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Friendship is one of life's most sacred gifts, so why is it so hard to find and keep? As women grow, mature, and settle in new places, the bonds and friendships built in earlier years are tested. Life takes us further and further away from our past, and staying in touch becomes harder than anyone imagines or anticipates. For some lucky women, staying connected to friends whether they are from their community, college, or even high school comes easy, but what about those less fortunate. What about the women who are uprooted whether it is for a new job location or a new job location for their husbands? Nothing can compare to the obstacle women face as they grow, mature, and move away from their past to create new lasting friendships. When in school friendships were easy to form, you see the same people day in and day out and you naturally grow a bond. When women enter the working world peers range in age, and the peer relationships are based around work and usually don't go past that. The opportunities for friendship aren't as convenient but it doesn't mean that they aren't out there.
For my mother the circumstances were ten times as challenging. All her life she has followed my dad's job relocations dropping everything for her husband. Now moving to her 5th state she was not only in a new town knowing no one, but she spent all her time focusing on our family's needs. We had moved out to California to help care for my Aunt, my mother's oldest sister, who had been diagnosed with an extremely rare lung disease. While she battled to receive a double lung transplant the wait wore on all of us, but the person it beat down out the most was my aunt. After her passing my mother's life was turned upside down as if she were lost in a whirlwind. She lost a piece of her heart, a piece of her past, and a huge piece of her life. As she dedicated herself to comforting her other sister, brother in law, niece and nephew, she put her own grieving aside. Now that the immediate turmoil has settled, her grief is pouring out. At a time when she needs friendship and support, she feels the most alone only adding to the pain. The love of family is so strong, but the love of a friend is something everyone needs through good times and bad.
Women all over the world, like my mother, experience the feelings of loneliness, grieving, doubt, and many more trying emotions. For many cases the remedy is a shoulder to cry on or a friend to listen. Life is too short to be reminiscing on friendships that have faded, or feelings of loneliness, especially when there are so many women who feel the same way you do. Explore your communities- you will be surprised at how many places there are where you can meet great new people. There is the option of going to the local church. This idea is great for women who are religious because you meet women who share the same beliefs and interests. For parents there are also great ways to get involved with the school and to meet fellow mothers who can relate to what your day-to-day life is like. If you are active and want to meet other women who share the same love for fitness such as sports, join a club or a gym.
Life throws many curve balls, but just remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if that tunnel seems never ending. Friendships are what help you through all life throws at you, whether these are new friendships, or old- embrace them.
Malia Shoji is a contributing writer for Fabulously40.com
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