This past weekend, I went into the city and met up with girlfriends that I haven't seen in a few years.
Yes, we kept up with each other through messages here and there, but we had not hung out together.
We all were burlesque performers during the same period, and performed in almost all of the same shows. It was like we had never been apart.
We talked for hours. It was funny that we had all been going through many of the same situations, emotions, illness, thoughts.
It was nice to know that I had not been alone in what I've been going through. I had just never talked to anyone about it, so who knew? It seems that the majority of women my age are experiencing the same things.
We talked about changing our perspective on life.
We talked about the need for self-love and care, and that it wasn't a selfish thing.
We talked about cutting negativity, including negative people, from our lives.
We talked about the right to say, "No," as an answer without explanation or guilt.
We talked about guilt.
We talked about why we all did certain things in our past, and it's okay because we learned from those experiences.
We talked about people who still judge us from our past and can't see beyond that - and that's their issue. We talked about the difference in the women we flock to now -
women who support us, lift us up, and do not try to make anything a competition.
I realized how lucky I am to have these relationships, these ladies.
I want to cultivate them and not lose these positive influences in my life.
It's wonderful to have them in my life again.
And we're planning on bringing back another old thing - our monthly lunches!
I think I need that too.
Just like I need to learn to love myself again, and it's okay to do that.
I am not just a former roller derby ref, burlesque performer, smut writer, fitness competitor.
I want to be Jen and all that goes with that, but for people to see me as me, not an identifier of my activities.
Love & Joy!