I have some amazing women in my life. I consider myself very fortunate to have a large circle of strong, kind, compassionate, amazing women that I get to call my friends. And I believe that a strong female community is vital to surviving the craziness that is life.
Life is busy, and moves at a breakneck pace. Everyone is going in thirteen different directions at once, and suddenly that “Let’s get drinks soon” was six months ago and where did the time go? Last Fall I realized my need for Girl Time was drastically not getting fulfilled, so I reached out to some awesome women in my life to see if they felt similarly and the response was both immediate and an enthusiastic “Yes!”. Clearly I was not the only one desperately seeking more community.
And so Ladies Night began.
Once a month, us Ladies gather to drink wine and enjoy each others company. And it has been a magical time. Each one is brilliant in her own way, all have the most amazing hearts, and everyone is ready to laugh, cry, and support the other. Ladies Night has become a source of much needed therapy for everyone involved.
Over the months we have been able to share in the successes and struggles each one of us experiences. From grad school adventures to grants awarded, to exciting work projects, we are able to celebrate each others accomplishments. We discuss struggles we are facing with our families. Wedding plans are shared. We laugh a lot, sometimes we cry. We share our joys and struggles in our relationships, in our work, in our lives, and realize we are in good company.
Every one of us is at a drastically different place in life. Some are married, some are engaged, some are single, some live with their significant others, some are starting to make that plunge, some live alone. Some are in school, some are going back to school, some are done with school. Everyone works, to varying degrees of enjoyment. We all have families that keep our lives interesting. But no two people are walking the same journey.
And despite what the popular narrative would have you believe: we all get along, splendidly even. No one is jealous, catty, passive aggressive, and no one is comparing one to the other. There is no gossip about one or the other in the background. We cheer each others success, we cry with each others pain. We offer words of wisdom, words of sympathy. And most importantly, we are there to remind each other that no one is alone in all of this.
Ladies Night has completely affirmed and reminded me of the importance of a community. It is the simplest, most non-structured, minimal effort gathering. And it renews my spirit and reminds me that I have powerhouse women ready to cheer me on and lift me up, and I get the opportunity to be that for them as well.
We are living through a tough time. Every day is hard to be a woman in a man’s world, but these last two years have been a harsh reminder that we have a long ways to go, and a lot to still be angry about. And we women need each other if we are going to do what centuries of women did before us: survive.
And so women, I encourage you: find your strong, kind, compassionate, and amazing friends, and gather together. We need each other, and together we can make each other better.