I grew up accepting a sentiment shared by many other women that women collectively were just too difficult; overstepped relational boundaries, failed to be supportive in difficult situations and were downright complicated. For this reason I had a very high standard of loyalty and kept the number of close women friends to a minimum preferring to surround myself with male company.
I don’t know quite when it happened but over a number of years that started in my early twenties, I came to recognize the increasing ‘collection’ of wonderful women in my world. They have come from a vast array of backgrounds and sources of connection but they share qualities that are critical to bringing trust into a working and personal relationship: loyalty, wisdom, kindness, truth.
On my fiftieth birthday I didn’t want a large group celebration; instead I chose to celebrate life with eight women who, over up to forty years of friendship, have shown extraordinary grace and strength that have often sustained me.