So, I have this friend. She's seriously the best. Let me explain...
She's the kind of friend that has goldfish crackers on her kitchen floor, just like me.
She's the kind of friend that rocks a messy bun most days, just like me.
She's the kind of friend that tries her hardest to feed her toddler organic, non-gmo foods, but at some point realizes her toddler doesn't eat anything she cooks, so gives in after a long and stressful day, offering a chicken nugget and admitting defeat, just like me.
She's the kind of friend that understands that you can feel happy, guilty, proud, invigorated, exhausted and embarrassed at the same time, just like me.
She's the kind of friend that texts me about toddler tantrums, running out of wine (boo), sleepless nights, relationship challenges, and funny memes about serious #momlife things. At 3 a.m., because she's probably awake, just like me.
She's a mom, just like me.
She's one of my best friends, and I really need her in my life. But here's the thing. We didn't always have these kinds of similarities. I remember walking through her front door so many times to an impeccable home, everything in order, everything a showroom kind of nice. It was not at all like walking through my front door, where if you did at the time, everything would feel under construction, in total disarray. You'd be greeted by sawdust, unfinished bathrooms, and sometimes have to step over power tools to get to the couch. We used to dress up, go to happy hours, and now so many of our happy hours are in our living rooms, where we don yoga pants, and we watch our little girls learn to play with each other. It's a different kind of happy hour.
Through this friendship, I've learned two important things.
1. Toddlers are the great equalizer.
2. I really, really value my mom friends.
And then I have this other friend. She's seriously the best, too.
She's the kind of friend that laughs when I apologize that I can't meet for dinner until late...like 7:30 or 8...because my dinner time is dictated by a little kid, and because she doesn't have kids, hers is dictated by her stomach, 8 p.m. is a reasonable time for an adult woman to actually eat a meal.
She's the kind of friend that reminds me that I should probably pull my favorite pair of heels out of retirement and wear them sometimes.
She's the kind of friend that encourages me to splurge on a new pair of jeans because I deserve it and damn it, they look good.
She's just like me, before kids.
She's the kind of friend that fills me in about the newest hot spot for a rare date-night, best brewery, favorite new boutique or where I can find the world's best cold-brew coffee. Because that's a thing.
She's the kind of friend that empowers me to remember that deep down, I'm still me. I'm me, with an adorable baby girl, who is a huge part of my new life, but that's not all of who I am. She asks about the family when we see each other, and does so genuinely, but then we laugh and tell stories that transport me back to when my life was like hers.
I really need her in my life, too. She's helped me realize two more important things.
1. It's important to find balance.
2. It's important to be the good kind of selfish. Selfish with your time, with your dreams, with your goals, and with your heart.
And then these two kinds of friends, with me somewhere in the middle and maybe to both women, I'm one of these kinds of friends too, we gather. We see the challenges, the trials and the hardships in each others' lives. But we also help each other see the beauty and the magic. We know sometimes the grass may be greener, but we're there to help each other water our own lawns, cherishing what we have and helping each other softly move to the next stage life throws at us.
We laugh, we adventure, we support. Because that's what friendship is about, and together, I have learned one final thing.
1. Each chapter we live changes us, and through our friendships, we are wrapped in the coziest kind of love.