I want to express my gratitude. Women helping women. There is nothing quite like it. After all the experiences of bullying and bitchiness, I did not think there would be a time in my life where I am so grateful. I know truly remarkable women. My family is built of independent black women, who have gone through hardship and are still going. My grandmother, my mother, my sister: all people who have taken care of me, raised me and taught me what it is to be a woman. My best friend: the greatest love I have and will ever know. The people I meet and love instantly. The ones I work for, but never lose. The strangers out there who show kindness. The friends who are always there for me. The laughs, fun and support. Women helping women.
International Women’s Day could have been a very international occasion for me. My last year, I have met people from all over the world. I have been inspired. Yet, my day was something else entirely. It was filled with women from the city I live in. It was the reminder I needed that home is all about the people. I am truly blessed.
Midnight struck and I was in the car giving two girls a lift home. This is important. Women should never let women go home alone or unsafe. Women will watch their friends with care. They will call and text and sometimes, even make sure to see you go through the door. Women do not trust easily, but care strongly. I was exhausted, but I would never leave someone stranded. One stranger, one friend. I dropped of the stranger first. Then onto the next house and we chatted. Small things at first, until issues arose. “Would you like to come in?”, she said. Women helping women.
Inside we sat, both with tired eyes and talked. A man came in. The comfort was broken. We laughed, fairly and tiredly. Then we talked and really talked. Stories came out. Trauma. Abuse. Love. Loss. Words I did not know I had in me. Words I had not heard before. Tears. Advice. Comfort. Listening. Women helping women.
I went home tired and peaceful. Reluctantly, I woke to my early morning work out. I was motivated my a text. A girl I have not known long. I have learnt that time is meaningless. Actions are something else. That text motivated me. It turned to laughing, chatting, reassurance. I felt strong. Really strong. It was simple. True friendships always are. It does not take much. It is easy to learn from one another. Women helping women.
I picked up a friend for brunch. I learnt more about her than I had known. I was impressed. I saw beauty. I had realisations. I felt safe. I felt a common connection and an understanding. There was a great deal of talk. Not simple things, but the issues people do not address. The real harshness of what it is to be a woman. The difficulties. The fear. The loss. There is always the healing though. The opening up. Women helping women.
I was inspired. I wrote. I bought a ukulele. I drove to a friend’s. She was home sick from work. She needed me as much as I needed her. We spoke. I told her of my day. I told her my story. My bravery. I showed her what it is to be a woman. It is as beautiful as it is painful. We sung songs and had ice cream. We watched a cheesy film and ate well. I drifted off to sleep and woke to move to the bed. We chatted. Shared quotes. Thought about many things. Then slept. Well and long. I do not sleep that well often, but I had needed it. I feel safe with someone beside me. Women helping women.
I think about them all. All the women who inspire me with their strength or kindness. I think of my own strength and bravery. I think, that no matter where I am in the world, I will always find my girls. Boarding school gave me so many sisters. University has thrown me hilarious, incredible and beautiful women. Even on Erasmus, I had my girls. Here. Now. Everyday. I see women. I meet women. It is special. It is women helping women.