The older I get the more I appreciate my girlfriends.
When females are in their teens, girls are meant to be manipulated. They're your friend this week, your fenemy next week, the horrible witch that stole your boyfriend the week after and your BFF the week after that. (Once they dropped the loser you thought you liked.)
In our twenties women are competition. They are competing for the job you want, the man you want or the attention you want. We treat each other with civil distrust at the best of times and guard our secrets well so that they cannot be used against us in the next strategic attack by our current "competitor".
In our thirties quite a few of us become mothers. This changes the landscape to some degree. We consult more with other women going through the same issues of child rearing and we learn a certain appreciation of advice and sympathy for others sharing our trials. But even for the women that do not become mothers I think there is a mellowing of our baser competitive instincts and a sisterhood of sorts is born. Men cannot understand, no matter how progressive or open minded they might be, what women endure and, honestly, put each other through.
I think it is in our thirties that we attain enough confidence and independence that we don't feel diminished or threatened in any way to admit that we need a little support. And I think it is at this phase of our lives that we develop this much needed support network of women who just "get you". They understand your point of view. You can rant about anything to them and they know exactly what you need. Whether it's a kick in the ass or an empathetic hug. Personally, I more often need a kick in the ass and to be told to get over myself. Who but a girlfriend would dare such a thing.
Now that I am starting my forties I hope that these connections will continue to strengthen and endure. I realize more and more how valuable they are to my well being and sanity. The fact that I can share my life and my secrets with people who in turn trust me enough to share their joys and sorrows with me enriches my life each and every day.
Thank the Gods that we have matured to the point that we can truly appreciate the exceptional value of having women friends. And thank all the Gods that I an fortunate enough to have fabulous women in my life that I would gladly walk through fire for.
34 minutes ago