September 6, 2010
It teaches you about all the things that we, as women, have in common - the insecurities, frustrations, elations and not-so-secret victory dances over dates that all wrap up into one big bundle of what it means to be female, and in your early twenties.
Six bedrooms, three bathrooms and two refrigerators deep, I'm learning that I'm not so different, after all.
It's been a yes year. Yes, I will run to get onion rings and a milkshake with you, even though it's 2:30 am. Yes, I'll try that. Yes, I do like my legs in this dress, and I'll wear it even though I feel a little insecure about how short it is. Yes, I'll go on that date, that trip, that long drive to get to where you're at. It's been a, "why not?" year. Why not try therapy? Why not learn how to play golf, and then tennis? Why not go to the beach by myself for a day? And, after all, what would be so wrong about just one more of whatever it is?
Lately, I've learned that to say yes you have to say no. That a point hits where you have to be the girl that puts her foot down and says that she can't. We've all taken turns talking about her this week. You know the girl - she's "that girl." The one none of us can stand being, and all of us have taken turns feeling like we've unexpectedly morphed into. I yelled about her down the hall a few days ago. My roommate cursed her over her shoulder headed to the shower on Thursday. Another one of us groaned, "I am not that girl!" while we were unloading her car tonight, and girl number four had her moment talking about "that girl" while we were playing tennis on Tuesday morning. We bitched about that girl over volleys for a while.
The good thing about there being 8 of you is that there's always at least two people to say, "No. You're not that girl. Come on, you know that." But the truth is that sometimes we are. I was that girl today. I had one of those conversations that she would have had - the kind where you say, "I just can't. I don't know how to handle that." The kind where you admit that things that happened aren't ok, and that you don't feel fine about it all. The kind where you learn how to form the words, "I need to not have to deal with this right now," instead of trying to convince everyone that you can, and falling apart afterwards.
I remember telling me therapist about a friend who had gone to bed for two days after a conflict with a fellow colleague. I was judging her, and was stopped in my tracks when my therapist said, "What if that was the best that she could do? What if that was exactly what she should have done?"
Epiphane: what if being "that girl" is sometimes the very best that you can do, and so it's perfectly ok?