I have a little sister, a red-haired, passionate little sister who has taught me patience and compassion and grace. My little sister is one of my best friends, and we continue to grow closer. It’s been a joy to see her become an Auntie to my daughter; her relaxing arms can put my girl to sleep in the midst of chaos.
I have high school friends, college friends, coworker friends. I have sports friends and yoga friends. I have friends I haven’t spoken to in a year that I can meet for coffee and feel like the world hasn’t turned a bit.
I have best friends, women who are like me and different from me and challenge me, women who meet me exactly where I am.
Despite these bountiful and beautiful relationships, I have always rejected communities of women who invited me in. I shifted from group to group in middle and high school despite my deep connections with creative and dedicated ladies. I moved on from college and teaching jobs and left behind the women who supported me. Was I scared? Was I worried that I wasn’t living up to their expectations of me?
In my adult life, I began to crave community; I ached for a collective of souls and kindred spirits that I could grow into, belong to, become an integral piece of. I yearned for a sisterhood.
I had no idea that when I shrugged and said “Sure, why not!” to my good friend Taryn in September of 2015 that Threads would fulfill this need. At our conference last summer, I met my people. Women who were vulnerable, open, whole-hearted. Women who put their aspirations of changing the world into daily practice. Threads attracts women who are willing to build one another up, understanding that others’ success does not detract from our own, but that our collective growth is inspiring and our actions can create radical change.
Threads has been the catalyst for a paradigm shift in the way I care for myself and the people I love. Sure, I falter, and more often than not feel the guilt of being a work-from-home-mom or the shame of leaving a sink full of dishes before I go to bed. But I remember that I have an entire union of ladies who will always have my back.
We share spur-of-the-moment group therapy sessions on airplanes. We clink glasses of fair trade wine and giggle under the lights and streamers of photo booths. We coach each other and hold space for our stories in safe conversations. We withhold judgment. We show up. We hop on video chat with our messy hair and nurse kids in our lap while we talk. We cheer for one another. We cry together—holy moly do we cry together. And we rejoice together.
My heart sinks when I imagine the life I might have had if I had continued to say “No.” It wasn’t the right time (I was six months pregnant and working full time). I didn’t have the money (we had recently bought a house and had racked up quite a bit of debt). I wasn’t okay (I had sunk into a period of depression, was attending therapy twice a week, and cried on my kitchen floor every day before leaving for work). I wasn’t confident (I could barely speak in groups and even then would spend hours afterward going over what I should have said, could have said).
These were the exact reasons why I needed this.
So when something in the room full of women at that brunch in September spoke to something in the chaos of my heart, I said, “Yes. The time is now.”