Last year when Jack started Kindergarten, I never knew that I would find my tribe. It’s like out of a movie, yet it’s my reality and sometimes I have to blink to remind myself it’s real. I see these women almost every day at school drop-off and pick-up and we just meshed and became good friends.
A few months ago life got really tough - the hardest days of my entire life and I didn’t think I was going to pull through. Motherhood. Marriage. Relationships. Finances. Intimacy. Work. Anxiety. Depression. Dark days. I had to share it with someone so I was vulnerable and shared with them. They sat and held me while I cried and helped lift me out of the pit of despair. They brought me flowers, green drinks, vitamins, healing salts and watched Jack every day so I could work through it all. No questions asked, just open arms, daily. It was in those moments that I knew those kinds of friends don’t come along often and when they do, you don’t let them go.
I had the chance to go away for a ladies weekend with them and I was so hesitant to leave my chaotic life in fear that I wouldn’t cope being away. My anxiety was at an all time high and my mental health was quite unstable. My husband encouraged me to go and take a break from our house to take a breather. And so, I went, hesitantly. Little did I know that that weekend would change me, for the better. And I’m so glad I went.
We did yoga on the dock, paddle boarded with some seals up to a Tea House where we sampled Organic tea from a real Korean tea master. We danced into the night under the moon and enjoyed copious amounts of good wine and cheese.
One favourite moment for me was when we boated over to the water ski club. We jumped into the ocean on the way, not caring about getting our hair wet or salty skin. We got cozy on the dock and ate dinner, drank wine and it felt like time stood still. We did cartwheels on the dock like we were kids again and then sat on the water trampoline side by side sharing life. We laughed. We cried. We drank. We bounced, and laughed some more. Real moments, sharing the real shit that we were going through. The hard moments, big decisions, dreams and hopes and wishes for our future. There were so many moments throughout the weekend where I had to take a step back to ask myself “Is this real? Have I really found this group of friends?” We all had our moments where we shared and I know I can speak for each of us when I say we felt completely supported. We can be honest with each other….the real stuff that isn’t surface and should be shared. We hugged and wiped away tears and encouraged with raw honesty and love, again and again.
We boated up the Indian Arm to Granite Falls to attempt a hike that we couldn’t really find the trail for which just made it all that more fun. Then two of us climbed a waterfall and sat at the top, on the warm rocks in the mist of the falls and I took so many deep breaths that I actually felt a bit of healing.
We ate dinner in Deep Cove and then boated back at dusk all cuddled up at the front of the boat, feet up, lights in the distance. Now this may sound odd, but I’ve never had friends who sit close and lean on each other and I’d always seen it in the movies wondering if it actually existed. This sisterhood. Well I discovered that it does exist and I’m lucky enough to be part of it.
Something sparks from vulnerability. It draws you closer and pulls you in if you’re open to it and don’t hide from it. I’ve even learned that in my own marriage, sharing it all through vulnerable conversation leads to intimacy and a closeness that I think so many hunger for and desire.
Sometimes as mothers and parents we get so consumed with busy that a little bit of us gets lost. Everyone says it takes a village but what if you don’t find yours or you feel lost because you don’t have one? I’ve had amazing friends throughout my life and have great family that support me. I have friendships that have lasted the distance of living apart and have had to grieve other relationships that didn’t stand the test of time. I’ve had to let go of toxic relationships in order to grow and feel free. I’m grateful for each and every one of those relationships and how they’ve shaped me. And at this point in my life, where I am at right now, I’m honoured to have these three women at my side. I took the chance to be vulnerable with them and I’m so glad I did. My mom once shared with me that when she went through a dark time, she had the same sisterhood in her neighborhood that she could lean on and she’s still friends with some of them to this day. Generations, searching for connection and community in hopes that it is found. This world can be a lonely place so if you can, and if you desire to, reach out to those around you. Be vulnerable and share life beneath the surface. May it spark joy and friendships like you never though possible.
Shauna, Jill and Heather - thank you for being such wonderful friends, for holding me up when I was lost and hurting, comforting me when I cried, making me laugh and let it out and for holding space for me to heal. I love you three ladies more than you know.