I am a woman’s woman. A girl’s girl. A fully signed up member of the sisterhood, sans travelling pants.
If you are a woman, chances are I’ll have your back. If we are friends, I trust you have mine too. There is no friendship more important to me than female friendship. Although, I have not always appreciated the women in my life as much as I do today. I have been too flippant with friendships in the past, quick to discard them as fleeting. I know better now, but I had to learn the hard way. And, maybe they did too.
The friendships I have now that I am in my forties, are very different to the ones I had in my twenties. Some of the people may be the same, but the friendship we share has evolved into something much deeper. I know we are all in it for the long-haul.
Most of my friends are women; strong, creative, independent and feisty women. All the qualities I forget to ascribe to myself, until they remind me. We are supportive of each other, honest and kind. There is never an underlying tone of bitchiness, or competition. They can make me laugh from the pit of my belly and sing from the top of my lungs! When we get together, we feel we can take on the world. If we have been on the wine, you would think we already have. These friendships are full of energy, respect and love. These women keep my heart young.
My most successful friendship to date, has to be the one I have with my sister. Although, as teenagers we HATED each other, obviously. After years of having our own space, we were made to share a bedroom when our younger brothers came along and we were just not compatible enough to survive unscathed. It was only when I moved out that we could focus on becoming friends and you could not squeeze a card between us now. She is fiercely talented, ambitious and driven. She lives an ethical life and is full or positivity and insight. There is nothing she does not know about me, even the stuff I choose not to tell her, because she can read my face like the back of her hand.
If there was ever a group of women to credit for changing my life, then it would have to be the ones I met through the WI. I joined about a year after my son was born in an effort to make new local friends. I had no idea that the friend I made on my first night was the President of our local group and would encourage me to join the committee just a few months later. A decision that helped shape me into the person I am now. I would not have left my full-time job to pursue a freelance blogging career if it was not for the support of the amazing women I met on that committee. One of whom gave me my very first gig and continues to hire me almost 2-years later! Most of us have moved on from the WI committee now, but we still meet for coffee every week, have appeared on a television show together, have regular wine nights and recently started having golf lessons. The WI’s slogan is ‘Inspiring Women’ and I could not think of a more perfect description.
I also have the two V’s. They do not know each other very well, but I am hoping this will come. I could not have survived the past few years without either one of them. They are honest at their very core and if you were to cut them open, I am certain you would see the word loyalty running through their veins. Sometimes, I feel astonished by the hand of friendship they have offered me and have no idea how I got so lucky, but they are my tribe now.
I am just getting to know the women I meet on the school run everyday, but I can feel a real sense of community building already. We have started going for long walks after drop-off, out on park dates with the kids, and have been known to partake in the odd drink or two. I am looking forward to exploring these friendships much more on this school journey.
I am very fortunate to have formed great relationships with the Greek God(zilla)’s family. My mother-in-law is an awesome woman, who has shown great generosity and kindness to me. I don’t often get much one-on-one time with her, but when we have been able to steal 10-minutes alone, we have talked about marriage, raising children and getting older – and how hard it can all feel at times, but how blessed we are to be surrounded by so much love and family. Then the kids come running out asking for something to eat, or the Greek God(zilla) needs someone to help him with his shirt and it’s chaos again. But those 10-minutes stay with me all day.
My mother-in-law is not the only one to have embraced me into her family; the Greek God(zilla)’s sisters have been very warm and welcoming and I am incredibly fond of them both. I have an easy closeness with his youngest sister. We had boys just over a year apart, love a good Rioja and once we start chatting, it is hard to get us to stop! She was bridesmaid at my wedding, a role I happily reciprocated at hers. I am also godmother to her twins. Circumstance may have thrown us together initially, but we have moved way beyond that now. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met, full of life and infectious laughter. We have also recently started a business together, but more on that another time.
I am inspired daily by strong female voices having their say on the internet. Creative, passionate women using their words to make a difference. Women who are unafraid to share their stories with the world. Women who build you up and never tear each other down. I feel privileged to have met many of them in real life and it is an even bigger honour to count some of them as friends.
I am aware this post is already very looooooong, so I will endeavour to wrap it up.
There are women I have not mentioned, who I am as grateful for and who are treasured just as much. They know who they are.
However, it would be remiss of me to write a post about the women in my life, without mentioning the very woman who brought me into the world. It is only now I am a parent myself that I get it. And, I do Mum. I really get it now.