I am not sure what I would have turned out like had I grown up the youngest of seven siblings, a girl among five very strong males, in a family where everyone’s personality demanded all of your attention.
I think I would have been the timid , meek one that hung out in the background and let everyone else take the spotlight sort of speak. In other words, where I would have been the lamb, she is the Lion.
For as long as I have known her she has known exactly who she is and stands strong and proud with that knowledge and never forfeits from it. I have always admired her for that, I have always wanted to be more like her. Where I question everything in life and analyze it to death, she never second guesses herself.
Let me introduce you to this week’s FRIDAY WITH FRIEND’S : Lioness L
She was one of my first friends, we were born five months apart from each other in the same family. Her Father and my Mother are siblings. She is my first cousin and hands down the first woman my age to show me a sort of strength not measured by any means known to man.
We spent a lot of time together growing up, but what I remember most is the summer of our eighth grade, after her parents had divorced and she was the only kid left in the roost living alone with her Mother. They moved in about a mile from my Mother and for a season we were inseparable. We discovered everything there is to discover as teenage girls together. Boys, booze and friendship.
The years passed and we both grew up and moved away, got married, started family’s and lost touch . Of course we would see each other at family get together’s , which by that time turned in to be funeral’s and weddings..but outside of that we had lost that kinship we had formed so very long ago in our childhood and then again in our teenage years.
And then one day about eight years ago she called me , I remember sitting in the bedroom of my townhouse talking to her for hours , like no time had ever elapsed at all.
Since then we have become thick as thieves , we talk on a daily basis, she knows everything there is to know about me and some things I am sure she wishes she didn’t. We have also become great travel partners, from the beaches of Mexico, to hot summer Texas nights, to walking the streets of New Orleans until we were sure our legs were going to fall off. I love traveling with her and look forward to many years to come of memories I will cherish forever.
It’s funny how life comes full circle, she is again my partner, although this time not so much in crime, this time in self discovery for me. She has taught me that I am worthy just because I am me, that I don’t need to give all of myself at the risk of losing myself to anyone. She has taught me that I need to respect myself first before anyone else will ever respect me .
She is the first one to call me on my shit when she see’s me going back to my old patterns, not to make me feel bad, but to take a moment to dig deep within myself and stand for what I deserve.
I call her a Lioness for a reason. Look at a Lioness in the wilderness, I am not sure there is another animal so secure in their being. While all the other animals scurry from here to there, show off how fast they can run, or dazzle you with their accomplishments- the Lioness sits quietly and is so sure of their strength and power that all the other animals just know what they are made of.
She used to scare me, true story- for her strength is a force to be reckoned with, but now I only see her as truly one of the most beautiful creatures on the face of this earth. With great strength like hers there also comes a great responsibility to use that power : She is so powerful , yet she is so magnificently compassionate, caring , protective and loving.
She grounds me, keeps me level, teaches me to live in the moment, encourages me to experience new things, provides me new ways to look at things and proves to me on a daily basis that standing in the knowledge of knowing yourself and never wavering is the most precious gift you can give yourself, and everyone around you.
I find it interesting that a family of Lions is called a PRIDE, because when I think of her , I am filled with pride to call her my family and infinitely grateful that she is my friend.