By: Kristy Starhia
When I was in school, I struggled to keep girlfriends. Most of the girls I hung out with would eventually get weird: leave me for other friends, act one way to my face and another behind my back, dump me over a guy… that sort of thing. I had just a few friends I stayed consistently close with. My mom assured me that I was blessed if I had a few close friends in my life, but that didn’t stop the hurt when somebody I thought was a friend trashed me behind my back or left me for someone more “cool.” It may just be a natural part of being a young female; because, now as a teacher, I see it with my students too. Is it insecurity? An overactive sense of competition? Whatever it is, it sucks.
Fast-forward to 42-year-old me. I find myself blessed with the friendship of strong, talented, beautiful women. We began as competitors in the horse show pen and grew into friends despite the fact we were all trying to “kick each others’ a**es.” We are as different as they come in terms of politics, personalities, and careers. We’re all fiercely competitive and all set high standards for ourselves. But somehow, it works.
Why? Because these women are the real deal. We support each other, cheer for each other, and celebrate each others’ wins (even if it means our own losses). We have each others’ backs, whether it’s helping tack a horse or handing over a beverage. We enjoy one another’s quirks, instead of judging them. We can laugh at our mistakes, instead of feeling bad about them. We can let our guard down enough to be silly and have fun, because we can trust each other. We can throw out wild ideas like tiaras, matching t-shirts, and photoshoots, and all join in the fun.
Here’s the thing ladies. What makes a true princess isn’t a pretty face, a glittery tiara, and a handsome prince. It’s feeling confident enough in yourself that you don’t envy the victories of other females. It’s knowing that the beauty, talent, and strength of another woman doesn’t diminish your own. Pick each other up, girls. Empower each other. You don’t become a princess by stealing someone else’s crown. (Trust me, I’ve seen the Disney movies.)
I must be truly blessed to have found some real-life princesses and be able to call them friends.
Photo credit: Mary Doornbos of Eminent Memories Photography
Painted Princesses: Christina Steege, Lacy Sloan, Kristy Starhia, Michelle Welborn
If you would like to write a blog post for EquineChronicle.com, email B.Bevis@EquineChronicle.com for consideration.