When I started school, it seemed as if every girl already had their best friends.
I’d walk around the sidewalks staring at groups of girls laughing and gushing about their next classes and what parties they were going to on Friday night. I never had a best friend. Girls scared me.
I will never forget two names: Melanie* and Ali*. In fifth grade, these girls tricked me into thinking they were my friends. Every day before the bell rang, they would do my hair and put on my eyeliner; I wanted to be just like them.
One day, they told me that the most popular boy in school had a crush on me and I should ask him to our fifth grade dance because he was going to say yes!
I was so excited because this was the first time a boy thought I was pretty, much less would be my date. So, during lunch, I nervously walked up to his table, handed him a note asking him to the dance, and rushed back to my table to watch for his response.
He read the note and his table erupted in laughter. He and his friends turned to me, grabbed the note, balled it up, and tossed it in the trash. My face turned bright red and hot. I turned to Melanie and Ali for support, but they were laughing right along with everyone else! They told me on the bus ride home that I wasn’t pretty enough for a boy to like me and I was silly to think that someone would go to the fifth grade dance with me. I was never the same after that.
I went through middle school, high school, and college without girl friends. I assumed that anything any girl said was a lie to ultimately hurt me. I would turn to other things that I trusted to make me happy: drugs, guys, and alcohol.
Time had passed and one day, I logged into Facebook and I had a message from a lovely girl that I went to high school with inviting me to attend The Lovely Experience. She knew that I had a passion for helping young girls with their self-esteem, so they wouldn’t have to experience the emotional and mental turmoil that I put myself through.
After seeing the change in these young girls after just one day of learning how to use their voice and to honor their value, I joined a Lovely group of girls. I wanted that same confidence that these girls were sharing about.
I was nervous after my first meeting. I already had made plans to have lunch with one of the girls, but I was certain that it was just protocol to hang out with “the new girl.” She couldn’t possibly want to be my friend. We went to lunch and I continued going to the group, but I wouldn’t open up and share the truth about me. They wouldn’t like me for who I really was – this girl who used to do drugs and hang out with boys for attention.
More and more lunch plans were made and she continued to invite me to parties and other social outings with other lovely girls. I quickly realized that this girl was actually pursuing a real friendship with me and I had never known what that felt like.
Little did I know, this “one-day” would change my entire life. After attending The Lovely Experience, I joined a Lovely Group of girls who have taught me the value of true friendship. They have shown me that I can trust them and other girls. They have shown me that they love me for who I am, not who I pretended to be. Now I have the best friends a girl could ask for.