I used to pride myself in being just one of the guys. I was one of three girls playing AYSO soccer at the age of 5; I played on an all boys tee-ball team when I was 8; could throw a spiral by the age of 10; started surfing and skateboarding at 14; snowboarding at 15; and throwing caps with the best of them my junior year in high school (sorry mom). Boys were cooler, less dramatic, and more attractive. My theory was confirmed when I went away to Berkeley and joined Pi Beta Phi. I justified the decision at the time because the girls in the house were the coolest, least dramatic and most grounded on sorority row. Or so I thought. After a year of living in a house of hormones, I was done. Not that these girls weren’t (and aren’t still) awesome and brilliant, but maybe I just wasn’t use to fast female connection. My girlfriend-ships at home had taken years to cultivate and this one-year-insta-bestie-click program just didn’t work for me. Plus the eating disorders and catty gossip were enough to drive any tomboy crazy. I don’t mean to seem insensitive to eating disorders, as I know they are a very serious epidemic in our society, but as a pre-Britney Spears era tomboy, I could not yet relate.
Did I mention I love sports? I have always played sports and love me a lil healthy competition. I spent half of my 20s dating a gambler. On any given Sunday, you would find us posted up in a sports bar with his picks and parlays displayed in front of us on his trusty yellow legal pad. Because our livelihood often depended on whether a team went for it on 4th and 1, I found myself paying very close attention. I learned the ins and outs of football and loved the thrill a little bet brought to every game.
At the age of 26 I broke up with the gambler (which is a whole ‘nother crazy blog post about chemistry and addiction for a different day) and moved back to LA to pursue my dream of acting. Many of the girls I found myself sitting next to in various acting classes/audition rooms tended to be (in my judgmental eyes) hugely insecure and annoyingly self absorbed. So, I continued to float in my comfort zone with the guys and a few best girlfriends, most of whom I had known since elementary school. That is, up until last December. I woke up one chilly winter morning and realized my soul was craving authentic expression and space to just be. And by “being” I meant creating something on my own terms. Not a casting director’s or screenwriter’s. So upon the recommendation of a very powerful life coach (Andrea Quinn) I signed up for Linda Sivertsen’s BookMama writers retreat in Carmel. Was I a writer? Not officially, but I had always loved storytelling and maybe I would be inspired to write something overlooking the ocean from our cabin in the woods. I just needed to carve out some “me time”, and if paying a hefty price to ensure I did so was the answer, than so be it.
That hefty price turned out to be worth its weight in gold. What happened that week in Carmel was simply profound. My whole perspective shifted when I realized how powerful women can be when they come together to support each other in purpose and creativity. I had been missing out on this delicious field of energy that inspires, supports, encourages and loves! We laughed, we cried, and we listened as each of us shed our masks and expressed our deepest fears and desires. We were total strangers from all over the globe, yet we felt extremely connected because of nothing more than the fact that we were all women seeking authentic creative expression. It was awesome.
I still love dudes. I am with an amazing one right now and hope to be for many years to come. I still love watching and betting on football. But I now look at the women in my life as my soul sisters. I see the beauty, courage, and brilliance in every woman I meet. I relate and connect rather than judge from afar. And I’ve learned that as much as I love my man, I still need my close girlfriends to laugh and cry with, and lovingly push each other to become our most powerful, authentic selves. I finally learned what men have known for centuries. Girls rule.