It’s International Women’s Day today and, whilst I ponder my relationships with women in the past, present and hopeful future on a regular basis, I feel it suitable to write something about my experiences with some of the women of this country. Let me say this up front – not everyone I am thinking of here is British by birth, but I think it’s only fitting to mention the British women that have influenced my life here and my international girlfriends whom I was allowed to meet on British soil.
Putting any negative episodes firmly to the back of my mind, I would like to reflect on the general friendliness I encountered from ladies of all ages from the day I set foot on British turf. There has always been a helpfulness and genuine interest in how I was getting on and, on most occasions, when I was in deep shit, I found a pair of hands that pulled me back to safety. There is G who held my hand and dried my tears after my first love imploded, there is L who gave me somewhere to live when I was homeless, and there is A who never ceased to be interested in how I was, who stuck around and has become my family since. I sat many evenings drinking red wine with JJ, who listened to my problems, talking some sense into me and has been a creative inspiration ever since. There is J who was my love at first sight and is always there for me, brings me goodie bags when I am sick and dances around the kitchen with me till the early hours of the morning. There is N who made me realise that I don’t have to feel guilty for finding motherhood exhausting or for still wanting to be my own person. There is AH who sat around fires at festivals with me and gave me a room to stay when I needed space to reboot and be alone. L and E counselled me through a hideous time in my life where I couldn’t see straight. They didn’t judge, they were just there. I spent hours running with AF when I needed it most and she was my partner in crime at parties and on hilarious nights out. I have the most wonderful and caring friend in J who, even despite not having seen her in years, is still in my thoughts and when we talk, the closeness is inspiring. There are the mothers and sisters of former boyfriends and the present and final one – thank you for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel at home and caring for me from the start. More recently I have had the honour to get to know ladies who have built me up and championed me like their own little rock star. E, J and N, I thank you for believing in me and seeing something that I often fail to see. And to those women who have, despite not knowing me at all yet, offered to help me to get my writing career started: I thank you from the bottom of my hopeful little and at times self-doubting heart for giving me your time, faith and a chance. There are many more women I could mention which makes me feel incredibly humbled and grateful. They have all had a positive and lasting impact on my life and you will always hold a special place in my heart.
So here’s to all us women: may we continue to support each other and fix each other’s crowns. May we believe in our strengths and individualities and see that each and everyone of us is special and deserves the best. It’s the only way to ever be truly equal.