Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and I spent the majority of it reflecting on how much the women around me have shaped my life, both personally and professionally.
They say you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, but I think as a woman, everything in our lives can be traced back to the depth of the relationships we have with other women.
Everything in my life—my career, my emotional well-being, my relationships, and more—have become more fulfilling, stable, healthy, safe, and fun since really connecting in my female friendships.
Jane Fonda was recently on the Call Her Daddy podcast, and she talked about female friendship in a way that made so much sense to me. She described friendship between women as looking into each other’s souls and being really seen. She said that she thought friendship between women was a life-force in itself, and could be the reason women live longer than men. I would have to agree. As I have surrounded myself with more women, I have felt lighter. I feel less alone because the women in my life meet me where I am and help me face anything that life throws at me. They are the standard by which I measure every other relationship, and I think my strong community of women is part of why I am in such a healthy romantic relationship with my boyfriend now, too.
I was fortunate enough to be born into two incredible relationships with women, first with my mother, who I admire beyond words, and second with my older sister, who is as brilliant as she is kind. I have childhood girlfriends who I met in middle school that have gone from little girls next to me on the dance stage to successful women who are unfailingly supportive and who have never, ever left my corner – no matter how far away we now live from each other.
The older sisters that used to tease us have now become some of my best friends too – a community of strong, powerful women who make dinner for each other on hard days, who bring each other coffee, who share a glass of wine, who wipe the tears and hold us when we cry and who drive 50 miles to simply be in the room with you when you launch your own business.
These relationships set the tone for the relationships that followed, especially as I’ve entered adulthood. My female friends, some of whom have become literal family by marriage, are the people who cheer loudest for me, tell me lovingly when I am wrong, and who want to see me thrive—simply because they believe I deserve it.
This is the reason that female friendships are so powerful. When women put their minds to something, they achieve it. So when they believe you deserve good love, success, growth, truth, and more, you start to believe it too. When a woman decides to be a real, true friend to you, she is deciding to get behind you 100%, and with that energy on your side, you cannot fail.
My female friendships have helped me heal wounds I thought I would never get rid of. They’ve provided a place for me to cry, to be angry, depressed, anxious, joyful, excited, confused, and everything in between, without ever feeling judged. They have given me a place to be imperfect and still loved me just the same.
I hope that on International Women’s Day and everyday, you have women in your life who make you feel loved the way mine do. I hope if you’re not a woman yourself, you take the time to appreciate what it means to have good women around you who support you with their hearts and souls. I know I will never take mine for granted. <3