Summer of Feminista: A BFF for All Seasons

Today Summer of Feminista welcomes Vicky Barrios of Kindness and Kisses. You can also find her on Instagram where you can see she's passionate about soccer!

When it comes to feminism, I don't try to do feminism in any prescribed way. I do attempt to embody feminism, specifically womanism.  All my very best friends are amazing women of color and I don't think that's an accident. Still, I believe in respecting the abilities and talents of all women as well as acknowledging their contributions to the community and to our world. That's exactly how my girlfriends fit into my life. We may not be outright feminists but we are women who not only believe in each other, but actively offer each other our individual strengths as support and for actionable inspiration. Whether by karma, divine order, or chance, I have been abundantly blessed with the love, generosity, and depth of authentic sisterhood friendships.  These are real deal have-your-back best friends forever. My life is better because of these BFFs that are powerful mirrors of who I was, who I am, and who I can be.

Fortunately, I am rich with good friends, and a handful are my BFFs. For all parts of my life, I have a BFF that I can count on. I am the single Latina, woman of color, PhD student and clinician that is in her mid 30's and happily single and dating. The single girl in NYC part of my life is best shared with my other single girlees. My long time best friends with husbands or wives and babies just won't be able to pick up and go as we used to, and as it is possible for me to still do. I love my BFF, Sandra for trying though, even with two little ones. My BFFS who don't have children and with whom I get together for cocktails and to talk sex among other things, like Sujeiry and Helen, are also the ones I can bother with random calls about dating mishaps and likely can drop by their home because face-time in person is necessary every now and then.  

In my academic circle of sisters, my BFFs, Isabelle and Tia, keep me accountable and moving on my research and other projects. They also help me celebrate each success with a little wine and good eats. Our conversations can be very intellectual, political, and almost always inherently feminist. We can also be silly, care-free, and irreverent. They have also seen me at my worst because attempting to complete a PhD program will do that. Because so much of my life is the work of the mind, it is a joy to have BFFs who can be there with me as we examine life's problems, seek solutions, and attempt to make a dent in the psychological community as a service to what we can offer the world. 

My world though is bigger than just academia and my love life. For this reason, there is nothing like the safety and security of a friendship that has been tested and survived seemingly improbable circumstances through a span of many years. My long-time BFF, Yana Alvarez (Financial Planning Goddess) is that person for me. We met at an event for high school students close to twenty year ago. Then we would meet again in college. Our time in college would cement our friendship.  She's "my person." At the core of our long-time friendship is the love and respect of allowing each other to be who we are and to commit to being able to face anything that could possibly come between us.
I am blessed many times over because not only do I have MY PERSON, but I have a troop of women who are also my BFFs. Is a BFF essential to have for today's Latina feminist? No, but a good girlfriend can make the journey that much better. For that reason, cultivating these friendships is a way to embody feminism. I have discovered that having women like my BFFs encourages me to reach for my personal goals, examine and find solutions for obstacles and to simply enjoy the spirit and power of the feminine.

Summer of Feminista 2014 is a project of Viva la Feminista where Latinas are discussing girlfriends.  Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission. Read how you can join Summer of Feminista.