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  • Jenny

Sisterly Bonds at the Jersey Shore

My very first adventure as a single woman was a trip I took with my sisters down to the Jersey Shore. It had been years since we truly did anything as sisters, so when my ex happened to have the kids for an extended weekend, we planned a weekend getaway for some days in the sun, and some nights in the clubs. To be honest, I swear I was younger than them at the time with the way I was acting. Since I was such a golden girl who followed the rules all my life, I missed out on a bit of the growing up debauchery and rebellion, and decided to make up for lost times.

I was smart enough to be an adult during the day, taking my job and motherhood responsibilities seriously, but once the sun went down and the kids were soundly tucked away in bed, out came my alter ego and the partying began. In fact, we were leaving very early in the morning, but that still didn’t keep me from going out the night before and not returning until a few hours before departure. I had complete freedom from any responsibility, and I intended to let loose and have a good time. A few drinks, some dancing, some flirting—all pretty harmless, but to some, I might have been a little too “old” for it—or worse: a mother should not do such things (as if becoming a mother meant I stopped being a full-blooded woman).

Ah, whatever, we all have those periods in our life where we have lost our way on purpose. For me, it happened to be in my thirties instead of my teens or twenties.

Whatever my nightly adventure, I was still ready to go for a weekend of sisterly love by the time the car pulled up to my front door. The car ride was so fun, listening to music, singing and laughing with each other. We were so excited for some time away from every day life, because their lives were no bowl of cherries at that point either. What was really nice was that we were able to get into deep conversations like we never had before. There is a pretty large age gap between me and them, with them being closer in age, so I always felt a little outside of that bond. But we all connected as adults now, talking freely about life, boys, sex and all kinds of “taboo” topics that were finally safe for me to talk about.

Along with learning about forgiveness and self-awareness, I was learning how to let go of judgments and be more open-minded to the world around me. For so long, I had been stuck on old fashioned thinking, with very little knowledge of life in general, and my hermit years sure didn’t help that. But boy, was my first year of divorce a huge eye opener to what the world was like, good and bad, and all of the possibilities that were out there.

We had a blast laying on the beach, having some drinks while catching the rays and chatting some more. We went shopping on the boardwalk and all decided that we deserved some cute new outfits, so we each bought either a shirt or dress to wear out that night. We got dolled up and headed out for a night of dancing. Now with three rather adorable blonde sisters, a few drinks and booties that don’t stop, we were in for a great night of drama.

Much laughter, some tears, some hookups, some falling down on the beer-drenched floors, some stalker avoiding—all making for a memorable night out that yes, we did all in fact, remember.

The next day, I was in bit of a “rebellious” mood, at least what to me, was rebellious for my personality. I am not much into piercings and tattoos, and in the past had been a bit of a snob with the eye-rolls whenever my sisters, ex-husband or anyone else talked about permanently altering their bodies. As part of my deciding to give up the homeless old woman look and actually take pride in myself, I thought now was the time to start wearing jewelry again—and that included earrings.

I forgot how much fun earrings and other accessories were! So on the Boardwalk, I went and got my ears re-pierced since my first holes had closed up over the years from neglect. The prospect of getting to buy, coordinate and wear earrings was really exciting—it’s the simple things, folks! And then as we continued to walk along the boardwalk, I decided to get—GASP—a temporary tattoo. (Told you I was a rebel.) Something I thought I would never, ever do permanently. So I had them design hearts with my

kids’ initials in them for my back left shoulder, and even though it wasn’t very creative on the spot, it did leave me feeling a bit sexy, and understanding why people chose to get tattoos.

I get that sometimes there is deep meaning, and other times it is just whimsical. And by getting a temporary one myself, I was able to shift my perspective to be more open-minded and less critical of others. Not that I maliciously intended to look down on anyone for any reason, but at times in my life, I really did scowl at things that I would not approve of for myself. That was definitely an important awareness and breakthrough I encountered often after my divorce.

It’s hard to look at these things within yourself, but I’d much rather recognize it and shift it than allow it to lay dormant.

So now, I have a great appreciation for body artwork, and honor the individuality that it represents. I may never choose to get a tattoo, or get another ear piercing, but I certainly no longer judge others for their right to freedom of self-expression. And in the process of learning this, I got to sport a cool image on my shoulder for a little bit as I stepped outside of my comfort zone.

That seemed to be the norm for this trip, as I learned so much, and from my little sisters, no less. Clearly, age does not indicate wisdom and knowledge, and I appreciated everything my sisters had to share with me and teach me. It was nice to get away from the pain for a while, and to do it safely with two women I love most in this world. Two women who had my back, as I had theirs. Who didn’t judge me, and who I finally did not judge back. I had been so tough on them as the incessant goody-goody, and this was

my chance to just be me, and let them be them, and acceptance and love was pretty much the theme of the weekend.

You know the saying that chance made us sisters, hearts made us friends? Well, I was damn lucky to not have been blessed with just one sister, but two.

And the true potential of that gift was really revealed to me that weekend, and the words my mother

had always said to us finally made sense: “One day, you will all be grateful to have each other as sisters. You may fight and bicker and disagree now, and even hate each other as you grow up. But one day you will realize what a blessing it is to have sisters by your side.”

And for the three of us, that day had come. We might have been hot messes as we tore up the Jersey Shore, but we did it together, and it had bonded us for life. And years later, as we have outgrown the party lifestyle and stepped into the truth of our selves and our lives, our bond has only become stronger. That weekend cemented our sisterhood, and I will never forget feeling like I finally belonged as one of them.

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