Great girlfriends have this uncanny way of peeling off every layer of self protective bullshit that you've managed to cocoon yourself in. They peel and peel and pick and pick until you're left standing in front of the mirror face to face, bruised up knees to bruised up knees, broken pinky toe to broken pinky toe with your fatally flawed self. They force you to look at your whole self - not just the parts you like - or the parts you've learned how to enhance with a good bra, six inch heels, or MAC mascara - but the whole entire unrefined, jiggly in some places, reminiscent of chicken fat in other places, tragic collision of cells that make up YOU. And then they do the one thing that if it was coming from anyone else you'd be sure to punch them in the mouth and call them a liar - they tell you you're absolutely, fabulously, wonderfully beautiful - fatal flaws and all. Oh don't be fooled - they see the flaws, but they tell you how to fix them - and reassure you that they will be with you every step of the way. They call you out on your bullshit reasons for wanting to have a plume du nomb, and help you to see that your once believed (if even in your own head) fear of failure is irrational - and you in turn decide that of all your irrational fears, that's one your okay to part with. That is the beauty and wonderfullness of the girlfriend bond - it is sometimes like a much needed punch in the head. But once the pain passes, it's amazing how much clearer you can see. Girlfriends release you from your shit cocoon to show you that while you've been tucked away in your own personal pile of manure, you've grown a set of magnificent wings - and that if you would just take that one little peek...that one little step...that one little breath out into the world around you, you'd see that you are definitely ready to fly. You're ready for the world, and the world - well it's been waiting for you.
So, here's to my girlfriends, and the cocoon I'm leaving on a street corner in St. Louis - thank you.