Real Talk: Wolf Packs

Real Talk: Wolf Packs

“Do you think it’s more important to have a diverse group of friends or a wolf pack that you roll with for life?”

Friendship.

The older I get, the more I have to say about the topic, the more I value it, and the more I see how complicated it can be. When I was growing up, my friendships were the only constant – they were the relationships that I ran to and knew would be there like I knew the sun would rise. Everything else in life was where the fluctuation was. Boyfriends, jobs, family dynamics, life decisions. But my BFFs? Solid.

Then, I got a little older.

To answer the question, I prefer to have my cake and eat it too. I would always choose both, but what do I think is more important? I might ruffle some feathers saying this, but I have been surprised over and over again at the impact the different people who have come in and out of my life have had on me. So I’m gonna go with option A.

#diversityforthewin

I value growth. I want to become more and more awesome the older I get. Or rather, more fully myself. And how I’ve gotten closer to that has everything to do with the diverse group of friendships I’ve had along the way. Some remain and some fade away, but they were all meaningful and if I wanted to overthink on it a bunch, I could tell you that every single one of those people taught me something different.

I’m taking “diversity” to mean that you are open to, and make friends with, a wide array of people. They don’t necessarily become a wolf pack, nor do you necessarily roll with them through your entire life. On the flipside,  I’m taking “wolf pack” to mean the same friends, all together, all the time.

Luckily we live in a universe that doesn’t make us choose between one or the other. But to be honest, sometimes I’ve felt like I had to.

Sometimes I feel like a shitty friend because I can’t keep up with all of the rad people that have made their way into my heart. It’s an awesome problem to have, one that I’m sure my awkward thirteen-year-old self would be proud of. Oh you’re that popular that you feel like you have too many friends?

Cry me a river.

But that’s when friendship got a little more complicated. When there started to be more than one wolf pack, when I started to value different things, or moved, or grew, or changed, or couldn’t keep up. Friends I met at school, friends I met traveling, friends I met in the workplace, and then another workplace, and then through friends of friends, and then I even become friends with an ex’s ex.

What’s next? Brunch with my ex-boyfriends?

ENOUGH FRIENDS ALREADY.

I know what you’re going to say to me: “It should be about quality not quantity.”

Save it.

My pushback will be that unlike all of the terrible boys I dated circa 2014, I happened to find a shit ton of quality platonic relationships.

In all seriousness, I think the older we get the more clear we get on who we really connect with, and that shifts and changes too depending on what’s going on in our lives. But I think the mistake we make is labeling that shift bad. Those “friends for a season” people aren’t necessarily shitty friends. Maybe you can just love them for what they gave you in those moments of friendship, and that’s enough.

I know there’s not a single friend that I’ve drifted away from that I don’t cheer for from afar. But being okay with that is where the growing pains are.

Letting in all that “diversity” has been so worth it for me. The mentors, the party animals, the single-girl companions, the older & wiser, the young & borderline insane, the ones I had the time of my life with and the ones I cried my eyes out in front of – I wouldn’t trade all those experiences for anything. Maybe they could have happened with the same wolf pack, but they didn’t in this girls journey.

My current friend roster ranges from age 22 to 66. And that’s not including family.

The 22-year-old literally just does whatever he wants and doesn’t overthink anything. And by “does whatever he wants” I don’t mean partying with reckless abandon. I mean he’s an Instagram famous self-taught photographer, he’s started his own brand and magazine, and he even makes candles. He’s inspired me to just start whatever it is I want to start. Zero overthinking.

The 66-year-old is my absolute favorite coffee date. Nothing beats the wisdom behind her twinkling blue eyes. It’s such a unique experience, listening to someone with that many more decades of life experience than you. It’s both humbling and encouraging. I trust her like I’ve known her my entire life.

I absolutely love letting people in for this reason: I believe the universe gives you what you need when you need it; it just takes a keen eye to notice this phenomenon (and a belief in something other than coincidence).

I think that letting people – all sorts of people – make an imprint on your heart is an amazing way to spend your life.

The handful of girls that I have carefully curated as my best friends, yes they are my wolf pack or tribe or whatever you want to call them. But they are not my wolf pack by default. They are the result of me loving everybody up that’s come into my life, some long ago and some more recent. I know I’ve really chosen them, and they are most definitely diverse.

