Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Girlfriend Guide: Meredith

Good morning and welcome to The Girlfriend Guide!  This week I am so pleased to introduce you to one of my very best friends, Meredith.  Our friendship began over 10 years ago and she has brought so much love and joy into my life.  She is an amazing example of what a girlfriend should be and has always supported me and provided me with unconditional love.  Meredith lives with her husband in New Orleans, the amazing city where she was born and raised and where we originally met so many years ago.  This past year, she began a journey of self discovery and bravely made a commitment to change her life.  She stands today a stronger, more fulfilled woman ready for a new start, a new direction, and a life of sobriety.  She is one of the most courageous women I have ever met and I hope that you are able to get some insight from her very honest words. 

1.  What is your personal definition of friendship?
Friendship to me is something that strengthens and deepens throughout the years.  It's trusting that your friends will help you to do the right thing without judging or criticizing you.  They will tell you the truth, even if it hurts.  It's laughing and crying and growing and experiencing things together.  We are lucky in that we have friends who share similar outlooks on life but each have unique personalities and quirks that keeps things interesting.  We always respect each other's opinions even if we don't agree on them.  I also realized
while getting sober that most women don't have friends like I do -most have to cut off ties with their friends when they get sober because they don't have true friends.  They have using buddies - party friends.  It was a pretty great feeling to know that I have friends
who love me for me and not just because I was fun or outrageous.
2.  What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend?

Inner strength is very important to me.  I am drawn to strong, empowered women who do what needs to be done on a daily basis and don't have to rely on others to accomplish things.  Intelligence is a big one.  A sense of humor.  An ability to see the bigger picture and
to see others' points of view.  Open-mindedness.  Honesty.

3.  How do you balance spending time with friends and fostering relationships with work and family?

Now that drinking doesn't consume all of my time, I have much more time to devote to work, family, friends, and recovery.  It's easier for me to make plans with friends and stick to them.  Since I've been home, I realize how important it is to me to have that connection with healthy people and people who encourage me to be a better person.  Basically, all of my relationships have become stronger and better because I have more time and energy to give, and in turn, I am rewarded with good company and positivity.

4.  What advice would you give other women about having healthy, happy friendships?
Trust your intuition, don't be afraid to open up, share, and express your true emotions, stay honest, and find other people who are willing to do the same.  For me, the ability to laugh at yourself is important because I have trouble getting close to people who take themselves too seriously.  I don't know what to do with them.
5.  How has having strong friendships enriched your life?

It has made all the difference in the world to me.  My family is not good with showing emotion and being real with each other.  Everyone constantly judges and criticizes, so when I found friends who I could be myself around, I realized how truly blessed I was.  This is not the norm for many people, and I am SO GRATEFUL to have my friends in my
life to support me, laugh with me, and grow with me.

6.  What is your favorite girlfriend memory we have shared?
There are so many to choose from...I still remember Dave and me hanging out with you and Shawn when you lived in Lakeview and when you got pregnant for Belle as a very happy time in my life.  I was genuinely surprised and happy when you told me that we were basically the only friends that stuck around when you got pregnant.  Everyone
else wanted to go out party, and we were fine with just hanging out, grilling, and listening to Hey Ya over and over again in the backyard.  There's also the infamous girls night out in Bunkie, all of the many Mardi Gras adventures, chilling in the hammock, Oktoberfest, laughing at our husbands and their ridiculousness, GLAMOROUS, our husbands
locking us out of the house/throwing us out of the car and us sticking together every time,playing Scrabble, etc.

Girlfriends like Meredith:
Girlfriends like Meredith are always there for you, no matter what.  She is a wonderful listener and will always give you the most open and honest advice.  She has never judged me, never criticized me, and has always been my biggest cheerleader.  She can make me laugh like no one else with her honest words and hilarious stories.  She is intelligent, witty, and as real as real can get.  I am a better woman for knowing her because she challenges me to be authentic, strong, and, most importantly, to never take myself too seriously.  We all make mistakes in life, but Meredith has shown me how to look those mistakes in the face, forgive yourself for them, and then make them into funny stories later.  I love you, sweet Mere, and I am so blessed to have a friend like you. 


Mandy said...

Oh this was so sweet!! Meredith sounds like an incredible friend! :)

LaDell said...

Beautiful! You both are so blessed to have each other!!!

Megan said...

This is such a sweet post! Friends like this are hard to come by and SO special to have!

sarah nicole said...

What a sweet feature! Girlfriends are SO important.



Olivia Grace said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed this feature! Girlfriends truly are such a blessing!

LaDell said...

Beautiful! You both are so blessed to have each other!!!