The Power Of Friendship

It’s early Monday morning, and I’m still reeling from the incredible time I had with my Magpie friends this weekend.   My blog planner is nudging me to start writing book reviews for June, but instead, all I want to write about is how friendship is the best therapy a woman can experience. It provides comfort, joy and a sense of belonging that nourishes the soul. Plus, it’s International Day Of Friendship on the 30th of July, providing me with the perfect excuse to deviate from my plan. 

And so, true to my rebellious spirit, I’m setting my planner aside to write about what’s truly inspiring me at the moment. Book reviews will have to wait, as I dedicate the next few hours to the topic of friendship.

The Power Of Friendship

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A Long-Overdue Trip, Twenty Years In The Making

If I had a penny for every time we tried to plan a trip away and failed… well, let’s just say I’d be better off than I currently am. Jokes aside, life often sidetracks us. We have families, jobs, homes…..life outside of our friendship that sometimes takes precedence. No hard feelings, all three of us have faced challenging times that made going away nearly impossible.

But this last weekend, it finally happened. The last time the three of us went away was in 2004. We were in our twenties with no freaking idea of what life had in store for us.

A girlie weekend back then was different though. To start with, there was much more alcohol involved, especially for me since I don’t drink anymore. In 2004, it was all about the laughs, high heels, skinny jeans, and worrying if our hair looked okay. Fast forward to 2024, and it’s considerably more low-key. “What are you wearing?” “Something comfortable for sure. No way am I wearing high heels.” “If my hair gets wet in the spa, I’ll just pull it up in a bun” (that’s me, by the way, with my lifelong struggle with curly hair).

And so off we went, packing more clothes than needed because one has to have options, comfy options, but options nonetheless. At forty-five, you never know when bloatedness will strike, or it might just be a case of zero ‘ganas’ to wear a short dress. It’s all about comfort for us now, and that’s fine. It’s how we roll, and we love it.

Laughter Is Guaranteed

There has never been, nor will there ever be, a time when I don’t laugh around my best friends. It’s impossible, inconceivable. Whether it’s from our long-standing inside jokes, communicating with a knowing look (you know the one), or some crude comment (mostly from me), to throwing around sarcasm and wit like it’s a free-for-all at a self-service buffet. Laughter, the one thing that makes me feel alive, often taken for granted. And I’m not talking about just a chuckle; I mean the kind of laughter that knocks your breath out, the kind that renders you unable to form a simple sentence. It’s the kind of laughter that makes your belly ache and your eyes pour tears like a malfunctioning sprinkler system on the hottest day of summer, unpredictable, uncontrollable, and thoroughly refreshing. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s gorgeous, it’s beautiful, and it’s food for my soul.

The Power Of Friendship

During this trip, we decided to be bold and record some reels (you can find these on our social media platforms). Initially, there was no intention of posting them online. However, after a while, we thought, “Eff it, let’s post them. Whoever doesn’t like it can choke on it.” I suppose that’s the freedom that comes with being a forty-something woman. In this harsh world we live in, with all the fears we carry, about being judged or ridiculed, we crave the freedom to be our real selves. No excuses, no pretending, just simply us. Raw, vulnerable, free of expectations. 

Needless to say, we had an absolute blast. Let’s just say there are plans for more reels when our annual Christmas takeout night rolls around. Something to look forward to I guess, for all of our 20 fans. LOL!

Friendship At Its Very Core Is The Best Therapy

My life hasn’t always been as ‘smooth sailing’ as it is now. There was a time when I was on a journey of self-destruction, making one horrible mistake after another. That’s why when it comes to friendship, I truly believe I hit the jackpot. My friends have been the one constant that never failed me. They stood by my side as I pulled apart the seams of my life, destroying everything in my path. Not once did they judge or say “I told you so.” Instead, they remained steadfast, giving me the space and time to find my strength and purpose. Lost as I was, I always knew they were there whenever I needed them.

Even when they didn’t fully understand me, they supported me in every way they could, whether it was letting me rant, cry, scream, or sometimes even using them as punching bags (and for that, I am truly sorry).

While laughter cleanses the soul, heartfelt conversations with a friend nourishes it instead.

