I recently watched Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the incredibly funny and inspiring duo on Netflix's Grace and Frankie, discuss the importance of female friendship on TED Talks. The conversation touched me deeply, because the words spoken were so true. Female friendships are resilient, silly, inspiring, supportive and perhaps the most treasured relationships in a young woman's life.
My Girl Power spirit was developed by my family and pop culture. Luckily, I grew up in the '90s where girl gangs like the Spice Girls, The Baby-Sitters Club, Destiny's Child and Mary-Kate and Ashley were all around me. My girlfriends and I wanted to be just like these women - strong, loud, independent, intelligent and fearless! Ever since then, this is a part of who I am. Successful women surround me in all of my circles, from friends to colleagues, and I absolutely love it.
In Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's Ted Talk, they share how friendships have been proven (by science!) to boost happiness and even extend your life. In fact, according to a 2010 review of research, the effect of social ties on life span is twice as strong as that of exercising, and equivalent to that of quitting smoking. In this study, researchers found that measures of the strength of people's social relationships, from their number of friends to their integration into the community, were all linked to decreased mortality.
As I grow older, my friendships are bonds I treasure with my whole heart. When I studied abroad in Belgium, I admired how my host mom had such an active social life. She was the life of the party at all times, and had a huge circle of friends. I thought, "I want to be like her when I am older, living it up with my friends!" A lot of older women I know, don't have a lot of friends due to life happening - marriage, kids, career. Similar to fighting for your career goals, you need to fight to keep fruitful friendships alive. This means replying to the endless group chats, calling a girlfriend when you have 859485945 other things to do and setting up plans weeks in advance because we all seem to have an endless To Do list.
Last night, I went out with a few my gal pals. One friend I have known since 6th grade, another lady from college and the last one I met a few weeks ago in a Lyft car pool (yes really). We had a blast together! Dancing and laughing all night. This positive energy has pumped into my body and I know these good vibes are going to get me through this week.
We all have a lot going on, but don't forget your friendships. These need love and nurturing as much as your intimate relationship(s) do. Do not neglect your girl squad, after all, Posh didn't become Posh without her Spice Girls.