Diving into the Waters of Girlfriendships
Summer heat in Sacramento can be unbearable, even late at night. From June until September it was common for the temperatures to reach 100°. Even the nights were hot. My friends and I had two choices for our, um, activities: either stay inside and blast the air conditioning, or go outside and look for a source of water. Well, since we were in high school, our activities included having a few drinks and blasting our boom box with a worn-out cassette of Van Halen, AC/DC, or Michael Jackson. This meant we usually tried to find a source of water. Late night skinny dipping in Folsom Lake. Streaking through the golf course sprinklers. Diving off the Fair Oaks Bridge into the American River.
The Fair Oaks Bridge was built in 1907 and resembled a tiny version of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was popular with people like me and my friends who wanted the challenge of jumping 50 feet into the river. Of course, we tried to be safe. We wore shoes so we didn’t slip when climbing up the metal framework. Besides, if we were barefoot, we could’ve gotten tetanus from climbing on the flaking metal. And we were careful to climb and jump only during the times we knew the cops wouldn’t be there to take us down—either from the bridge or to the police station. And we kept our music blaring from our boom box so the people in the gorgeous homes that sat high on the bluff knew we were still there.
Looking back now, geez we were idiots! We had no idea what was beneath the water at the lake or the river. Any one of us could’ve dove onto a rock and been paralyzed or killed instantly. Someone must have been looking out for us because we all made it out alive.
Friendships are like this too. We have no idea what we are diving into until we are in it. Are we surrounded with hot, cold, or tepid water? Which one suits us best? Some of us know immediately, and others swim around for a while hoping it will eventually fit them just right. I have experienced both. More of the former as of late, but maybe that’s a product of age. My priorities have definitely changed.
The metaphor “diving into unknown water,” has many meanings, but it resonates with me most when navigating girlfriendships. I have struggled with many friendships in my life for a myriad of reasons. Today I am thankful that “diving in” all those years taught me to know exactly which water I want to swim in now. I have an incredible circle of girlfriends who make my life complete. Those years of swimming lessons have paid off!
Like me, my guess is you too have found shallow and deep, hot and cold water out there. Some of the water is clear, and some can be cloudy. You’ve learned to watch out for pond scum, sharks, jagged rocks, and treacherous currents. And, from my experience, if you have your shoes on and are a good swimmer, you have a better chance of not being injured or swept away by the tide.
I love that you were with me today. Come back tomorrow!
Lisa A.K.A. Loopie