Opinion

OPINIONATED STORYTELLING

The Power of Sisterhood

I was lucky to have grown up with a best girlfriend. Having tried to be part of the popular girl squad years before, this girlfriend of mine was just what I needed to understand what was really important during my teen years. She was calm and laid back. Was part of a really loving family that had their own in-house chocolate factory (seriously?!). Had an amazing sister to whom I credit my first Fleetwood Mac record (bought with my proud coin savings when I was maybe 11?). Had one of the most gentleman I have known in life for a bother (whom I dated for a while before being traded for one of the popular girls, but that's another story!). We spent countless days, afternoons and weekends together. Until one of those stupid teenage rows I can barely remember broke us apart. 

No matter how stupid, this turning point created an idea in my mind that girlfriends were not that much of a deal. For a while I was a loner. And then off to have best friends who were men. Which was great in its own way. Boyfriends would disagree I am sure but these friendships taught me a lot too. Some are still best friends today.

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But life has its ways of teaching us and for those open to its signs a change in heart is always possible. A move to work in an unexpected city, again as a loner, led me to start meeting amazing women who are still to date great inspiration and friends. I have the sister who, by fate, lived in London and gave me the best tips before my move here. With whom I can have the best of times even though we rarely see each other! I have the analog (who barely does social media) sister who calls in the most odd hours just to cheer me up and let me know things are ok. I have a dear sister who now lives in Australia - so far away - to whom I could bare my soul out (who actually taught me this was healthy). I reunited with an amazing friend from school, with whom I can drink champagne like there is no tomorrow while staring at the most amazing eyes. I reunited with another amazing friend from college who taught me things from depression to Velvet Underground and made me see my own vulnerability. I met superbly talented women with whom I had a chance to work with and learn from. With whom I have shared many stories and laughter. One of these definitely a sister from another mother with whom I am almost always in sync. Sisters I met because of respective husbands who turned out to be fun and incredibly smart (and super friends despite the husbands!). And so many other sisters I still see and talk to - even if through social media only.

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My move to London transported me to another dimension and the power of sisterhood presented itself as solid as ever. As a stay-home mom I was suddenly surrounded by a world I only knew as an urban legend. Moms who are here for their families, for their kids, running errands and house chores like crazy. Having occasional coffees to vent about their husbands and about that job offer they simply cannot accept nowadays (who can travel 65% of their time for work when the laundry pile just grows and grows?!). I have felt what is like to need some of these mom sisters and how much we can relate even though the backgrounds and cultures are so different. I have had the sister who told me nothing she could tell me would make me feel better (so harsh but so true). I have had the sister with the warmest bear hug and American twang, both of which made me feel right at home. I have the practical well lived wiser sister who has fought for medicine in a pharmacy for me (true story). I have the brightest blondest slimmest 3-child sister who shows me anything is possible every time I meet her. Not to mention the Brazilian sisters, funny and spirited, always a hand to lend. And so many other brilliant sisters I encounter every day here. Sisters who make my existence so much easier.

I realized last week when my admiration for women started. How valuable and how important my teen years spent on that house across the school were. How formative. And how necessary it is to make amends now, 20 years later. I am glad December is right around the corner. I just hope my first girlfriend has time to meet (maybe over chocolate?!). I haven't had a daughter to call Carolina but I am blessed I can still have a friend with that name.