Beyond the Pages: That Thing I Regret Not Having

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!



The book that inspired this conversation:

The Start of Me and You Emery Lord

The Start Of Me & You by Emery Lord
(Goodreads // Amazon)

What It Is About:

“It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?”


What I said about itScreenshot at Mar 17 21-33-26

What It Got Me Thinking About:

girl friends, friend groups, my life choices

Image1fdsfOne of the best things about The Start of Me and You is the girl power. The main character has a close-knit group of 4 girls and I LOVED what a healthy, important friendship they all had. They were there for each other in big and small ways, knew each other like they knew themselves, worked through issues, had TONS of fun together, etc. But as I was reading I grew JEALOUS. And a bit wistful as I thought about my past. WHY? (Besides the fact Emery Lord just has a knack for writing enviable friendships).

Because I never had that.

Sure, in elementary school and maybe even early middle school I had lots of girl friends and we had sleepovers and such but I never had a close-knit group of girl friends like portrayed in this book that stood the test of time. When high school came I found myself making closer friendships with guys and caring more about those. I was almost PROUD to be the chick with all the guy friends? Proud that I was “above” all the petty girl stuff? And college was the same way. I gained MORE girl friends but mostly that was due to dorm living. I had my best friend and a handful of other girls that hung out in our general group but more often than not it was me + like 10 other guys. I didn’t foster close relationships with other ladies because I saw them as petty, too fickle, etc. I wrote them off easily because it was easier to “be one of the guys” even though I totally was a girly girl and there was a lot of NON-platonic feelings always happening (but THAT’s a separate topic for another day). It’s sad because, when I reflect on college especially, I had some really great girls in my life who were there for me and I had so much fun with but for whatever reason I liked my place among the dudes and that attention more than I cared to truly form a closer bond with the girls.

I think if there’s one thing I actually regret in life it’s not taking the time to see the value in having girlfriends and taking care of those relationships.

Now, here I am as an adult, and I wish had a close-knit group of ladies. I’ve seen how empowering female friendships can be over the years and have met some ladies here in this community who have taught me that through these past 5 years. They have been there for me and have shown me how valuable these relationships are in my life. I read YA and I see friendships like this and I’m just JEALOUS and full of regret. WHY, PAST JAMIE, DID YOU NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR LADY FRIENDS?

I mean, let’s be real, friendship isn’t always easy. I think maybe I didn’t like the hard work it DID take sometimes. It was easier to dismiss pettiness and drama and flock to the dudes who seemed to not have that. But what I didn’t get from MOST of those guys? That intimate sort of sisterhood you have among girlfriends. DEEP relationships where things of substance were talked about and the highs/lows of life were shared, shoulders to cry on, endless hours dissect life’s craziness, etc. I LOVED the easy nature of all that that I DID have amongst the girl friends I did have. I just don’t know why I didn’t see more value in that before.

But, here we are. I cannot go back. It might be harder to make friends now as a married lady but I’m working on it. I see the value. I crave those friendships. Maybe in my future I will find a kickass group of ladies to hang out with. Maybe not (I have major fears that people at my age are already set with their friend groups/friends). Who knows! But I know that my girl friends, the ones I have and the ones I will meet, are going to be more important than I ever made them back in high school and college. I might regret not making more of an effort but I am certainly not going to let myself regret it again 10 years from now.



Thoughts on anything I wrote? Did you/do you have a close knit of girl friends that you hang out with? Or were you “one of the guys” like I was? If you have/had close girlfriends please tell me about them so I can live vicariously!! 🙂

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