I have been blessed to encounter a range of dynamic, intelligent, strong, confident, loyal, caring and loving girls in my short 35 year existence.
Some have conquered companies and their professional careers. Others have conquered mental barriers in order to scale physical heights in the name of adventure. A handful have defined success on their own terms and followed their heart around the world. And then there have been those that leave me in awe as I watch their life unfold in to the most magnificent creation based on love, compassion and authenticity.
Each one unique. Each one divine. Each one an Angel shining light in my life.
In honour of Global Sisterhood Day on Saturday 21 March, I wanted to acknowledge the incredible women in my life who have graced me with their love, laughter and lashings of wine over the years. They know who they are, but they may not know, these are the seven lessons only they could’ve taught me about love and life (so far):
1. You’re not going to get along with everyone – but those you do are pure gems.
Sometimes in life we meet women who come from another planet of wealth, beauty, prestige and glamour. They can make you check yourself, compare your position in life and ask yourself some ridiculous questions that do not propel you forward in a motivating, inspiring fashion. On the other hand, there are many who you just don’t mesh with because of different life stages, beliefs or values. You’ve tried really hard to get a long with them, but something just doesn’t buzz for you.
All of these women are divine and I wish them all the love in the world, but they are not ‘my people’. My crew are the ones who are rough around the edges but shine like diamonds. They stir my soul and will always call a spade a spade when I need to hear it. They are the precious pure gems that ignite my soul, have me in fits of laughter, dance with me on table tops and hold me when I cry, because we know the other would do the same for her.
When you are lucky enough to connect with someone emotionally, mentally and spiritually, you know in your heart you need to hold on to them for dear life and all the others can make the world go round for someone else – and that’s OK.
2. Laughter really is the best medicine.
A few friends of mine have experienced tragic life experiences such as the death of a parent, separation from their spouse, a career of many high and lows, personal traumas and illness. The one thing each of them has said to me in some form or another is the only thing that gave them hope was the ability to laugh. When they could find something to giggle at, connect with that place of happiness inside that brings laughter or simply let their hair down for a few minutes, laughter allowed them to reconnect and believe that the future is still bright. It healed them and that is one lesson I will never forget.
3. The Notebook is only a movie.
Aaah, Noah. You are the wind beneath my wings, but alas you are only a character.
After suffering heart ache one (usually a female) turns to one’s copy of The Notebook to restore one’s faith in love. But let’s face it, no matter how many times you cry for Noah and Ali, the likelihood of a man building a white house with blue shutters in your honour until you return to him is, quite frankly, absurd.
As a girlfriend once told me many moons ago (when she busted me watching it alone in the dark with an empty packet of Tim Tams for the 8th time that year), ‘no-one could ever live up to that expectation so don’t have him fail before he’s even started.’ Why did she have to be right?
4. Your career is what you do, not who you are.
As with relationships, some career opportunities can pass you by as fast as they arrived. Many times I’ve sworn black and blue to those who will listen that, ‘this job is the one’ only to search for a way out six months down the track.
Yep, it was the one. The one to give me the biggest pain in the backside! But my girlfriends are still there for me with a glass of wine ready to strategise my next career step because they know, a job is something I do it’s not who I am, and that realisation has allowed me to follow my heart more often than my head in recent years.
5. Let the kid eat dirt
Some of my girlfriends are the most incredible powerhouse Mother/Career Chicks I’ve ever known. Their ability to differentiate their professional life from their personal life and still hold space for themselves has really opened my eyes to a new way of looking at life. That is, not everything in life has to be meticulously managed, organised, planned and scheduled every step of the way.
Raising a child is the most important job I will ever have. So, if little Jimmy wants to sit in the sand pit and shovel handfuls of sand and dirt in his mouth, I’ll let him. I wont be fired from my position as Queen Sand-Pit-Toy-Negotiator because dirt sandwiches are not a measurable KPI for the quarter. And it never will be.
So, I’m going to leave one set of rules at work and create another set of rules for home because…dirt happens. Let. It. Go.
6. Money is not a measurement of happiness
Uncovering this survival rule has changed my life. A close friend of mine was at the top of her game. She earned an incredible six figure salary and busted balls up the corporate ladder until she could climb no further. She had a chic apartment with ocean views, an enviable social life and a contact list of Australia’s Who’s Who in her iPhone that would rival Britney Spear’s Little Black Book for entries.
But here’s the catch: she was miserable. Despite the designer wardrobe and fabulous Friday nights on the town with society’s hottest bachelors, all she wanted to do was find happiness again. She couldn’t remember how on earth she got there or why she had strayed so far from her real self. Yeah, she had the life a million girls would kill for but she was completely lost and one day said enough was enough.
I remember her calling me one weekend to let me know she had resigned from her job and handed the keys back on her company car. She said she had never been so excited and terrified in her whole life. Two weeks later she was in Spain. Three months later she was engaged to the man of her dreams but didn’t have a penny in her pocket.
I had never heard her happier and more herself in her entire life.
7. Me, myself and I
If you’re lucky enough to meet your significant other in life, that relationship is no doubt a hugely important part of who you are and is a true blessing. But as I watch my friends connect with their soul mates, I notice that each one had previously found love in themselves first.
The relationship with yourself will be one of the hardest you will ever experience because it’s a constant battle between your head and your heart. You will do something that pisses the other off only to fall out of love with yourself. But then you come around. In love again. Stronger. Harder. Deeper. The rollercoaster ride that is the relationship with yourself, is the scariest one you will ever experience, but here you are, working on it, every day.
Only when we really love ourselves and truly believe in our self-love, will all other relationships (male and female) fall in to place.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What lessons do you believe your girlfriends have shared with you?
Drop me a comment below to join me in this celebration of Sisterhood Day or share this post in your Facebook feed and tag the Girlfriends who have changed your life.