We had plenty of those conversations this weekend. Despite our weekly chats in our WhatsApp group, there’s always more to discuss when we’re together. This is where things get real. With true friends, there’s no need for filters. Everything is acceptable, even the ‘too much information’ anecdotes. The knowledge that I’m surrounded by women who will NOT judge me, who will NOT mock me, who love me unconditionally, unapologetically,  no matter what I say, ohhh there’s such beauty in that. It fills me with gratitude. 

A Successful Weekend

What does a successful weekend with friends consist of? Let me paint you a picture. It’s about indulging in delicious food and saying “EFF it” to the calories. Treating yourself to  Sangria with liquor 43 (though not for me—I stuck to water because, trust me, my boisterous character doesn’t need alcohol). It’s dancing in your bathrobes and sunglasses and then laughing like your lives depend on it. Talking late into the night, putting the world to rights (Life according to the Magpies—we should start a podcast). And of course, there has to be screaming and running involved at the sight of a cockroach (let’s just say we’ve already booked a different hotel for next year). Ordering food, thinking it’s one thing, only to discover it’s just a posh way of saying ‘Nachos’ and then laughing about it.

There’s also bound to be some snoring (I won’t point fingers), ears plugged with cotton wool, singing made-up songs, chilling at the spa, and taking silly photos that will never leave the group chat. Oh, and yes, running out of toilet paper, because why not? 

A successful weekend indeed. 

Friendship Related Articles

International Day of Friendship – Friends come and go throughout our lives. But what makes a good friend? We look into three different friendships which stand the test of time – Read Colleenes blog on friendship

Meet The Magpies Learn more about the inspiring women who make up The Opinionated Magpies – Meet The Magpies!

Blogging: Six Months Into Our Journey Read about how two friends decided to take a leap of faith and follow their dreams.

What Is A True Friend?

I could write a book about friendship, but knowing me it could take years, so I wrote a list instead:

A friend is someone who:

  • Is the first person you call when you have good news to share.
  • Celebrates your wins and pushes you forward, encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
  • Is the first person you call first thing in the morning, on your way to work, riddled with anxiety, unable to face your day.
  • Listens patiently to a five-minute audio of you crying because you are scared or fed up.
  • Is the second person you call (husband always gets called first) when you receive a medical diagnosis that scares the bejesus out of you. 
  • Listens to your 10-minute voice rant about someone you both dislike.
  • True friends definitely dislike the same people you dislike, no questions asked. (Do we like this person or not? lol)
  • Defends you when you are not present.
  • Skips on the sugarcoating. Tells you the truth as it is, whether you like it or not.
  • Doesn’t ignore you or use you for their own benefit.
  • Is always up for shenanigans—silly dancing is always involved.
  • Lets you be yourself, even if farting is frowned upon, it’s still allowed!
  • Is the person you call when life around you crumbles—when your unborn baby is diagnosed with abnormalities or a parent dies.
  • Rushes to the hospital at 3 am just to hug you after you have said your final goodbye to your father.
  • Repeats endlessly that you ARE lovable.
  • Makes you laugh until your side hurts or you pee yourself, in no particular order.
  • Forgives easily and loves harder. 
  • Holds your hand when your marriage is over. 
  • Proudly stands by as you find love again, and in the process find your purpose in life. 
  • Walks in when the rest of the world is walking out.
The Power Of Friendship

Final Thoughts And Much Gratitude

Life is a complicated journey like no other, filled with challenges that test us in unexpected ways. Amidst this journey, the gift of friendship makes it all the more bearable, especially when life throws its toughest challenges our way.

While I may know many people, I’ve never claimed to have many friends. As they say, a lesson lived is a lesson learned, right? Trust me, not everyone who smiles at you is truly a friend. That’s why I stick to my tribe, the women who truly know and love me. They feel like coming home, see me as enough, and allow me to grow. These friends leave a warmth in my heart and help me relax because I can be myself around them. Only they have seen me at my lowest, and only they understand how fiercely I’ve climbed the mountains that stood in my path, searching for the light.

Most importantly, they allow me to love them in return. After all, friendship is a two-way road. It involves mutual effort, support, and respect.

I wrote this blog to explore the significance of friendship and how it has shaped my journey. But I also want to take this opportunity to thank those incredible women who make my life so much better.

You know who you are. Thank you for loving me, accepting me, and never making me feel like I’m too much. Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable while simultaneously being the world’s greatest goofball.

Much love always

M xx

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