One of the recurring themes that keeps resurfacing here in Aspen is how amazing the “boomerang” ladies are. This batch of gals range in ages from 30 to 65 and are strong, interesting, smart, and quite capable women who seem to have left and come back to this wonderful valley.
The boomerang theory was never more prevalent than this past Saturday night when I spent time with a lifetime friend who is near and dear to my heart. When someone you love goes through a terribly tragic event, you realize how wonderful it is to be surrounded by these lifelong friends…and how lucky you are to claim your position in this worthwhile group.
My incredibly talented, funny and kindhearted friend of 23 years experienced a tremendous loss in January when her successful and precious husband, and most certainly loving father, passed away. With two absolutely beautiful children to raise, my friend has been forced to focus on her family 100%, as she always has, in an effort to rediscover normal. I’m just glad that as a longstanding, true friend, she knows how much I love her and how much I will be there for her and her children. Although she is without a doubt an amazing mother (one of the best I’ve seen), I know she’s comforted with the thought that there’s backup when needed.
Being almost 43, I have always recognized how important my friends are, yet this weekend really drove that point home. My friends are my extended family. Actually, they are my family. I am so incredibly blessed with all the friends I have around this country. Every single one of you adds so much to my life, but there’s something certainly special and unique about the “women of the valley” I have come to know and love over the years.
It’s as if the West brings out a drive to survive. The women I meet here are survivors in one way or the other. And they don’t just survive, they thrive.
Whether their individual experience consists of familial loss or career determination or just plain “I want to live my life the way I choose,” each woman I know from here exudes a quiet self confidence and determination that is unique to this area. This members’ circle consists of capable, strong women who support each other in good times and bad. And this is one of the many reasons I chose to return to Aspen to live out the rest of my life.
I am so proud to know these women, and I want to be there for them the way they are there for me.
To drive the point home, on Saturday afternoon, I decided to have lunch downstairs at Bistro Basalt, and I met a fabulous 60+ year old woman named Trish. She’s survived lots (a divorce, raising two kids alone, the 9/11 impact on her retail business, etc.), yet she’s still has the positive attitude which makes her spirit soar. She has settled into a new career working hard on a ranch, and she seems quite happy and content in spite of the back-breaking work.
I actually owe this entry to Trish, who instigated it by stating that if anything serious ever happened to her, she knew without a doubt that the women of the valley would be there for her. She shared stories which proved this point time and time again over the years, and she was relaxed in the knowing that her friends always prevail. I, for one, would like to be included in her circle of friends. She’s an amazing lady who has persevered, as many do here. I know it’s what I’m doing now.
So, now I’m on a mission to find men who live up to the same high standards set by these dynamic young and young-in-spirit women.
Surprisingly, I have met few men here who are half as dynamic as the women, but I understand that it’s only been a few weeks and what you expect shows up. Thus, I have hope and believe and hold firm in my expectations. I believe people live up to your expectation of them; thus, I plan to expect a lot from the men I meet as well (and all in a positive way). I believe they exist too, if you have the right perspective. Yet, the love and support of the friends I’ve rediscovered settle me as I wait patiently for that wonderful man to find me.
Time will tell, and relationships fade in and out. What I know for sure is that my 23 year relationship with my really terrific college friend will turn into a 33+, 43+, 53+ and more relationship over time. And that’s a comforting feeling.
Men may come and go, and hopefully fate will have one come and stay. But I take comfort in knowing that my life will be supported with these boomerangers who are there for me when I’m sad, happy, bored, full of it, joking, heartbroken, partying, chillaxing, or just being me.
Thank God for my girlfriends.