WOMEN! We are mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, nieces and for many souls we are sister friends. Women naturally seek the support of others – often from other women to help nurture, brainstorm, plan and tackle life and all that it has to offer. This is especially true when you relocate to a place different from what you’ve always known. Moving to a new country makes you vulnerable in many ways. You are going to an unknown place – even if you had some basic knowledge, general information, or was fortunate enough to have visited or even spent some time in your new home country prior to – the real deal of what life is truly like doesn’t hit until you’ve actually started becoming an active participant and build and nurturing some bonds including those (sometimes most important) with some sister friends.
For me, I started accepting that I was truly living in my new home, when I was buying groceries, scheduling doctors appointments, finding a gym, finding a place to get my hair and nails done, going on dates, going to events/dinner/art exhibits, decorating my home, ordering outfits from the tailor, having get togethers, exploring new friendship and being in solitude to recharge, reflect and regroup.
These new-found friendships come in many forms and like most things in life – one size does not fit all. When you are new to a place, you crave connections with people who are similar to you in one way or another. It can be through sharing communication and expression styles, common interests or spending some time working towards personal or career goals and crossing paths with someone whose doing the same.
Often, with no family or social groups and familiar faces to call upon within your new home. your new-found friendships becomes your lifeline. These women are the first to often know about your life, your fears and successes. Some root for you from the beginning of your interactions as they too have been where you are and can see that it takes courage, grit and perseverance to endure the chaos and change that might surround you as you become more acclimated to your new world. This is the role of sister friends.
Sister friends are women who over time and through circumstances and experiences you’ve grown to respect, appreciate and consider one of your main supports, similar to the supports you might have from your family members back where ever you moved from. They have seen you cry, laugh, make an ass out of yourself and still they are there with you and you with them plowing through life. You are the aunt to their kids; you may go on vacation with them and their family and you have a reserved seat at their table for family lunches and dinners. When you mess up, as you will, they will hold you to task and help you to strengthen back your crown. Sister friends genuinely want to see you succeed.
How can you spot Sister Friends? We’ve all have been granted the gift of intuition, to discern and decide the best choices for ourselves. Intuition, the feeling in the back of our minds, whispering in our ears, alerting us, giving us an awareness about how we feel about someone or in a particular situation. We sometimes shelf this voice because we want to seek the best in our sisters and friends. Generally, your intuition doesn’t steer you wrong.
In addition to intuition, time is also a factor. Allow your sister friend relationships to unfold naturally. Yes, when they call to hang out and you are interested in growing the friendship, go, enjoy, have fun – and repeat. Over time and with circumstances, bonds will be build and friendships with develop and grow. If there is conflict, don’t be afraid to speak up to your sister friends. Listen to them, be compassionate in your language and tone – give them the benefit of doubt (based on what they’ve shown you about how they feel about you). Be like the tree – stand firm in your foundation but when the winds of change comes, bend so that you can survive; this is essentially true in a sister. Don’t put all your burdens and bags on your sister friends – they have their own load to bare.
In the same space where you can find an awesome friend – there are also those “friends” that are opportunistic and look to bring you down so they can feel good about themselves. They just do not grant you peace of mind whenever everything is said and done. Use your intutition to know the difference between sisters who celebrate you and sisters who do not want to see you win. LISTEN to this inner feeling. It’s your body and mind alerting you and wanting to protect you. Not everything that glitters is gold and not everyone who calls themselves your friend truly are. Women across the world have been raised to be welcoming and accepting of others, to smile and make the person feel warmth and encouraged. You can be welcoming; you can be accepting and yes you can also be a friend to others. But if it costs you your energy and peace of mind – reevaluate the costs that it takes to have that sister as your friend.
Life is not a competition, we will all get to our destination in our own time. Surround yourself with people especially sister friends who believe in you and will walk with you, carry you and hold you if you arms , legs and hearts are too weak to go on – as you would do the same for them.