Alpha Phi's Take Denver 2011 was an utter success. Eight of us from Colorado, Texas, Utah, Idaho, D.C., Seattle and New York, met up in Denver to pretend it was 1997 for a few days.
There was walking.
There were red velvet pancakes.
There was jumping (it's hard to keep Jed on the ground.)
There was Cafe Rio!
There was art.
There were so many tables for eight (and SO many great servers! Good job Denver!)
There was culture.
There were personality markers.
And there was a lot of laughing. Really so much laughing. College friends know way too much and when you get eight of them in a room together-well it's amazing how many silly things you forgot about there are that someone else vividly remembers.
There was also quite a bit of talking. And some revelations. And a quote from my friend Steph that is sort of burned into my brain. We got talking one night about crappy stuff people were going through and she said the biggest lesson she has learned in her own struggles is "don't compare pain."
It's an interesting thing to be with a group of people you knew back when you were all making your big plans. Because you all shared your dreams and your expectations and at 18, 19, 20, those dreams were pretty unfettered by reality. Weren't we all going to marry rich doctors and have powerhouse careers and kids straight out of central casting? I mean, obviously.
Well no one married a rich doctor (yet!) but there are plenty of great careers, and cute kids and several of the husbands are guys we went to school with and all adore. And there are eight really quality lives that are pretty different from what we imagined. And thank heavens right? THANK HEAVENS your life isn't held to your 18 year old plans.
But being with people you've known for 18 years and who know you so well they don't buy the PR we are all doing for ourselves all the time means that when it gets late, and maybe when some people have had more than one cocktail, things start to come out. And you learn that even good marriages are a ton of work, and no job is as glam as it looks on FB and sometimes babies are harder to make than you thought and adult relationships with parents are complicated-in other words (earmuffs mom), everybody has their shit. And it's 100% useless to put yours up against anyone else's.
Maybe my favorite thing about the weekend though was that even with all the truth serum and all the tearful confessions, there was still so much laughing. And so much supporting. And so many strong, beautiful women (and Jed!) who are oh so skilled at getting through the stormy bits with a sense of humor and a hand still ready to reach out to someone else. I feel incredibly lucky.
So I was thinking about all of them when this song rolled through Pandora yesterday. I'm sort of in this moment where I really appreciate a good "you go girl!" lyric. Because I sure do appreciate my girls.
Little Miss do your best
Little Miss never rest
Little Miss be my guest, I'll make more anytime that it runs out
Little Miss you'll go far
Little Miss hide your scars
Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
Yeah, sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win
It'll be alright again, I'm okay