Written by Emily
I can feel the cold black, macadam under my bottom. I see the stars peeking between the tree lined properties in front of us. We’re just sitting, my best friend and me, hashing and rehashing the drama that plagues middle school girls. And we laugh. How we laugh. Years later we’re college roommates with better hair, but we’re crying on her bedroom floor while a sad singer-songwriter croons in the background. Fast forward 10 years and I’m meeting her fiance for the first time in a swanky apartment in the city. The conversation is easy. It always is with her.
We’re under a bus seat en route to our game. With pillows under our heads and knee pads on our knees, we’re wondering if those boys are the ones for us. We’re whispering and giggling and becoming fast friends with chewed gum and things too gross to mention only inches from our foreheads. None of that matters though when life is happening all around us and there’s only 45 minutes to discuss it. Years later, we’re dancing on the bar and those same boys we talked about years before are laughing at us. And then she’s in my wedding. And then I’m in hers. And now we’re chasing our little ones on the beach. The conversation is easy. It always is with her.
I was so inspired by The HerStories Project that I want to tell you more than the abridged version of these friendships. I want to marinate in the memories of these women and all the other women in my life who made me whole.
A few weeks ago, the creative genius behind The HerStories Project, Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, asked if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing their collection of friendship stories. I happily agreed because I selfishly wanted to read something just for me. That it was written by women in the blogosphere I respect and admire was a bonus.
The anthology did not disappoint. I read in the nighttime hush with my children’s heavy breathing in the background. As if in a dream, a montage of friendships present and past played in my mind as though I were flipping through a scrapbook of my life. Faces I haven’t seen in too long made appearances, laughs sounded around me. It was a gift.
The Herstories Project is exactly what I needed. There in the dark, huddled in front of my glowing screen, I felt normal. I felt normal for needing friendships. I felt normal for failing at friendships. I felt normal for wanting to make friends and normal for not having the time. While the words in the collection are not mine, the stories resonated so powerfully in me that I developed a girl crush on several of the writers–Carisa Miller and her friend Leslie, Galit Breen as she sat on her porch to pen her friends, Kathy Radigan with her federation of moms, Jean and her 2 a.m. support and on and on.
With their wit and charm and insight, these women confided in me, their reader, about the power of friendship. In the end, I wanted nothing more than to call my girlfriends, send them letters, and shower them with the love they deserve. Because without them, I would only be a piece of the woman I am today.
If you’ve ever had a friend, if you want one, if you’ve outgrown a friendship–there is something in The Herstories Project for you. I recommend you squeeze a copy into a stocking, send a dog-eared copy to a distant pen pal, tuck one under the sink for a rare moment of bathroom silence. Your friends are waiting in its pages.