 

When it comes to friendship, sometimes keeping one another in each other’s lives is harder than letting each other go. But maybe all we need to do is cherish that carefully curated wolf pack, and send love to the friendships that have come and gone. They weren’t bad friendships; maybe they were just meant for other things.

Friends for a reason, season or lifetime, everybody is invited to my party.

Shit Girls Talk About Hiking

When I say, “I went on a hike with friends this Saturday” you’ll probably picture a small group of girls with fresh faces and coordinating lululemon outfits. Surely we would all be carrying water bottles, trail mix, and you’d be impressed with the level of difficulty in the hike we chose. We’d take a respectable picture at the top and then enjoy our homemade sandwiches, breathing in fresh mountain air and marveling at how beautiful life is.

Friday evening before we went out someone suggested we get one last hike in before it started snowing.

Saturday was the perfect sunny day for this healthy wholesome activity.

“I think I’m still drunk” from the back seat.

“Let’s do an easier hike. One that’s paved.”

“We need to stop for Starbucks.”

“And McDonald’s.”

“Where am I going? How do I get out of this city?”

Here’s a short summary of a moderately difficult three hour hike with four girls, three of which were hungover and dehydrated.

We did not pack homemade sandwiches-we had cherry blasters and swedish berries and one mediocre cheese croissant from Starbucks.

And we only brought one water bottle.

Idiots, I know.

When we reached the top, there was no marveling at the beauty of life. We discussed Kate Moss’ breasts.

I love my friends. While I can count on them to have intelligent and meaningful conversations about life, love, careers, the future, etc. (yawn), I can also count on them for days like this. And these are the days I’ll look back at and be especially thankful for. Or at least have a laugh about.

Other topics of conversation included what was on our sex bucket list and all the ways in which one could make herself look big and scary if we ran into a bear.

“I don’t think bears like cherry blasters we’ll be fine.”

Pretty sure our obnoxious cackling kept all large hungry animals at bay.

We agreed that taking off your pants is the hardest part in a strip tease, especially if you’re wearing skinny jeans, but it’s something we’d like to master the art of.

Sex wasn’t all we talked about though–we have much more depth than that.

For example, we basically created a business plan for a new airline that will only fly to the biggest parties in the world and instead of “cookies or pretzels?” your choices would be “gin or vodka?” The airlines biggest concern would be ‘party terrorists’ and we would play mostly 2003 hip hop.

We also discussed what Disney Princess each of us would be.

I’m Sleeping Beauty, in case you care. It would get me out of a lot of responsibility.

Then we reminisced about the best night at National on 10th we ever had.

“We were peacocking like mother fuckers that night.”

The “Peacock Effect” was penned by Neil Strauss who apparently became ranked the worlds greatest “pick up artist.” Though his theory was created to help guys pick up girls, we like to think we’ve adapted the theory to work in our favor. For example, the night we’re speaking of was the night of the British Invasion. Please refer to this summer’s blogs if interested.

Apparently plaid shirts, purple onesies, and Octoberfest-sized drinks will have men flocking to you. Not necessarily men you like though.

“Woah what are you drinking?” they’ll ask in amazement. You’ll look like a bad ass who can really handle her liquor.

Until you order a second one.

You can read all about peacocking in The Game. If nothing else, after you read that book you’ll have fun calling guys out on using Neil’s pickup lines verbatim.

On the way back down the mountain my friend told an astonishing tale about a guy she dated who was legitimately asexual. Nothing did it for him. Male or female. Simply not interested.

In this case, no peacock effect or amount of work she put into her striptease skills was going to make a difference.

But there’s always a silver lining. We have a new explanation for when boys don’t want to date us.

“Hey Cynthia did you ever hear back from whats-his-name?”

“Mmm no not sure what happened there.”

“He must be asexual.”

“Yes that must be it.”

After a tiny bit of complaining, sweating, a pit stop at McDonald’s, and blaring Beyonce ballads, we made it home.

We ended the day by eating Oreos and watching Baby Mama. It was, in my opinion, the perfect Saturday. Because Saturdays should be spent laughing.

Leave the “important” stuff for Mondays.