On Female friendship

As humanity starves for connection after 18 long months of sitting with our own thoughts, it’s time to shine a momentary spotlight on the exquisite and historic art of female relationships.

I whole-heartedly agree that my words apply to many different kinds of relationship, gender is but a social construct. However, I have always identified as a female myself and here I write about my personal experiences of connection with those that also identify as female (over my miniscule three decades of working this planet).

There are myriad nuances to the beauty of female friendship and each is as unique and powerful as the forces that pulls them together. But from an in-appropriately young age we are led to believe that female friendships are complicated, difficult and ultimately disposable. Like a neon warning sign, Cinderella’s step sisters were abominable to her, Snow White’s step mother was an evil witch and Ana was shunned by her elusive sister, Elsa, for years. We grow-up force fed the message to distrust ourselves and other women. Terminology such as ‘home-wrecker’ and ‘bestest friend’ categorise us and rank us in order of how adeptly we fit the mould society poured us into. As if controversy, distrust and competition are the confines within which women can have friendships and relationships.

The scars we carry are still so tender.

But this I know to be true: to have a true connection with another woman is the privilege of my lifetime.

To walk by her side for however long we have together. To accept her for everything she is, everything she was and everything she ever will be. To forgive quickly, to move through pain together and sometimes, to climb down into the darkness with her.

Let’s stop painting these incredible connections as sharpened trinkets powered by animosity. Let’s instead normalise old pyjamas and cellulite, 6.00am phone calls and un-tidy houses, crying with joy and admitting jealousy in unison, missed birthdays and spontaneous plans, different opinions and shop-bought meals.  

To find peace in the pitch of a laugh…

To know compassion in a bag of groceries…

To taste support in the bottom of a coffee cup…

To smell kindness in the scent of fresh laundry…

To be damaged and still be loved…

To understand the meaning of human experience… is to have a true friend.

For some of the women I walk with there are oceans and mountains and countries between us, and it hurts my bones. But we are never more than an unknowingly well-timed meme, a video call or rambling voice note away. Our roots have found each other through miles of thick, heavy earth.

This is for every woman I have ever walked with, no matter the route we took or the length of the journey. This is for the women I am currently walking with, in excitement to see what’s written in our stars together.

I see you. I love you. I am endlessly grateful for you.

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