Today is Valentine's Day, which means that yesterday was "Galentines Day," a fictitious holiday created by Parks and Rec that has taken a very real form since the "Galentine's Day" episode aried in 2010. I did not celebrate Galentine's Day on Galentine's Day sadly. I did, however, spend the evening enjoying some self care routines and reflecting on the lovely, empowering female friendships that have shaped my life over the last year.
Then I started writing about them.
In doing so, however, I got distracted (as I often do) by this New York Time's piece written a year ago by Rebecca Traister: What Women Find in Friends That They May Not Get From Love. In this piece, Traister delves into the unique, nuanced and intimate relationship that often forms between two female friends. She looks at the way their time spent together might ebb and flow with life and the impact of romantic relationships and other factors. She talks about everything my best friends and I so often try to put into words when describing our complex relationships. She simply nails is. In her concluding paragraph, Traister says:
"There aren’t any ceremonies to make this official. There aren’t weddings; there aren’t health benefits or domestic partnerships or familial recognition. There has not yet been any satisfying way to recognize the role that we play for one another."
Well as of right now, I'm making this official. I'm taking a brief moment this Valentine's Day to recognize the important, loving role that you play in my life.
You know who you are. What a year it's been for all of us. We've gotten new jobs, new homes, new partners, new hair styles (hell, mine even turned green for a minute and then pink for a shorter minute) but one thing that remains is our friendship.
Except even that has changed. In the last year of our friendship, I've somehow fallen even more in love with you. I love you in ways I forgot it was possible for humans to love one another. Is this weird? I hope this isn't weird.
My love for you isn't a romantic one, we all know that. But it is deep. and it is intimate. You've taught me so much about how to love. You see, the reason I say I forgot it was possible to love anyone like this is that you've reminded me to love, and given me love, without fear and without obligation.
You've shown me that I don't need to earn anyone's love. That it can truly just be given. We aren't bound by family or by law or by anything, really, yet you're still here. That is love without obligation.
You've taught me that the love in my life that is lasting and worthwhile won't make feel anxious or fearful. I know now that no matter how busy life gets, how far away two people are, or how distracted I may become - you're love is going to be there. And I'm going to be here giving it right back. That is love without fear.
I don't have much more time but I want to take a brief moment to thank you:
Thank you for showing me what love can mean.
Thank you for showing me that strength and softness can exist proudly side by side.
Thank you for reminding me, and the world, that I can be proud of my womanness but that I do not have to be defined by it.
Thank you for being bold and brave everyday by going after what it is that you want. You are an inspiration.
Thank you for the beers and the wine and the rambling conversation and the cursing like sailors and frantic text messages and the advice and the room to make mistakes (and the I told you so's that come later)
Thank for being all of who you are. and for being my "galentine."