I once read an article that said I needed 14 types of friends in my life to be totally happy. Fourteen. How’s a girl supposed to keep up with her own personality and mood swings along with 14 other personality types?
But real talk: I think that article was right. Maybe not about the number, but the concept anyway. As women, the way we spend time, the way we need, and the way we share our lives with our female friends changes drastically. It changes as we grow, and I’d argue it even changes based on the way we’re feeling throughout each day.
No matter what, one thing stays the same: if you’re looking for happiness - pure unadulterated joy - you need fun, stability, and vulnerability. All three of which, you can find in your tribe.
You need someone to talk to. I don’t mean gossip and a recap of last night’s episode of Game of Thrones talk. I mean full on ugly cry if you gotta vulnerability. This is the girl you aren’t afraid to talk out a failure at work with. This is the girl you aren’t afraid to tell you’re having second thoughts about your job, your career, your relationship.
This girl is your soundboard, sure. But this girl is also the one who isn’t afraid to tell you like it is. She makes you a better person and she encourages you to challenge yourself and prioritize joy.
You need someone you can let loose and have fun with. Wine Wednesday with no questions asked? This is your girl. Drinks and dancing on a Saturday night with no talk about work? This chick can do that. There’s no obligation to put on a show. There’s no care in the world. This girl is the one you’ll plan a spontaneous girls’ night with and know that the night will end with a dance party and no stress.
You need someone you can always count on. This girl is your person. She’s your “shit I need a ride to the airport… at 5am.” She’s your emergency contact. She’s the one at your doorstep on a Friday night with saltines and ginger ale because you’re too sick to go to the market yourself. She’ll always answer the phone. She’s a rock you know you can always lean on. And when it comes to happiness, that kind of stability is what joy is often made of.
If you’re lucky, one gal can fit all those roles. If you’re really lucky, you can think of tons of ladies that check these boxes. If you’re like me, you’re smiling ear to ear thinking about all the special ladies in your life that bring this kind of joy to you.
Recognizing the enrichment that each of your friends gives you at different times and in different ways (and the ways in which you do the same for them) is gold.