You know that saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” Well, that was the case for me after college. Most of my life I was used to having close girlfriends. When my school years ended, I found myself going through many growth spurts from my lifestyle choices, views, and more. I was in this transitioning phase and a lot of the women I considered to be close friends were no longer around. On top of that, my long-time friendships became long distance and it was very hard to find common ground with these new changes. We all go through various seasons in life and sometimes, certain friendships are hard to maintain. The friendships that make it through everything, even through the bumpy seasons, reveal to me the people who I connect with at my core.
This transitioning season was one of the hardest times of my life and part of it included me moving back home after 5 years of being away. Luckily, one of my long-time girlfriends, Isabel, moved back to our hometown shortly after me. We spent almost every day together. I would pick her up and we would put the windows down, driving to the local coffee shop and talking about our problems. I always had this firm appreciation for Isabel in my life because she is the type of friend that will drop everything for you. In my view, it was her culture and her lifestyle (being Venezuelan) that taught me what it means when friends are really just another form of family.
I was still working in the beauty world at the time, sitting down women in my chair at the cosmetic counter at Dillard’s. Re-uniting with Isabel, coupled with this time spent with practically strangers every day, really got me thinking about female friendships and how no matter what happens in life, women should make female friendships a priority. I started to ask Isabel what her thoughts were on female friendship and support, and like the typical Isabel, she had some really good things to say. Our conversations continued over a series of months, and I became really passionate about bringing to light these topics.
One night, I was invited to a birthday dinner for some people who I wasn’t very familiar with. I remember this guy came up to me and tried to gossip to me about this other girl at the table. Now I didn’t know this girl, but what he was saying was offensive to me. I remember the situation got so bad I ended up leaving. Unfortunately, the girl who invited me didn’t seem to think there was a problem with what he was saying. That’s when I knew that something had to be done, someone had to bring women together to stand for one another and to bring to light the immense value of female support and friendship.
Amiche has developed from moments of frustration and sorrow, to a million beautiful and empowering ones. I believe it is our job to be a light to one another and also a voice for one another. The road isn’t always easy, but it sure is worth it just to know you have a few women on your side.