Having strong female figures around me as I continually grow into the woman I’m becoming has been the corner stone of my understanding of life, self-growth, relationships, and femininity.
Even Michelle Obama recognized the importance of keeping a close knit group of girls, saying that maintaining a safe harbor of female wisdom was something that sustained her throughout her life.
This speaks to my truth too as I’ve found that surrounding myself with strong and diverse women proves to broaden my horizons, opening my mind to new ways of thinking and approaching life experiences. Each of my female friends inspire me to work harder and cultivate a passion for life, as they all do each day.
The girl gang that I hold closest are the friends I made at Jacksonville University, the Jax babes as we jokingly call ourselves. I remember leaving college and thinking, “I’ll never make friends like these again.” And though making friends in the adult world is far easier than I had thought, It’s true when they say the friends you make in college are the friends you’ll have for life.
When once we only had to go down a flight of stairs or hop in the car for a quick ride over to see each other, we’ve now dispersed across the country to pursue our own paths. But last weekend we all got back together in Siesta Key, Fl again for the first time in two years to celebrate the beautiful bride to be, Michelle.
With ease we pick up our friendship right where we left off. Being together again evoked a feeling that’s difficult to explain, something so natural and organic but so long awaited. I find myself feeling confident, inspired, and empowered with these girls around. They’ve lifted me up many times in the last couples of years, offering support and providing motivation. Cultivating friendships like these are the best reminders that nothing in life has to be done alone.
A content creator, crime gun intelligence coordinator, and aquaponics facility manager all walk into a bar … but actually. Diverse in beauty and intelligence, I revel in the opportunity to learn from the people I love. Mara will never pass up a chance to tell you to register to vote (as you should), and has taught me so much about the power of using your own voice. If I had to vote for any of my friends for president, it would hands down be her.
Amy has a strong hold on her career, climbing in a male-dominated field (have you guessed yet that she’s the crime gun intelligence coordinator?) Michelle is a climber too, a woman in finance who’s seeking even more challenging opportunities in her career field. Anna has worked and studied so incredibly hard to become a nurse in the stroke unit, not to mention she’s planning on going back to school still. Anna, Amy, and Michelle have always been hard workers, but never forget to have fun, my favorite lesson that I’ve learned from them.
Chloe and Sam are the creatives. Sam is so incredibly talented, sending messages about feminism and rape culture through the power of a paintbrush. Chloe defines good vibes, always open to what life has to offer. She makes everything around her beautiful, which makes her keen for content creation and crafting dream catchers.
Tori is science-minded, much like me. She’s been a confidant for ideas on environment, sustainability, and experimental design for years now. We can bounce thoughts off each other, build upon each other’s intellect, and dream wildly big about where the future can take us.
I’ve found that having good friends, people you can trust and confide in, learn from and grow with, but also let go and have fun with, is essential to anyone’s life journey. The best part about having a girl gang is being able to watch each other grow through it all. Through the triumphs and the failures, we’re all chipping away at our dreams and carving our own paths but always finding our way back to each other.
Ultimately you should cultivate friendships that are supportive and organic, everyone deserves to surround themselves with people that make them feel good.
P.S, this is isn’t the first time I’ve talked about my girl gang. In fact, I compared them all to T.V characters, if you still feel like you want to get to know them better.