Each year I go away with my girlfriends. It’s a trip that began when our kids were very young and we caravaned out of town immediately after drop off on Friday, returning in time to pack lunches on Sunday night. We left detailed notes for our husbands, called at least once a day, and searched in every shop for the perfect gifts. We needed those trips back then for the escape and the comradery of other moms and women in similar situations. Much has changed since those early trips. We are over a decade older for one, and the days of dropping our kids at school, making lunches, and needing to be available in the afternoons is long gone for many of us. However, the need for these female relationships has not waned. While challenging to coordinate, and even more difficult to execute, every one of us is dedicated to making sure we go away together each year.
Why? Because relationships matter.
As a private investigator I tend to see relationships in their broken form. Clients who suspect a cheating spouse, or who find themselves in child custody battles, are for the most part angry. By the time I meet them they have usually experienced a painful betrayal from who was once a trusted partner. Loss of trust in such a critical relationship often colors the ability to maintain other, important relationships during such a difficult time, as well as creating “baggage” for all future relationships.
While I am not a relationship doctor by any means, I have learned that it is those surrounding relationships that can help you through the darkest parts of your life. It is often a reflex to withdraw, and I’m all for keeping your dirty laundry private. But, at some point reaching out, accepting help, and leaning on those around you can help move you through; even drag you through to a better place.
What about that baggage? We all have our stuff. How we carry it through our lives is up to us. Do we share it? Do we try to pass it off on every unsuspecting potential partner? Or do we try to carry it alone? In my experience, passing it off only drives people away, and carrying it becomes way too burdensome and is a formula for living a life alone. While sharing can be hard and makes you vulnerable, in my opinion it is the best way to form bonds and build supportive relationships that both heal you from past pain, and clear the way for a fuller and richer life.
With a daily dose of clients suspecting cheating and betrayal, it is easy to become a relationship cynic. Through my girls trips I have come to understand how important relationships are. Some of the women I travel with have known for over 15 years, while others I only met recently. Some I see frequently throughout the year while others I catch up with more infrequently, and some I only see on the trip. Nonetheless, this trip is something I look forward to from the moment we arrive home until the moment we leave the following year. It is these relationships that not only get me through the difficult parts of my life, but it is these relationships that make the laughs funnier, the experiences richer, and the milestones even more meaningful.