MY SISTER'S KEEPER
Growing up, I wasn't particularly girly. I was surrounded by males in the form of my dad, uncles, siblings and cousins so when I started making meaningful friendships it seemed natural to me that they would be with boys. I had a few Barbies and loved wearing skirts (with shorts underneath) but I found no joy in playing house or anything else remotely dainty; I thrived when climbing trees, playing video games and reenacting wrestling matches from WWF.
My experiences with girls weren't good; they always involved tears, silent treatments and rules about how to behave, all of which, I was not very good at. I distinctly remember being 6 years old and one friend telling me I wasn't allowed to talk to our other friend just because they had fallen out. My rebellious side refused to conform to any rule I didn't agree with or that I hadn't created for myself so of course I ignored her. What followed, was a mass 'un-friending' from all the girls in our class. In that moment I knew that being a sheep was never my portion and that I cared very little about how others felt about that.
My secondary school was an all girls school and I absolutely loved my time there, however, my experiences with girls didn't improve much at all; there was backstabbing, rumour spreading and entirely too much drama. The girls in my neck of the woods could fight (something that is usually associated to men) so there were many physical altercations but they were usually caused by something I considered very silly. In comparison, none of this drama existed in any of my male friendship circles; there would be disagreements but they were easily resolved and usually started over less petty matters.
I was definitely that sell out that used to scream "I don't like girls, guy friends are the best!". People say that women who feel this way are the problem because they are always falling out with everybody but that wasn't the case with me, I simply didn't even bother interacting with girls, I was very dismissive of girls/women because I saw them as emotional and irrational beings who overcomplicated things (as an INTJ I just couldn't relate). I had my school clique and a couple of girlfriends but all my real friends were guys. I have since come to realise that I had just been lucky with the boys/men that I grew up with and that being emotional and irrational was not gender specific. Also, as we got older, women became less catty and drama loving while men became more so. You hate to see it.
I was in my late teens when I finally understood the value of sisterhood. The beauty of becoming an adult is that you get to expand your social network and make relationships with like-minded individuals, while ignoring personality types that don't serve you. I met amazing women who lived in their truth, were nearly as blunt as I was and handled conflict without resorting to antics. The love and support of these women was invaluable to me and the realisation that we shared a life experience that no man could ever understand, created a bond between myself and all women of the world, even the misguided 'pick-me' types!
Although I'm still not as girly as society expects, I can now officially call myself a girls' girl and I most definitely am, my sister's keeper.