This time last year, Lily and I traveled to Happy Valley, OR to check out Pickathon, a sustainably-minded and family-friendly music festival that celebrates community. As I reflect on that experience, I've come to realize just how lucky we were to have that opportunity, and more importantly, how important it is to create the space in your life to delve into something new with a friend. We camped outside, watched a concert from the comfort of a hammock, danced barefoot and giggling in the grass. We had some serious conversations too, ones that we needed to have as our friendship evolved, and we left that weekend much closer.
When I was in high school, I spent most of my time with my girlfriends watching "Bridget Jones' Diary" in bed and grabbing frozen yogurt downtown and savoring warmer-weather days in our suburban backyards. Some of my most meaningful memories, however, were when we'd make the trip to my friend Maggie's family home in New Hampshire to feast on blueberries and kayak across big blue lakes. Or when we would take the train into N.Y.C. to walk the High Line, stopping only for strawberry paletas. Or when we'd bike to a different neighborhood just because it was something else to see.
It's absolutely crucial in female friendships to be able to chill and to explore: it's such a comfort to know that I have friends with whom I can both watch "Broad City" and backpack with. But so often, we only see female bonding sessions refracted back to us in the media through the lens of shopping sprees and splurgey brunches. And I think that we know better. Female friendships are about so much more. A lot of the formative work of bonding transpires when we open ourselves up to experiences.
Here's to adventures with friends. Here's to deciding to go out on a limb. This week is as good a week as any to get out there and try something new. No matter what you do or where you go, I hope it feels as magical as dancing, barefoot, to your new favorite song with your old friend at your side.