Books

On Friendship and The Girls from Corona del Mar

September 18, 2014

coronadelmar-mfbs

This one my friends, was not a very upbeat, happy, summer read. That is not to say that The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe is not an eye opener, will pull at your heartstrings and will help you understand why some people who have the same upbringing as you, can take a very different life journey. It will also show you that the power of friendship can seriously make you or break you.

Today, I won’t fully review it because the brilliant people HERE are so much better at it. I haven’t written from the heart lately about what is really going on in my life and this beautifully written book about friendship has come at the right time. So as you know, it has been ten years since I left my city of Chicago, to be with the person who is clearly my best friend, Hubby. No matter how long I have been gone, I need my mother, my sister, my comadres, my aunts, my cousins and my childhood friends very much. And although Hubby tries really hard to fill in for all those women, sometimes it’s not enough (no offense, honey!). There is so much to be said about strong female relationships and the true support offered back and forth.  I am sorry that I haven’t had a chance to follow up with you with a personal call, email, text or visit. Life is super hectic with my three boys, with no extra pair of hands,  and with work…please forgive me. I think of you all the time…my heart aches from the void I sometimes feel.

My new friends here have been incredible to take on a family of 5 and consider us part of their own. My eyes fill with tears and a knot in my throat when I think of how welcoming and loving people can be when they have only known us for three years! Once again, when the schedule of three boys, work, and the piles of laundry and endless trips to the grocery store consume me, I feel bad that I haven’t replied to an invitation from neighboring moms to have coffee,  missed another meeting from my local entrepreneur network, or try to reschedule drinks with acquaintances. I keep thinking, “Betty, if you don’t want to feel so lonely…make it to all of that.” But what happens when everyone in the house has strep throat, I have a deadline to meet, my baby is STILL not on a normal 3 hour schedule at school (Monday can not get here fast enough!) and dinner to prepare? Does anyone feel like the kitchen ALWAYS has to be cleaned?? What happens is that I end up feeling really lonely, consumed by too much.

While reading this novel, and visualizing a friendship between two women who care so much about each other but are literally and figuratively a world apart, it made me remember that we all go through things like this and have these endless battles with the guilt (!!).  Even my friends who have never left the town they grew up in or are not too far from home, have found themselves so busy, overwhelmed and tired. Just tired.

The greatest thing about good female friends: they don’t judge, they ask about YOU first, they feel your pain, they offer to help, they genuinely show how much they have missed you.  If you happen to be a friend of a blogger (how lucky!), they make that declaration to you very publicly. I love you dear amigas, dear readers who come here to check in on me, and bloggy friends who know how lonely it can get to work from home, behind words and images every single day.

Ahora voy a llorar, and then I’m going to be okay. Mom from the Old Fashioned Candies store (my first job at 15!) would say, “It builds character.” Whenever I feel like I can’t anymore, I think about that. I’m proud of the role I have played for my family, and the years of stories and memories I have created with a fantastic group of women I call my BFFs. One more thing, at my very mature age of 36, I also know that this here, this love note isn’t enough. I have to try harder and I will. My friendship with these strong women are worth too much no to.

Now, got get yourself this great novel! xoxo

Image: CR Photography

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21 Comments

  • Reply Maria September 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

    This one made me cry Betty .. mostly because I feel and go through everything (well except for living far from home, although I do miss my familia in Buenos Aires so much) you touched on in your article. Sometimes when we have so many responsibilities, so much to do, so many people to take care of, you can still feel lonely. Thanks for writing this one. xo

  • Reply Nancy September 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Oh Betty !!! You got to my heart 🙂 that’s exactly how I was felling yesterday, I’ve been sick for a couple if days not felling good makes my body weak and so I can’t function the way that I normally do, so my house because a bigger caus and all I could do is walk around my house like a zombie trying to get it organize little by little and so other things that were supposed to be done get forgotten and that includes not being able to see friends and family. This year I made a commitment to not to put my kids in everything, I don’t want to bring the same stress to my kids with so much to do so I asked them to pick one it two things and stick to it. With that being said, I love you Betty and thanks so much for becoming my friend and being such a great listener I will always keep you In my heart no matter how far you live, I have learn important lessons through you and keep in mind that you are making a difference in people’s lives, a positive diference. Thank you amiguita!!

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Nancy! To you too! Know that even though we have gotten closer in the later years of our lives, I consider you one of my “Chicago Girls”! You know that! Thanks for being so supportive and I hope you feel better soon! xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Fatima September 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. And yes, the kitchen seems to get dirty within seconds of wiping down the counters. I offer wish the counters would clean themselves, or that they had the plastic covering our parents used on the couches. Haha!

    I think the feeling of loneliness cones with the role of motherhood. We’re so used to caring for others we don’t stop to care for our own mental state. I’ve been working on writing my emotions down on paper. As a blogger, you get used to sharing your thoughts with the world that IOU forget that the best therapist is you. Call me weird, but I love writing letters to myself whenever I have something on my mind. I explain why I feel a certain way and what I can do to feel better. Once it’s out of my mind and on paper, I feel as though all the weight has been lifted. I highly recommend it.

