Just like in the Sex and the City series, I have my three best girlfriends, only we’re a lot less vanilla.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the six season phenomenon that included Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. In fact, they inspired women as a whole to share a piece of their lives with one another that hadn’t been exposed yet: everything from sex to babies, men to promotions, and everything else in between.
While I could relate to the topics the show covered, and later actually experienced a lot of when I moved to New York City for college, I never found my three best friends to share that sort of bond.
That was, until sophomore year.
I wasn’t exactly looking for my three other pieces, they sort of just fell into place. And while Damon and I have been super close for the past seven years, I always knew I needed some real, true, girlfriends.
It happened one day, during the summer after my freshman year of college during Orientation Leader training. All the newbies had an assignment that seemed simple, but somehow overwhelming: clip photos from magazines, and choose five themes that represent you and your life. Gettin’ so deep as we sit criss-cross, apple sauce on the floor, overlooking Elmer’s glue and Crayola scissors as 18 year olds. I get to work, and start diving into the things that make me, me.
Food, chocolate/coffee – anything of the cacao bean really, travel, language, and entrepreneurship. I look to my right to upgrade my glue game, and lo and behold, this girl had the exact, same five themes on her collage.
What started out as a bizarre coincidence, turned out to be the start of a sister-like friendship with my Egyptian mirror, Omnia. She too was an immigrant, loved languages, adored chocolate and coffee, shared my need to wander, and studied business.
Flash forward, later in the summer, I meet a bubbly beauty with the best head of hair, Spozmi, the Afghani queen. What I didn’t know at the time was that Spoz too would become a piece of me within the next year. We met in a fret, she had just returned from spending a few weeks in Turkey (which already made her a badass in my book), and filled the room with such energy, you could watch as everyone gravitated towards her to hug her splendor.
She gave me a loving hug as if we’d known each other forever, simply because of my affiliation with Omnia, who had become best friends with Spoz the year before. And even though I met her for about five minutes, she left one of those family-like vibes that I always returned back to when we passed each other in the halls; without barely having had a conversation.
Then there was the summer after sophomore year. Om and I were now best friends, I knew Spoz, and serendipitously met the missing piece, Diana, while laying in my temporary dorm room for that summer.
There was a group of random students who were granted housing, as we worked for our rooms as desk attendants. Diana, for whatever reason, ended up inside my dorm room, with about five other people I’d never met before. For one reason or another, everyone trickled out of the room, until Diana and I were left alone because we had basically dominated the conversation from the group.
We were in discussion about surface things, and slowly but surely got SO DEEP into our lives the more we found out we had in common. She too was Brazilian, and grew up between cultures, she too had been betrayed by good girlfriends in the past, and she too had grown thickly independent, only trusting Spozmi. Our connection was undeniable, and we quickly became the best of friends and partners in crime the following year, when we both RA’d in the same building.
Then, finally, in a fate-like way, during my junior year of college, Spozmi and I shared a textbook in a human resources class. We would laugh at the pointless things the professor would say, or how I barely ever went to class because I was 90% over it all. We’d meet before class for coffee, and catch up about the juiciest of subjects, and it wasn’t long before Diana and Omnia would trickle in.
Looking back, I knew it was all special. What were the odds that four boss ass women, who come from diverse backgrounds, and were student leaders with magnet like personalities, all got along in perfect harmony?
The odds were slim.
But somehow, I was lucky enough to enjoy the phenomenon for my last two years of college, and beyond.
We’d plan time in all four of our crazy lives to get together at least once a week. We’d laugh, eat street food, make fun of absurd things we experienced during the week, vent about the pressures of being “that child” in the family who had to get everything right all the time. It was, and still is out of a movie. We started coining ourselves the Core Four, and a few months later, as we power walked linking arms (almost in a slow motion way) down the hall, people would address us as that and the term stuck.
Graduation came before we knew it, we’d all be going our separate ways; Spoz would go to San Diego for her masters, Diana and Omnia got jobs in New York, and I was floating around until further notice in both different continents, and the city streets, on my mission to make the channel full-time with Damon.
Before splitting up, we planned a month-long trip to Paris, Florence, Venice, Rome, and Egypt; welcome to the Core Four World Tour. We even made it a hashtag. The month was absurd, I’d never traveled that long with so many people, nor had I ever traveled with them. The trip solidified our sister-hood and gave us stories we still crack up laughing about, even almost four years later. Since then, though, we’ve made it a point to get together at least once a year. We’ve all scattered even further from one another: Spoz is now in Chicago, Om moved to San Francisco, I’m in Los Angeles, and Diana in New York. Despite being in four corners, our group chat stays busy with random happenings and internet memes we’d all appreciate. We’ve all reunited in San Diego, in New York, and this year, we took a trip to the Florida Keys.
Here’s the thing: travel brings out the real in a person.
You’re placed in uncomfortable situations that heighten the risk for a major freak out. Add 100ºF weather, chafed thighs, hanger, four women, and you have serious potential for a BF, or a bitch fit.
So it happened, we got into a huge blowout fight.
On the third day of our “tropical paradise getaway,” things got shaky. Three of us wanted to leave the Keys, because believe it or not, it is NOT beach paradise the way South Beach is, and we felt like we’d seen it all. One of us didn’t agree, and despite hearing her concerns, we kept the ball rolling and made an executive decision to book something in Miami one night earlier, and cover the payment for Ms. Didn’t Want to Leave the Florida Keys. We figured if the money wasn’t an issue, there should be nothing but good vibes. We were wrong, and the aftermath was about a two hour power discussion on what was wrong, who committed the crime, why we needed to fix it, and how we were going to do so.
You’d think after being best friends with these people for years, you’d know how they would react, but that’s the thing, we’ve changed, and will continue to change.
Life is change.
If we’re not changing, we’re not living, so our loves and friendships can’t stay stagnant because our personalities sure don’t.
After the massive blowout fight, which of course wasn’t a blowout at all considering all of our student leader communication skills coming into play, I mentioned to them that the possibility for us growing apart was greater than ever now. We’ve all moved geographically distant, we have new people in our lives, and really, the only thing keeping us together, is us.
And because I’m a Cancerian memory hogger, I can’t fathom losing these three incredible women and best friends sitting at the head of my imaginary board of advisors table. We all go in for a group hug on the bed of our Airbnb, and just like the end of a movie, we hear a massive crack as the bed frame breaks off when all four of us leaned in.
Our friendship clearly can’t be contained.
Two hours of a heated debate, and one broken bed frame later, it was clear to me that the core of our bond isn’t measured just by the immediate things we can talk about, and what’s happening in the present moment.
We can’t be narrow minded for such an expansive friendship. The only solution to continue growing with people in your life is to think about the big picture, and love them unconditionally because expecting to recreate memories exactly as they were in the past will only result in disappointment.
Despite the fights, and the misunderstandings, we all still manage to hug it out, have a cheesy Hallmark moment, and somehow laugh about how ridiculous we were acting; just like sisters.