When describing how I feel about my friends, fortunate is an understatement.
I have a beautifully diverse group of people in my life that empower me and push me to be a better person. Of all the friends I have, one group in particular deserves special recognition; the ladies in my group chat.
For millennials, I think that the concept of the group chat has become pretty far widespread. We have group chats for projects, for work, for making weekend plans, and for our roommates- and there there is the group chat. The group chat of your ride or die women; the group chat that has almost replaced your journal because it is the space for confessions, gossip, honesty, and unwavering support.
Here’s the kicker about my group chat; out of the eight women in it, there are two that I have never met in person. This particular group chat was started by Haley (the only woman in the chat who actually knows all of us) as a means for bringing together college-aged women in solidarity. Trump had recently secured the Republican nomination, many of us were feeling mistreated by the men. We provided each other perspective as we lived in different locations, practiced different religious, hailed from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and had varying sexual orientations.
We kept changing the name of the group chat until we settled on the current name; hoëgaarden. Quickly, our light conversational group collectively shattered all boundaries and became that message exchange that we all know and love today. From sharing our deepest secrets and heartbreaks with one another, to planning global travel, to coming to each other for advice. Lately, the chat has consisted of working towards pressing charges on a prominent instagram figure that sexually harassed one of the member’s friends (extra eek factor- she is 15 and he is 23) and aiding a different member in curing her food poisoning.
I write about this group today not to simply praise these magnificent women; but to discuss the ways in which they have uplifted me. We have created a space where we can talk about anything. When feeling down, one of us will often ask the group to cheer her up. The result are novels worth of text messages empowering her and telling her to keep her head up. When I found out that an ex had cheated on me it happened to be that one of the other members had a room in Vegas for the night courtesy of her job. Without any planning and maybe a three hour warning; we did a 20 hour Vegas turn around trip. As I struggle with some of the side effects from anti-malaria pills now, the girls have offered to reach out to their family members and help me seek out solutions.
Most importantly, their patient with me. They validate my feelings, and ride the mood swings out with me. They offer their unconditional support to me; and I do the same to them. Everyone needs a support group like this; especially when you’re so far from home.