I was living in 1999 last night (but with much better style and self confidence) as some of my childhood gal pals and I transformed into our 12 year old selves and fan girled over the Back Street Boys. If you don’t know who that is you were either born after 2010 or have been living under a rock. BSB, N’Sync, 98 degrees – this made up the 90’s boy band trio of our dreams and now we were getting transported back in time to live in a period of body glitter, pleather and sticky overdone lip gloss yet again.
As we walked up to the concert venue my girlfriend looked around at all the 30-40 year old women flocking in with us and said, “these are my people.” We laughed at the time but in reflecting on that silly sentiment I was realizing these two girls that were with me truly are my people. You see we’ve been friends since grade school, well over 20 years. We watched one another transform from silly school girls, to preteens with first crushes, to teenagers experimenting with pushing boundaries, to college students exploring new freedoms, to graduates trying to find our footing, to married women finding balance in individual identities and new roles as wives and now transitioning into this newest chapter of motherhood. It’s actually pretty amazing when you think about it; that throughout all of life’s changes we’ve been able to stay connected and not just connected but bonded. We’ve seen one another struggle, cried with one another, celebrated each other’s victories and supported one another through the darkest moments.
These girls are so deeply connected to me they are like sisters. And although each chapter in life brings new challenges I feel I rely on them more now than ever while I’m a new mom. They continue to reassure me I’m a good parent, remind me of who I am outside of that role and allow me a safe place to explore who I’m yet to become. Because when you’ve been friends for as long as we have you can see how a person grows and continues to evolve. That evolution is never ending. My identity isn’t tied to the chapter of life I’m currently residing in but offers a promise of something even more. I am so incredibly grateful for these two women and their reminder of that promise.
So here is to many more chapters in our friendship; to seeing each other through additional hills and valleys, to finding laughter in plenty of other shared experiences and to never being too old to be a boy band fan girl.