Okay, get your minds out of the gutter. I mean I like them in a strictly platonic, let's be friends kind of way. And this is big for me because I haven't always liked women. Actually, it's that I haven't always trusted women. And there's a reason for that.
When I was in 5th grade, one of my friends -- a girl who had been my absolute best friend in the world since kindergarten -- well, one day she decided she didn't like me anymore. And she convinced several of my other friends that they didn't like me anymore either. So they all set out on a campaign to ostracize me. No one was allowed to talk to me. No one could play with me on the playground. In other words, it was torture. I was devastated and I cried for days. Until one day, she decided that I was "okay" again and everything went back to normal. Except my heart. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking "Good grief, how did this girl have so much power? Somebody should have tried to harness this power for good, not evil!"
Time passed. I've never really been one to hold a grudge. Seventh grade came around and I was still friends with this girl. I invited her to go on a family trip with me to Gatlinburg for the weekend and we had a great time. My parents even got us our own hotel room right next to theirs. On Monday at school? ICE. She wouldn't speak to me and she set out to destroy me again. Except this time she got everyone to write in a note why and how much they hated me. Again I was devastated. Only one person broke the "rules" -- Dee. I can still remember that one day she ran after me after school and she said "I'm not afraid to talk to you." I'm sitting here and I'm almost 35 years old and it still brings tears to my eyes how much that meant to me. And she's still probably the best friend I have on earth even though we don't get together as often as either of us would like. I will never forget that kindness that she showed me.
But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Or is it vice versa? I always get that confused. But you know what I mean. I never really opened myself up to girls/women again. I've had friends, don't get me wrong, but I think I've never really trusted women and have never really longed to be a part of a group of women.
But all that is changing. First there are my blog buddies. It has been a surprising bonus to have met all these wonderful women via my blog and through blogs that I read regularly. Granted I haven't met many (only one, in fact) in real life but everyone seems so awesome online and have been so supportive and I like everyone so much. And I feel like they like me, even though they've never met me. You like me. You really like me.
And today I went to a new Women's Forum that is sponsored by the University where I work. Maxine Clark, the CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop spoke at the kickoff event, which was very interesting. The forum is designed to help women build networking relationships and learn from each other. And it was very exciting and empowering to be with these women who have similar goals and similar dreams. Very inspiring.
I just want to take this opportunity to say "Thank you" to all of you out there who have either commented on my blog or have emailed me. It means a lot. And even if you're just lurking, even though I don't know who you are, thank you.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
5 years ago