving mind some days. Other days, they are the ones who tell me that I have lost it, and who pull me back to myself. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have my friends on the other end of the phone, the text message, or the table telling me that they see me, they hear me, and they understand, no matter how crazed and irrational I might be at the moment from the daily chaos that is my so-called life.
But that doesn’t mean that the course of my friendships always runs smooth. Women are complex, layered, wonderful, and nuanced, and sometimes, they are difficult — and that of course includes me. I have had horrible, gut-wrenching arguments with friends. I have lost friends. I have ended friendships. I have been dumped as a friend, sometimes for reasons I understood, and sometimes for reasons I did not. Friendship takes work, commitment, and a whole lot of patience and tolerance and forgiveness, and there are seasons in our lives when we have those qualities in abundance and then others when we do not. But one thing I know for sure: women, and their friendship, are worth it. When I am with my friends, it’s as if my lungs can fully inflate — as if I am breathing pure oxygen. Especially since I became a mother, I appreciate my own little Red Tent, my collection of people that love me even though they don’t have to.
When Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger asked to include an essay I wrote in an anthology about female friendship, of course I said yes. I admire both Jessica and Stephanie, but even more, this is a topic I was eager to give my voice. I wrote about a friend who is so dear to me that she is like my family — the kind of friend that, as I wrote, helps me sleep easier at night knowing that if anything ever happened to me, she could and would make sure my children would know who I was — completely and accurately. I can’t imagine a better gift to give someone. I am so proud to share our friendship in this book.
The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship launches today and is available on Amazon and GoodReads for purchase as both an e-book and a paperback. The paperback is really nice, and it would make a perfect gift for a friend, a sister, or even a mother or daughter. It would also be a wonderful book for a book club selection — there is plenty of material there for discussion. The 50 essays included are truly great, and they capture the entire spectrum of female friendship in all its forms — the beautiful and nourishing, the ugly and toxic, and everything in between. I’m so proud of the book — the first book I am published in under my name! — and grateful to be included.
I’m not the best at self-promotion, but it is easy for me to recommend this book. I would love for you to pick it up for your Kindle or your nightstand and enjoy it — and then, maybe, decide to send it to your best friends. And if you do love it, will you do me a favor and leave a review at Amazon or GoodReads so that others might find it too?
I hope you love it.
(The Amazon links on this page are all affiliate links.)