College friends. Job friends. Fitness friends. Mom friends. There was a period recently where I legit thought I had enough friends. The idea of getting to know new people seemed exhausting. I think my social media life was infiltrated my real life and stopped me from forming soul affirming connections with people. When I'd meet someone new, I looked them up on Facebook or Instagram to get a sense of who they were, what they liked, belief systems, pets etc... Then I'd
decide if I wanted to be bothered. I'd been disappointed in some relationships where I learned a little too much about people I didn't want to know. (I wrote about that here.) And honestly, I felt horrible judging people in this way. No one wants to be judged in a negative light, but I don't regret it. I needed to protect myself.
I remember praying, asking for people to be placed in my life that were only for my good. I asked for friendships that didn't feel like work. Right around this time I read the Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes which at it's core was about stepping out of a shell and saying yes to things that were for good but would've been turned down in the past. Then I started meeting a few women who really meant it when they said 'Let's do lunch." Women who had an energy about them that just seemed so chill; Truly a vibe I simply wanted in my orbit.
I recently spent the weekend at a winery with five girlfriends of which only one I knew pretty well. I was nervous. Traveling with people you don't know, hell, traveling with people you DO know can be stressful! In this instance, I rested on the notion that each of these women were in my life in this particular moment for nothing but good. So, I said yes.
Everyone in my immediate family is involved in activities so planning a weekend getaway can be a challenge. My girlfriend Kerri asked if I wanted to get together for the weekend but I told her I'd be heading north for this trip on Saturday. I casually mentioned it started in Friday, but I had to get my son to a football game a half hour away for his broadcast internship and he wouldn't be done until late. Without hesitation, Kerri offered to pick him up so that I could enjoy this time with some new girlfriends. My natural reaction was to turn her down because I didn't want her to go out of her way. But then I remembered that this was her simply being a girlfriend. Saying someone is going out of their way is a judgment insinuating that there are limits or terms agreed upon by parties. We had no such agreement. We were friends. She wanted to be a friend. So, I said yes.
When I arrived at the beach rental, those nervous thoughts about traveling with strangers, started to creep in, but there's nothing like settling in over good food, good conversation and sharing a little bit about ourselves over a few glasses of wine. What moved me to write about this experience was that each and every woman had been through life experiences so different than my own and our paths were crossing at a moment in time that would never happen again.
During the wine tour, our wagon had another group of women. We knew nothing about them, but about halfway through, and a few tastings, we started exchanging friendly looks and sharing in laughter. We crossed paths again in the bathroom and they shared with us where they were heading next and encouraged us to come. While we declined, this invitation reinforced the nature of good girlfriend camaraderie. Good energy recognizing good energy. It wasn't just being nice. There was something magical about it. Like when you are in the company of goodness, you just want to multiply it. You want everyone around you to feel it.
For once, I didn't have any hopes or expectations as we moved throughout the weekend. I'd already said yes. I'd already claimed and set the intention that whatever happened this weekend would only be for my good and I was only there to bring good to others. Truly trying to live this weekend going with the flow. It was a beautiful time. We don't have to know people's insides and outs to be intimate with them. Things in common help form relationships, but I think we should be open to the idea that intimacy can evolve from a shared experience that's happening in the moment. It can last a lifetime or just a weekend but both can be incredibly meaningful if we know going in that it's going to be good and of course, declaring it so.