I hate to say it, but it is true, for the majority of my life I have not trusted other women. I have always been a tomboyish kind of girl and now woman. I love sports, working on things and have always related to guys better than girls. I could, and have, sat in a room full of women and been extremely uncomfortable. I could, and have, sat in a room full of men and never felt uncomfortable.
Here is the thing, part of this, is because of society. I see it now. I didn’t before. We pit woman against woman. You always have to be the sexiest. The prettiest. The smartest. The fill in the blank. I just couldn’t relate. Maybe because my dad was one of those men that always stressed knowledge before beauty. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. I had to keep my grades up. I played sports. Oh, I did girl things, I cooked, still love doing so for that matter. I didn’t wear a lot of dresses. I was and still am a blue jean girl. I just never felt the need to compete. I couldn’t compete. I have always said I am just me and what you see is what you get. No hidden agendas.
I have been on the losing end of competition and I don’t like it. I always strive to be the best in everything I do. It has been something that has been a life long thing. I have been on the losing end of relationships where other women were trying to take whomever I was dating. I lost. Why? Because I generally wouldn’t compete. If you want someone else then I am not your girl. That is how I look at it. Yes, my heart has been broken but I survived.
I have very seldom trusted another woman with my deepest, darkest places within. I didn’t trust because let’s face it, women gossip. I am not one to put myself out there because I don’t want to know that the trust I had was broken. It has happened to many times.
Guys didn’t have a need to talk and for the most part they got me. So for the most part the most important people in my life have been guys. Not in a sexual way but in a friendship way. I knew I could share and it would stay right there. Somehow I found them to be more compassionate and understanding and really more trustworthy. This had been my life until a year or so ago.
A little over a year ago I was accepted into the SOA Seminary program. There were a small group of women and our assignments were very personal, very deep and really it was terrifying. As time went on I found solace in this group of women. They became true friends. They knew the deepest, darkest parts of my soul and yet they always stepped up and supported me. They didn’t judge me. They were there for me when I needed them most. There was no competition, it was all about loving each other through. It changed my life. It gave me a new perspective on the ability we have as women when we choose to be who we are with no apologies. To these Sisters (and I use that word with a deep understanding that they are truly my Sisters of heart) I thank you for this beautiful lesson.
When you are able to so profoundly change a view you have carried for your entire life your entire life changes. Because of my SOA Sisters I have found my relationships with other women more enriching. I have made some beautiful friends. Women that get me. Women that know that I am not competing with them but rather loving them for who they are. I have been blessed with a handful of these women and ultimately it has made me a better person.
You hear talk of Southern women all the time. They are like no other women on earth. Well coming to South Carolina I have met many. Some have taken the time to get to know me and some have stayed on the fringe and are just acquaintances. Some are drama queens and some are down to earth and filled with love.
There are two that I can say are there through thick and thin. These two women are amazing women. I have learned so much in such a short time from both of them. First there is Miss Barbara. She is that woman who doesn’t need to compete with any other woman because she is her and you either love her or you don’t. She doesn’t care one way or another! She is 76 years old and she shines. She has zero problem sharing her mind and always, at least within our group, always says what she says in love. She will be the first to tell me that I am screwing up with no apologies. She has had some amazing experiences and her stories will have you rolling on the floor in laughter.
Some of the things she has taught me is that age doesn’t matter. You can do and be anything you want and if others don’t like it then that is their problem. Be you. She has also taught me that I am alright just being me. Please me no matter what others think. I love my time watching football with her (even though our teams are rivals). I love my time listening to her stories and I love her attitude.
Then there is our girl Jesse. She is 12 years younger than me. She just turned 40. She has had some life experiences that I wouldn’t want to have and yet through it all she is one of the most AMAZING, CARING women I have ever known. She is tough and soft all at the same time. She has the most beautiful smile and it literally lights up the room.
Some of the things she has taught me is that no matter what your past is you are not defined by it. Make life what you want it to be. She has shown me how to be kinder and gentler. She has shown me that I can trust a woman with my secrets and I won’t be betrayed. She has given so much of herself and never asked for anything in return. She has taught me selflessness. She has taught me how to be a better woman just by being her and not judging anything.
To both of these women I say with the deepest of gratitude, thank you. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with me. Thank you for picking me up when I fall. Thank you for being there no matter what. Thank you for loving me. You have changed my life for the better. I love every single second we spend together. You brighten my world in ways you will never see nor understand and I love you both.
To the women that feel there needs to be competition. To the women that feel that they can’t trust other women. I can promise you that there are women in this world that are not those women. There are women that don’t care if you have make up on or are dressed to kill. We see you for who you are and the outer shell isn’t it. Find your women and trust them. It is an amazing adventure that will enrich your life beyond words.