Last night I had an impromptu girls night out “family dinner” with three of my best girlfriends. The type of evening you can’t plan – one that organically integrates and you need it more then anything. When everyone had a crap day, and needed a collective shoulder to lean on.
We were celebrating new jobs, former jobs, and grand future plans together. Laughing, sharing stories of love, heartbreak, sexism, leaning in (and out) and everything in between, I was reminded how grateful I am for the wonderful women who navigate silicon valley along side me. Even as four privileged women – who have been given every opportunity for success – spending any amount of time in this valley can be hard. Really hard. Even when it’s suppose to be an enlightened, progressive, meritocracy, where everyone is empowered and breaking traditional norms are celebrated, it can still be hard. In order to have any hope of success or happiness it’s imperative to have girlfriends (of all types) along for the ride.
Girlfriends at the office, who you can share a smile with when someone shows up with a push up bra, collagen lips, sleeping with the boss and asks to be taken seriously.
Girlfriends who will point out that your ex-boyfriend is giving a TedTalk which has gotten 20,000 views today and it’s probably a good sign you had no idea. (But it’s okay to watch it when you get home).
Girlfriends who will tell you it’s okay that you didn’t say anything when you were told “you should have been born a man” because you didn’t even realize how offensive it was until the moment had passed.
Girlfriends who know how to eat – and understand that sometimes a fries course after an entrée is not only acceptable, but encouraged!
Girlfriends who will remind you that you do in fact know something about the market you work in, and it’s okay to share that.
Girlfriends who know what it feels like to be articulate and poised navigating technical nuance and market share, but tongue tied and blubbered about their own emotions.
Girlfriends who will take you out to dancing and karaoke and make sure you finish that fireball damn-it! And let you pass out on their couch and take your hungover self to work the next morning.
Girlfriends who run along side you around the park and back because the endorphins will make you both happier. Bright neon shoes highly encouraged!
Girlfriends who will get you hired, be your boss, mentor you, and teach you what “ROI” means. (The amount of jargon in this valley could fill several dictionaries).
Girlfriends who look to you for guidance that remind you how far you’ve come even when you think you haven’t learned a thing.
Girlfriends where you can be yourself, judgment free, and have a good long laugh with.
In this season of Thanksgivukkah – I give thanks to the women along side me.