In the middle of a rough week, I do what any woman does. I eat one too many Skinny Cow ice cream bars. Read through People and InStyle (if you can call that reading—it’s really more picture flipping—but it’s therapeutic). Have two glasses of red wine promptly at 5 p.m. on Tuesday—which does not bode well for Friday, if we’re on an upward trend.
And while all of this may temporarily soothe my woes and racing mind, it’s not a fix. I know that.
What any woman really needs when she is trying to get out from under of whatever ails her—is her posse.
All you grown-up sorority girls, keep your feet on the floor. No cheering for girl power. I don’t mean the gaggle of giggling girls you think of as your posse. (And yes, in true disclosure, I was a sorority girl. But I went into it for the leadership opps. Mea culpa.)
I’ve never been a posse gal. One of those women who hangs around with the same six best friends she has had since junior high. Or who needed to find a group to belong to so she could identify with the group instead of figuring out who the heck she was.
I have close friends. I would trust them with my life. We tend to go the distance. But they’re each a unique individual. A couple live in my hometown still. One travels the world, moving from continent to continent. Another died years ago, but I know her soul is still with me. And so on. We tend to lead lives that don’t lend themselves neatly to Friday night happy hour and kvetching about the hubby, kids or PTA meeting. If that works for you, great. Not my cup of tea (or should I say, not my appletini).
These close friends are wise women. Some have been through more than others. We all are truly out there living life—and so the hurdles come. In some cases, we can listen to each other, but offer no real help or direction. Sometimes life experiences leapfrog you ahead of your nearest and dearest, exposing you to challenges they have not had to face.
And that’s where my posse comes in.
I have assembled my own virtual coven of some of the bravest, brightest, well-educated, expressive, creative and daring women to visit this earth. Women who have lived through some of what I have but so much more. Women who have mined their souls and their experiences to share their wisdom with the rest of us. I try to learn on them. And take comfort where they can offer it.
So tonight, as I struggle a bit to figure out why this new curveball is being thrown my way, I realize it does not matter. What I need is comfort. What I need is wisdom. What I need is a voice that reminds me to have compassion for myself.
I am about to brew myself a cup of tea. And pull out the stack of books I have gotten for just such a moment. To see who is meant to speak to my soul tonight. Is it Maya Angelou? Marianne Williamson? Anna Quindlen? Elizabeth Lesser? Anne Morrow Lindbergh? Pema Chodron? Not sure yet.
But I do know that someone will indeed speak to my soul. While I sit in my reading chair and sip tea, dog at my feet, relishing the temporary quiet that fills my household.
This is my posse. It is powerful. Experienced. Brave. Wise.
As I hope to be.