Welcome to this week's edition of the Girlfriend Guide! This week, I would like to introduce you to my beautiful angel, Jessica. She is like a sister to me. We have known each other our whole lives and have watched each other grow from being wild, free spirited teenagers to vivacious, inspired woman. She's the kind of friend you pick up and move to another city for, just to be closer to her (which is what Shawn and I did when we moved home to Louisiana:). Jessica is an amazing mother to her 8 year old son, Cade. She currently lives about a mile away from us in the little town where we all grew up. We share the same desire to raise our children in a close knit community where they can grow and flourish and develop a love for the outdoors and simple way of life. She works as a nurse at a local hospital, balancing her time between caring for others and caring for her family. I look up to her in so many ways and am constantly inspired by her kind soul. I hope that you enjoy her beautiful words...
1.What is your personal definition of friendship?
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anais Nin
Friendship is a valuable, intimate relationship of varying degrees that exists between two or more people. Each of my friendships bring out special and unique qualities in our personalities. Friendship grows and changes over time to mold to its counterparts. Today, to me, friendship is giving and receiving love and understanding and sharing experiences without expecting anything in return.
2. What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend?
I tend to gravitate towards women with intense personalities who are not afraid to let their souls shine through. My girlies are creative, mature, open-minded, positive, persevering and have a strong sense of direction. I don't purposefully seek certain qualities in a person in order to be requirements for a basis of friendship, but this is basically what attracts me to these girls. More notably, I respect my girls for being able to be honest and open with me about who they are and what moves them. Let's just share some real things. Some people have come into my life, we bond, and they've stuck like super glue!
3. How do you balance spending time with friends and fostering relationships with work and family?
These days, I don't fret about balancing these things. When we can, my true friends and I get together. There is no pressure, because there is a resect and understanding of priorities. When we can, we get together. We don't sweat it. We just pick up where we left off. That's how its always been. Liv and I are family. She knows and loves mine, as I hers. We have the joy of seeing our children play and grow together. We do start to miss each other very badly if it gets too long…and just make it happen!
4.What advice would you give other women about having healthy, happy friendships?
"Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."
- Elbert Hubard
Give your heart and time without expecting. Listen to the other person. Empathize. Let them go their own path. Show tough love when needed. Friendship is not what you can get from the other person, but unconditional love for each other. Do not put stipulations or expectations on the relationship, let it grow into what the universe wills it to be. Mutual respect is a MUST. Be able to say NO if it's not comfortable or fair to you, and a true friend will love you anyway. Share with that person, what does and what does not move you. Be who you are and they'll love you for that.
5. How has having strong friendships enriched your life?
I've been so blessed to know that I have friends who REALLY love me. That is a truly beautiful and miraculous thing. My life has been enriched by having friends who have supported my life's endeavors and continuously inspire me to be the best person that I can possibly be. They stick with me.
When the dust clears…she's there.
After I fall…She's there.
She watches me bloom.
She watches me through the storm…there she is - her hair soaked with empathy and the sweat of my destruction.
With open arms. There she is. A singing angel.
When we were apart, she sang to the stars with me.
When I move forward, she moves with me.
When I lag behind, she waits for me.
When our children play, together we smile deliciously
When I cry, she cries with me.
She'll forever be inside of me. She understands me.
The strong friendships in my life have shown me that unconditional love can break through the thickest barriers.
6. What is your favorite girlfriend memory we have shared?
My goodness, I could write a book on us. We have our own little language that nobody else really gets but us. We have shared many different phases of our lives, that meant so much to us in that phase, and every year it gets better and better. High school: persuasion, guitars and plaid, coffee shops and poetry, grunge and concerts
New Orleans: loitering with our own pints in the quarter, PISTOLS, that Mardi Gras posing on Val's Car and running up and down claiborne, denting your car, dancing in the kitchen, guitars and singing, barbecues in your back yard, the Claiborne house and Heineken, lots of laughter - at things that only we thought funny
-The first time you held Cade
-When Baby Cade grabbed Baby Isabelle's hand
The Dirty 30's: fires outside, parties, New Year's family oriented.
watching our kids play while we have tea…just being together…
I cherish all of our times together. I LOVE YOU!!!
Girlfriends like Jessica:
Girlfriends like Jessica stick with you forever. She has and always will be a very important part of my life. She is the best listener and gives the most insightful advice. I call her "Yoda" because she has an endless list of perfect answers for any problem you may have. She is accepting, kind, and has the sweetest nature. Friends like Jessica put others before themselves and always have your best interest at heart. She is patient and strives to always maintain a positive attitude. Her easy going vibe calms me down and serves as the perfect balance to my constant state of energy. She is the kind of friend who hugs you when you're sad, laughs uncontrollably at the silliest things, and embraces you for all your imperfections. Through all of life's ups and downs, Jessica has remained my constant. And for that I am eternally grateful. I love you, Jessie girl, more than anything. Here's to all the years and years ahead, Mahn.