My girlfriends and I sat on our living room couch and talked about ice skating. But when I revealed that I didn’t actually know how to ice skate, my friends completely freaked out. Minutes later, they whisked me up and brought me to our local ice skating rink. I slipped and fell all over the place, busting my butt left and right. I was frightened out of my mind, but I loved every second of it.
This is what usually happens when I’m with my female friends. My girlfriends have the amazing ability to find out exactly how to push me out of my comfort zone, for which I am forever grateful.
It’s not just big grand gestures, but the little things too. One time, a roommate approached me out of the blue and offered to pluck my eyebrows. I gladly accepted since my brows had basically gone wild. She grabbed her tweezers, pulled up a chair, and started going to town. Another girlfriend witnessed my brow treatment, and asked if she could do my makeup. That was totally random, but, of course, I agreed. After a few minutes, I suddenly felt slightly flustered by the attention, but they carried on. We decided to go out that night, and I experienced the most fun night I’d had in a long time.
In hindsight, I’m pretty certain that they pre-planned giving me a makeover, but they’ll never admit to it. I felt like a completely different person that night — and not because of the makeover. It’s because they went out of their way to lift my spirits.
My girlfriends didn’t realize it at the time, but I was silently battling with things that had happened in my past. I grew up with a lot of violence in my childhood, but I learned to heal and cope over time. It was friendships like these that helped me along the way.
Even though we never discussed it openly, my friends knew that something wasn’t quite right in my family — especially during the holidays, when I was the only one who didn’t have any family plans. They would dance around the subject for just long enough to see if I wanted to talk about it — and when I didn’t want to, they knew to leave it alone and change the subject.
I’ll never forget the time when a few girls asked me to join them on a hiking trip. I envisioned a nature hike where we’d see pretty flowers and photograph butterflies. But when we arrived, it turned out that we were actually going to climb a mountain.
I was completely out of my league, and even though I lagged behind and slowed them down, they stood by my side and motivated me throughout the entire climb.
I was so out of shape that groups of school kids were breezing right by us — and even though my friends are basically Amazon women who can climb mountains in their sleep — they never made me feel bad about holding them back. A few times, I even offered to return to the car and wait for them, but they wouldn’t hear it. My friends kept cheering me on the whole way up. Even strangers saw what was happening, and occasionally chimed in to offer their well wishes.
We finally reached the summit and took in some breathtaking views. I kept thinking to myself that I was lucky to have found people who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I was sore for days to come, but it was absolutely worth it.
My girlfriends push me beyond my limits, making me do things that I normally wouldn’t do.
And as uncomfortable as I may feel at times, it inevitably makes me grow.
They are the ones who strategize impromptu makeovers at just the right time, or help me reach the top of a mountain.
They expect more from me than I am sometimes willing to give, and because of them, I grew, healed, and transformed.
Roxanne Lee is a hospitality professional who enjoys visiting vineyards and restaurants off the beaten path. On her down time, she watches Netflix with her dog. Follow her on Twitter.