Around five years ago, I had dinner with some women I’d known since our teenage years. We’d all belonged to separate but overlapping circles.
We’d all lost touch to varying degrees over the years. But on this night, through a mixture of chance and design we reconnected, and it was kind of magic.
In the past I’d always thrived best in one on one friendships and I’d never fully appreciated the power of the group. But it all changed that night.
A communal friendship was born that was formative in a way I had not expected in my late 30s. In the five years since, we have come to rely on each other for advice, support, honesty, challenge and laughs. Lots and lots of laughs.
There is a power to the group that I’d never fully tapped into before. We have commonality enough to love and understand each other – but difference enough that there are always diverse voices around the table (or on the sofa, or at the bar).
And there’s strength in numbers – if someone needs extra support, one of us will always find the time and energy to notice and step up.
We get together often. We talk about our work, our politics, our challenges, our feminism, ourselves, and, well – everything.
And we always celebrate each other’s wins big and small, delighting in each other’s successes. Woe betides any of us who self-deprecates or puts ourselves down – we will be called out and put straight.
Over the years I’ve come to internalise that positivity too. I can summon their voices whenever I need them, like an invisible band of rebel cheerleaders.
It’s a heady antidote to self-doubt.
If I’m honest, there are parts of the last five years that might have been pretty bleak without them. But with them, I can do anything.
-Jemma Moonie-Dalton, Head of Operations for the South