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