Wednesday 6 March 2019

For All The Glorious Women In My Life

For International Women’s Day I want to celebrate all the glorious women in my life. I’m so lucky to have some amazing ladies around me. I thought about trying to write something worthy. Something about trying to celebrate unheard women’s voices from around the world, but as David Lammy pointed out about Comic Relief, it’s time we let their own voices be heard. We don’t need another white, middle class woman clumsily trying to write about inclusivity, without awareness of privilege or agency on the subject.

So. I’m just gonna write about my mates and my family. My female loves. To tell them how much I appreciate them, need them and adore them.

The Girls Who Are My Rocks

I don’t have a “girl gang” or “tribe”. But I have a fantastic selection of super close friends who I’ve made since leaving school. They’re an eclectic bunch. I met them all over the place: Uni, work, friends of friends, family friends I’ve known since we were teens, Zumba, baby classes (which weirdly wasn’t the reason I signed up to NCT classes but was the reason I returned), some through my kid's schools and a chunk I’ve met through writing.

These are the girls I turn to for coffee or messenger/whats app convos about homework or inset days. The girls I go for coffee with after school drop off, who made maternity leaves cope-able, the ones who took me to soft play cos I couldn’t drive, the ones who I gossip with endlessly about school politics. The ones who made my mornings bearable when I wanted to cry after another battle on the school run or even worse in the playground (with everyone staring...don’t tell me you haven’t been there!).

There are the girls I spent my 20s getting drunk and ridiculous with. The ones with history. Our kids are different ages, everyone is at different stages but we still make time to check in on each other as much as we can. And never let it go too long without wine and food and longer conversations that won’t fit into our whats app group chats. These are the girls who know all my secrets, I can turn to for anything and have been there for me through thick and thin.

There are the girls I don’t see so much because we don’t live close but we chat almost daily if not weekly (thanks whats app again!). Ones who when we get together no one comes up for air for 5 hours straight. The girls I can talk to about almost anything and who make me laugh til I cry (or at least annoy my husband when I am weeping hysterical tears over my phone).

There’s the friends who are close but also double up as WHOLE family friends so the kids and the blokes get on and we spend the whole days trying to fit in “catching up” conversations, food, “appropriate” conversations (hard) and slurping coffee whilst herding kids around National Trust properties (cliché) in a bid to exhaust them so we can shove them in front of a film at home, open the booze, swear freely and lament our “going out” days.

The Women Who Made Me

My Mum. The second person I ring in an emergency. Or the first if it’s a ridiculous emergency (most of the time and not really an emergency). The person who’s advice I may ignore but I want it anyway, the person who is honest, who wants the best for me, who supports me but keeps me grounded. The person who I giggle at with about nothing annoying my husband and dad simultaneously, the person who will pour the wine whether its good news or bad or will let me weep on her sofa when I’m not able to adult. The person who always told me I was beautiful when I was sad, and never expected too much when I was in school, never made me feel pressured to be a certain way or fit in any mould. The person who bought me up to never question my equality with the opposite sex. The best person to go on a spa day with.

My long departed Nana, who loved me unconditionally. Spoilt me rotten and made me feel like the most special little girl in the world. She’s probably to blame for my terrible ego to be fair. The person who’s house I hid in during my monstrous teenage years. The kindest, silliest, loveliest person. She was my foundation. I was so lucky to have had her.

My crazy Grandmother. She’s not a saint, she’s made me cry many times. But she’s also given me a wild yearning to travel, to know about other cultures, to know about history, her history and my dad’s. She’s hilarious and fun and bonkers, and despite the crying I know she loves me fiercely and I her too. She’s one of the most sociable people I've ever met and I think I get her need for company from her.

I need my girls. All these women enhance my life in ways I can barely begin to describe. I haven’t really done any of them enough justice and this is a ludicrously self indulgent post. But I just wanted to share how lucky I am to have them all in my life. And this International Women’s Day I will be celebrating them all!

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