When people find out I’m leading an all girls team, their response is almost always the same. A laugh followed by a sincere “I’m so sorry” or a sarcastic “Have fun with that.”
It makes me really sad.
Sure, some girls can have a tendency to be caddy, to gossip, to backstab, to live out the movie Mean Girls and to fight over the same guys. And yeah, some girls allow their emotions to rule the day. But some of us are different. When you schlump us all together and believe the worst about us you are only perpetuating the cycle and making it okay for us to be like that. It’s the whole idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy – if you believe something to be a certain way, it often times will become that way.
How about we stop doing that.
How about girls who have been burned by other girls don’t give up on all female friendships. Because when you do that – when you only hang out with guys because they are drama-free and low-maintenance – you are believing the worst about the rest of us, which isn’t really fair. Not only that, you are missing out on some really great friendships.
There are nine of us on my team – none of us knew each other before this trip. We come from all over the country; our ages range from 18-24. Some of us are black, some white, some short, some tall. Some of us were on homecoming court in high school, some of us were home schooled. Some of us have had our hearts broken by boys, some of us have never been kissed. We have early birds and night owls, jokesters and go-getters, athletes and artists.
We are pretty different – yet we’re all girls and we all get along. Living in harmony with our mixed backgrounds and personalities doesn’t necessarily come naturally, no; we have to work for it.
We don’t gossip. We just don’t. If we have an issue with someone we speak it out in a loving way, forgive each other and move on.
We care for each other. We gently wake each other up in the morning, run for tissues when tears are shed, tend to whoever is sick. Someone is always there to pray when one of us has a nightmare in the middle of the night. Secret notes and letters are constantly left on pillows. We hold hands when we pray in the morning and before every meal. We wait until everyone is at the table to eat – sometimes we’ve had to wait a while (…this is a pretty big deal considering how much we all love to eat.) We share everything with each other and put the Golden Rule into practice.
If anyone thinks girls aren’t funny they are wrong – at least about this group of girls. I seriously haven’t laughed so hard in years. I wish I could explain it to you, but it’s always one of those “you had to be there” kind of moments. We have a ton of fun together. We ride around in the back of an orange pickup truck, our bodies piled on top of each other like it’s no big deal. We have movie nights where we push a couple of bunk beds together and play a movie on two computer screens. At first I was a skeptic – I thought it would be impossible to sync the movies. Apparently it’s not that hard. We munch on popcorn and Pringles and quote lines under our breath…or sometimes all together out loud. Some nights we attempt pushups and sit-ups, but often end up laughing on our backs instead. Hey, at least our abs still get a workout.
We aren’t overemotional. We don’t cry frequently – some of us more than others, but still not that often. Only when something is really hard or really sad.
We talk about real things. Human trafficking and the impact of religion. Hurts from our past, dreams of the future. We talk about the type of man we want to marry and the type of woman we want to be. The type of parents we want to be. We know about each other’s family and friends back home and what is going on in their lives.
We love each other. Sure, we aren’t perfect and sometimes things get messy, but I believe this is one of the most beautiful seasons I’ll experience in life. Females are such unique creatures – when you put us all together our love and laughter can’t be tamed.
My dream is that when someone hears about a group of girls living together their reaction will be positive, as opposed to a passive aggressive joke that undermines an entire people group (…which makes up more than half the population of the world.)
As for the girls who do often act like Lindsay Lohan in the second half of Mean Girls, the ones who gossip and backstab and live everyday like it is “that time of the month,” well, maybe they continue to be like that because we expect them to. Because we prophecy that over them, over each other.
I vote that everyone ceases to believe the worst about girls and instead give us the benefit of the doubt. Promote us so that we may become the encouraging, beautiful and hilarious creatures we are meant to be.
If anything, this group of girls is living example that such a reality is possible…