Most of my thoughts on this blog are devoted to male/female relationships but lately I've had it on my heart to write about my relationships with other women.
I'm one of three; the middle child to be exact. Don't waste your time thinking of middle child syndrome jokes to explain my behavior because honestly I've always felt more like the oldest. Many people don't know, but I have an older sister who at the age of 3, suffered a seizure that left her with a mild learning disability. You'd never notice it if were just sitting and having a conversation with her but it's something that I've always carried around with me and felt the need to keep quiet as if it were a piece of me to be ashamed of. It took me a long time to be comfortable with the fact that I had an older sister, but never felt like I did because we were never able to have those pivotal older sister/younger sister conversations about boys, our bodies, and just life in general. I told myself from a young age that I had to be the oldest and the protector.
You would think that not feeling like I had the "I've been here before, now let me guide you" older sister experience would make me want to latch on to other women and find someone to play that role, but it didn't. Instead I feel like it did the opposite. It was like I didn't know how to relate to other girls/women unless I could be the one in the supportive role. It was difficult for me to even let other girls that I called my friends see me be vulnerable and weak because I felt that I had to always be the strong one.
It honestly wasn't until this past year and going through so much transition in my life that I realized sometimes I needed to be the one getting the support and not just giving it. I needed to let my sister friends see me be weak because I had gotten to a point where I felt I could no longer be strong.
A couple weeks ago while visiting with my sister friend Aamira, I realized the importance of having healthy bonds with women. While communing with women of different hues, ages and backgrounds I saw how despite our differences, we all shared many common experiences that bind us together. I learned how important it was to have women in your life that will support you as you support them. Who you can trust enough to not only see you when you triumph but also when you fall.
So this post is an ode to all the sister friends out there who are as important to my life as the family that share my last name. I love you all :-)