    Keep smiling, it looks good on you. 😉
    Fatima recently posted..Teachings Tuesday: Your Child Will Amaze YouMy Profile

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you for the advice Fatima. I know that this too shall pass. I met with some great friends all weekend and it really nourished me all over again. My thoughts is that I always have to be conscious of what isn’t working and what is. Even if I can’t get to it right away, I know it’s something I have to work on. Kinda like you putting things dwon on paper…it cements it, right? xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Monica September 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I can totally relate to this. XO, dear Betty!
    Monica recently posted..5 Activities to Practice Uppercase and Lowercase Vowels in Spanish {Printable}My Profile

  • Reply Mia September 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Betty,
    I have not read this novel yet but after reading your touching post I may have to get it this weekend. I can certainly relate to you on so many levels it’s amazing to realize that I’m not the only woman who feels the same way you do. We moved to Columbus from another city in 2011, where we literally knew no one. No family, friends not even acquaintances. I miss my girls immensely as well. It’s hard to get back into the social light when you live in a new city but I have high hopes for both of us and anyone else who is in the same situation. I’m sure with time and a little effort our new cities will feel a little bit more like home 😉

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Mia! The funny thing is that I recommend to everyone to move to another place once in their life! They don’t have to stay away for 10 years… jajajaj! The experience has been amazing, I can’t complain about all that but the truth is that yes, you have to really try to make new friends and to KEEP them. You know what I mean? It’s so hard to balance everything but we have to try. 🙂 xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Carla September 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Chica, you have time to read books?? Just teasing, loved your post and miss you too. I don’t have as many people in my family but have more than made up for it in guests this year… On and off since May and still counting… And still feel lonely at times. Hang in there and in a few short years your little boys will be off doing their thing – and you will miss these days ! You are loved, Carla x

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      haha Carla! Yes, I read at night to help me fall asleep!! LOL I hope I didn’t sound like I was complaining about the boys. They truly make up my whole life and heart and everything. I just wonder if I will ever feel like I’m here and that this place will ever feel like home home. You know what I mean? Thanks for always being so supportive. Love ya! xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Heather September 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Betty,
    Please excuse me because I might be all over the map on this one….. I just have random points I want to make. But the first thing I want to say is how much I’ve missed this type of writing from you. A peek into your “heart” and the raw truth that forms from this type of writing is relatable to many I’m sure. I miss you and I’ve said it before that I am incredibly thankful that we have grown closer. You are such a feel good friend and through your wise words we all learn from you. Which brings me to your difficult schedule. You have accomplished so much and similar to what Nancy wrote above, you are spreading positivity through your blog. Positivity is something the world needs more of. I know it’s difficult to be away from everyone, but you have made the best out of it. Some people just sit and wait for life to happen. But here you are raising three amazing boys AND working inside and out of the home and because of this-you have a fulfilled and wonderful life. I run myself to the ground sometimes. Making too many plans or sometimes just not having time to see those I care about. It’s a battle and a struggle but we have to use our time wisely because it seems like the hours in a day are just not enough as we get older. But feeling tired means you are doing something with your life. And to me, there is nothing more beautiful than that. Continue doing exactly what you have been doing. I’m proud of you and I’m sure everyone else is as well! XOXO

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Heather, I missed writing like this too. I write everyday for 4 different sources now and I needed to spill this out of my heart. I’ll do it next time I need to because it felt so GOOD when I was done. I love what you say about “feeling tired means you are doing something with your life.” Thank you so much and for supporting me and this blog for so long. Miss you and love you too. AND know that you gals inspire me SO SO MUCH as well. I believe that, what I wrote about giving and taking in female relationships. We need it.
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Maritza De Leon September 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Very well said! I love how you said “Ahora voy a llorar, and then I’m going to be okay.” Through life and experiences I’ve learned that you must allow yourself to feel these kind of feelings but then move on and do something about it! You have done an awesome job juggling your own game of LIFE. I tell myself and others..we must learn to at least have FUN with our very own game of LIFE and smile 🙂 Miss you my dear friend…continue writing! Mil xox

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you, Maritza. I owe that belief and comment to my Hubby who is so supportive and a big believer that I should feel what I have to feel. This time, I had to write it all out too!! jajaja! Miss you too! xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

  • Reply Vanessa September 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Missing you!!! Wish we lived in the same place! I know the next time we see each other we will pick up where we left off, as we always do!!

  • Reply Liz A September 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Oh Betty, I miss this style of writing from you too. I have not commented much in a long time but I do continue reading your posts. We can agree that motherhood is endless work but so rewarding in many ways, like Maritza said it’s our “own game of life”, we try to find the positives and enjoy them because in the end it will be all worth it.

    For me, baby number three will arrive soon. I’ll admit I’m moodier, exhausted, uncomfortable in my own body carrying another life inside me but I know I will be ok once we adjust to our new addition to our family. You will also be ok and you will bounce right back up because you still have much more to offer and your positivity will shine through. It’s ok to feel the emotions we go through in life. I’ve learned to try to live the moment and embrace whatever that moment may be. Life is all about learning and living it. If we can all try to find the beauty of everyday things, even the little things that makes us feel guilty or lonely about, we can find peace within ourself. xox

    • Betty
      Reply Betty September 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you Liz! I needed to put it out there like this on that day! I’m usually very positive and I hate to complain. I wanted to know if women who are around their family and closest friends feel this way too and it seems that yes, like Fatima stated above, Motherhood can get very lonely. And I hate to blame it on the kiddies, because everyone here commenting are fantastic mothers who put their kids first. It’s so hard to put ourselves first but I believe that we should strive for balance, which you too will achieve. I know it. Thanks for your continuous support and let us know when baby is here!!!!! xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Natural: Cozy Sweaters and Flawless Skin this Fall My Profile

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