Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kindred souls

With high school friends
Is your life filled with kindred spirits? Do you appreciate kindred souls? If your answer to both questions is “yes”, then you are one fortunate human being because with kindred souls, you can never go wrong. Haha I bet you were imagining a fairy tale complete with fairies.
I asked my college best friend Catherine Carmela Consing Taylor who is now based in Canada and who happens to be a very generous Ninang to my son Hezekiah Kit for a possible topic to explore in my column. I requested that the suggestion be light because my head can’t crack heavy stuff at this moment in time. Her reply: “Hmmm...How about importance of good girlfriends? How there are girlfriends who might be far away but still a kindred spirit? Something to do with girlfriends, what do you think?”
And I like it! So let’s attempt to explore the concept of women friends; women bonding; women sharing; women moments and related stuff about women.
Why indeed is girl friendship so essential to women? We can cite several reasons: to feel strengthened; understood and validated; and supported; to be oneself sans inhibitions; to be totally crazy with and not judged or mocked; to have fun; to feel wholly a woman, ad infinitum.
Like for instance my best friend Carmela. We became friends way back in college. I was maid of honor at her wedding in Dumaguete City. Ah Dumaguete. It brings back wonderful memories and Carmela certainly knew about it. Remember those places in your life when you had fun and light moments that stick for a lifetime? I had those moments in Dumaguete and I always smile whenever I remember them. In fact, Kenny G’s Silhouette and Billy Ocean’s The Colour of Love were the songs that captured those moments.
But back to kindred souls, before the onset of modern technology and the internet phenomenon, we kept our relationships with our girlfriends from afar through letters and long distance telephone calls. If they are based elsewhere in the country and our work provides us opportunity to travel, we make sure to visit them and spend time with them. But the most inspired thing is when we share the same city. Then we can set the outings, gigs, bonding and girl talks.
There is always solidarity between or amongst women. But the thing is we must invest time to nurture it. Some women take it for granted that their closest friends are there for them, come hell or high waters. But hey, they are “feeling” beings, too. They also need a call, a text or a girl date to refresh the relationship from time to time. Even computer screens require refreshing huh! And computers can’t even feel. It is not even high-maintenance friendship. Connection could be a peek on how she is doing, a chat over decaf coffee, or simply spending time together, not a tall order, if you ask me.
Since women are emotional beings, they find deep satisfaction from a good talk. For most women, talking is simply therapy. It is inexpensive and yet, very rewarding. As learned people would often say, “Never, underestimate the power of a good talk”. It is cathartic.
I love this line from a book I read a couple of years ago: As a woman, you play different roles. You are a wife; mother; sister; daughter; friend. But lest you forget it, you are a woman, first and foremost. You have needs to be met. You should not neglect that part of your persona. And may I add, if you focus on the rest of your roles but forget the most essential which is the soul of your being, you will falter, because by meeting the essential requirements of your woman nature, you will come out filled and all set to tackle the other roles attached to being a woman.

At home with work friends
Going back to kindred spirits which provide women a sense of balance and solidarity especially during challenging times, when a woman’s girlfriend is going through a tough time in her life – in all areas like not passing the board exam for instance, losing a boyfriend or finding out the husband has a fling or worse paramour, it is so much easier to confide in a friend than a sibling or family. Wonder why.
Disclosure is a breeze when done with a non-relative. Of course, we do not diminish the value of family. Families have their moral ascendancy over the order of things but kindred souls are like an extension of family and yet, there is no felt tension; no implicit or expressed expectations; no ‘hey, watch what you’re saying young lady’ apprehension with them. No guilt trip, plain and simple. They are family and yet they are not.
So what are they? They are simply, heavenly, amazingly called girlfriends – kindred souls, and life is so much better with them around.
Food for thought: This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.
-- Author Unknown

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