Informal Feminism

{April 10, 2011}   My Community

I hope my blog last week inspired some of you to go out and watch Homo Toxicus, this week I am going to be a little more personal and a little bit shorter. I want to talk about the importance of female friends. One of my best friends asked me if I wanted to tag along with her to Peterborough yesterday, she was going to visit her mom. I decided to tag along and catch up with some of my closest friends for the day. I lived in Peterborough on and off for five years while I was going to university and developed most of my current close female friend relationships there, so it was exciting to go for the day. While I was there I realized how important it was to have these female friendships and to keep them alive and strong to help keep myself grounded.

I was unable to maintain most of my female friendships from Barrie, my home town. I think that this is likely because I don’t spend much time returning there and when I do I prefer to spend the short amount of time I do have with my family because I don’t get to see them often and my favourite women to spend time with in Barrie are my mom and Nana. I do have one friend who lives there, that I enjoy seeing but are timing is always off. It is her that reminded me how important it is to maintain my female friendships and hold them dear. When I was living in Peterborough and about to move to Oshawa I had a phone conversation with this particular friend. I was telling her about how busy life had been and how much I was missed my boyfriend; we were seeing each other every other weekend at best. She commiserated on the long distance relationships and made it seem as if the difficultly I was having with school, which stemmed from being at school full-time and working two jobs on top, was a result of not being close enough to my boyfriend. It was then that I realized how different we actually were. While I did miss Derek while I was in Peterborough, it was also easier for me to be able to focus and get my work done when he was not with me. Our every other weekend schedule worked well for us because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my education to spend extra time with him. My friend on the other hand had left school because being apart from her now husband was too difficult, she had never returned to it. I found that to be sad because she is a brilliant woman, she also split from most of her female friends including me with this transition. While we still talked we weren’t really close any more and we weren’t up to date on the ins and outs of each other lives.

While my relationship with Derek, who I now live with, is very important to me, I am unwilling to give up my friends to be with him and he would never ask me to. It is important to our relationship that we have separate friends and activities. The group of women that I have surrounded myself by are strong and independent women who have stood by me through many difficult times and I know that I can count on for support if I need it. These women have helped to teach me things and can always be counted on for a rousing conversation on why women need to achieve equality and any other subject we can think of. They are easy going and we learn and grow with each other, we have experienced major changes and have been able to maintain our friendships, regardless of families and distance. I think without these women I would feel as if something is missing from my life, they are my community. This doesn’t just apply to the women who live in Peterborough but to the friends I have made and relationships that have grown with the women in Oshawa and Barrie, because my mom and Nana are also integral parts of this community.

So this weeks blog may feel a little disjointed to you and maybe you’re not sure of the point yet, so here it is: I have formed strong bond with the women in my life and created a community where I feel safe to be myself and know that they will not judge me and instead support me. While I know that we may change and distance may come between seeing each other physically as often as we want to but I also know that these women will always be there when I need them and the same to be said if they need me. I feel that this is extremely important to have and feel blessed that I have this community and only hope that it grows. So this week is a shout out to all my friends who have helped me to become who I currently am.


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