Girlfriends. Girl Gang. Lady Bosses. Soul Sisters. Call them what you’d like, but the importance of female friends in your 30’s cannot be underestimated.
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Anonymous
Now making friends in your 30s? That, my friends, can be difficult. And there’s no secret, magic trick for how to go about it. Sure you can use Bumble BFF, or work with someone, or attend networking events, or volunteer at a nonprofit but it’s more about the people that you have things in common with and of course, develop that unexplainable bond with.
“Friendship between women is different than friendship between men. … It’s my women friends that keep starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be.”
— Jane Fonda, American actress, model, and fitness guru
Recently (like in the last year) I realized the importance of a great group of girlfriends. When going through a particularly challenging chapter, that I didn’t see coming, the women in my life immediately stepped in, cheered me up, made me laugh, boldly defended me, cried with me, held me (figuratively and literally) and walked with me through that chapter.
It was not by chance that the one evening I had plans with three of them was an evening that I would need them the most. Or that I had a girls night in planned with one of my best friends two days later. Or brunch plans the following weekend with a girlfriend that has known me for years and seen me through ups and downs. Or that I received a text every other day from another friend asking how I was feeling, what my plans were for that day and when I had an open moment to hang out.
“Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.” –Louise Bernikow
In those dark, sad, confusing and upsetting moments, they were there. In fact, one evening while feeling sad and drinking an Olivia Pope sized glass of red wine, one of my best friends texted me completely out of the blue with a needed reminder. The next day, three girls texted just to check in. Another sent hilarious gifs just because. And all of them showed up to support me at an event a few months later.
“All I can tell you today is what I have learned. What I have discovered as a person in this world. And that is this: you can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler
This strong group of women – all at different stages of their lives – have quite literally become a life line for me. Some are married. Some divorced. Some mothers. Some want to be mothers. Some don’t. All fiercely independent and strong in their own unique ways. And all appreciative of what a female friendship has brought to their life. Each authentic and warm. All healthy and based on mutual trust and respect.
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”
Each one of these women have taught me something about myself, about friendship, about the world we live in. And each of them have helped me to grow – each in their own unique way. And honestly, I just can’t imagine my life without them.
“Here’s to all the women in my life who I can count on for anything, especially a good time.”