Sisterly bonds in unexpected places

This one’s for the girls

Sometimes we meet people in life who leave permanent marks on our hearts, and we can meet them in the least expected moments and places. It is then so much harder to say goodbye when it’s time for them to move on to embark on a new adventure.

This might sound a bit soppy, but it’s an appreciation post to a few special women who have helped me grow further and find more strength in myself, and who keep helping me become a better person. 

Oftentimes, we are told that women are bitchy to one another, especially in a work environment. I feel this is due to the constant pressure they’re under and judgement they experience, so they feel like they’re always competing against each other. At times however, you find women who feed off each other’s positive energy and join forces to help each other grow further and shine brighter. I’ve always been a strong believer in this mantra and made it a point to encourage it amongst my girlfriends. However, when one starts working in a new place, one never knows what characters one will meet and whether they’d share similar beliefs. Luckily, during my last transition, it wasn’t long before I found that I was amongst like-minded women, in this new setting.

I think I am truly blessed to have found a sisterhood within an environment that at times can be somewhat challenging. What I mean by sisterhood is having a couple of women who constantly look out for and support each other in the difficult times, but also celebrate each other’s successes in the better times. Knowing that you have a support system that you can rely on, made up from women who understand exactly what you’re going through, because they’d be facing similar challenges, gives you a sense of empowerment that helps you to keep pushing through and rising to any occasion. 

When you lose one of those sisters however, no matter how happy you are for them and the new adventures that they’ll be embarking on, you can’t help but feel your heart breaking a little. You know that the atmosphere in the office will never be the same. This is what I’m experiencing this week, and I have to admit, it hurts, more than a little.

When I first walked into the new organisation last year, I was introduced to a timid, shy-looking, young woman, who I found out would be the other half of my team. I hate putting myself forward but seeing how quiet and reserved she was, I felt the need to make a bigger effort to introduce myself and ask her questions to start getting to know her. It didn’t take long for Roberta to start feeling more comfortable with me (thank god!), and before we knew it, we’d engage in long conversations about anything and everything, because we seemed to fit together like bread and butter. But what truly amazed me is that over the past year or so, apart from seeing this young woman feel more comfortable talking to me, she suddenly started finding it easier to be herself with everyone at the office – voicing her opinion and sharing her very valid and informed ideas. You could say that she came out of her shell, revealed her true colours, grew significantly, and flourished, only to become a most valuable asset to the organisation, whom everyone could appreciate.

Apart from that though, she also offered solace and refuge whenever I needed it. Whether it was a pep talk or a shoulder to cry on, or simply an ear just to listen to me vent my frustrations, she would always be there. As our bond grew tighter, we would automatically give words of praise and encouragement to each other which would naturally elevate us… and what started out as a bond between two women, from which I literally started seeing Roberta as a younger sister, quickly grew into a bigger ‘clique’, until we had our girl squad. 

These amazing, strong-minded, passionate and creative women – dare I say “emotional” too, as they are incredibly empathetic to others around them, as well as the environment they work in – are a true source of inspiration on a daily basis. I can never thank them enough for their love and support. I will also, always encourage other women to use this mechanism and keep empowering each other to rise to new heights together. Let’s be honest, we’re all aware that the world we live in is still anything but equal. This is the only way to fight against inequality… definitely not through bitchiness. Build bonds and combat injustice together!

I admit that I am lucky enough to have other superheroes, incredibly tough and resilient women in my life who are always there for me in similar manners, and I for them (as best I can of course). We take pride in sharing this attitude and influencing other women to do the same.

Naturally losing a sister’s physical presence from day-to-day life is never easy. But I am sure that a bond like this is built to last. Roberta, you know that you’re going to be terribly missed, but your sisters will always be around whenever you’re ready to return to Malta. In the meantime, god bless modern technology that allows for constant communication. We also wish you the best of luck to fulfil your heart’s deepest desires, and we look forward to hearing all about your crazy adventures. Love you always xoxo

Featured image photo credit: Mark Zammit Cordina

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