Hello again! 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! The girls and I reunited this past past Thursday and it felt great to be back together. This week we talked about besties. Besties are those special people in our life that offer us loving friendships (AKA best friends). This is a topic that we all can relate to. It's human nature to long for companionship with at least one other person. Our lives are spent maintaining friendships with lifelong besties, breaking up with besties that don't fulfill us any longer, and finding a new besties to fill in the gaps when we need it the most. But sometimes, we end up choosing besties that steer us in the wrong direction because we are not aware of the goodness we deserve. Instead, we should be looking for best friends that encourage our self-growth, foster our creativity, and support us in difficult times. The girls and I made a list of all of the qualities we look for in a quality bestie: 

Since the girls in Girl Rising are so young, their inclination is to call everyone their friend. Their definition of "friend" tends to be someone in their class that's nice to them. Which, when you think about it, is quite wonderful. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could befriend people as easily as we did when we were children? If we could just be kind to others without judgement or distrust. At the same time, however, as adults we learn to value friends that aren't just nice to us, but also inspire us to be our best selves. Our definition of friendship changes in time and is narrowed by the people who have hurt us along the way. We create a new definition of what we need based on the old friends we have lost. I wanted to spark this idea in the girls mind by having them reflect on conflicts they have had with their current friends. I also shared a story of a friendship I had in the past that was forced to end based on the fact of growing up and growing apart. In these kinds of situations, it is important to know how to breakup with a bestie in a respectful, healthy way. The girls met in groups to brainstorm the dialogue we can use to breakup without leaving tension and pain in the relationship. Although they may not need to rely on that dialogue in the near future, I know it will be helpful for them in the coming years. I sure wish someone would have talked to me about how to deal with friendship breakups when I was their age. 

The girls in Girl Rising  have created an unbreakable bond within the last few months. It is a beautiful thing to watch. They are free to speak their mind and be who they truly are inside. And of course, I have 20 new besties to call my own as well. :) 

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