I don’t have sisters, technically. Somewhere, in my family lineage, are two step-sisters, but we don’t talk. I don’t have brothers, either, but that’s another anecdote for another time.
Blood or marital connections are not the only thing that can make folks feel like family. I know this, because 90% of the people I have strong connections with are not related to me in any sense of the word. They are closer to me than my technical extended family, and I’m grateful for them every day.
Growing up without sisters was okay, I guess. I mean, I don’t have any point of reference other than observation of others’ lives with siblings, but I don’t think I missed out too much. Can fighting over make-up or boys be all that great?
One thing I was always envious of was the tight relationships my sister having friends had with their girl siblings. Luckily, I’ve met some gals throughout my life who’ve embraced me enough that we can interact like sisters, and so, what I missed in my youth, I’ve made up for in adulthood.
What I’ve learned from these ladies is sisters aren’t just shopping partners, or people who come for dinner. Sisters smack our hands when need be. They teach us lessons—sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently, but always with our best interest in mind.
Here are some things my adopted sisterhood has taught me:
Stand Up For Yourself-
I know how menial this sounds, but my gals really did teach me to quit being such a pushover. Probably born from them being sick of hearing me complain, they finally just said “Make a stand for yourself or no one will”.
Shut the Fuck Up Sometimes
Look, we all get lost in the spiral that is social media sometimes, and before we know it, we’re just saying stuff without thought. I thank the universe I have women in my life who love me enough to jerk me out of the spiral, and tell me to sit down and shut up. They say it because they know I’m a better person than that. They say it out of pure love.
It’s Okay to Put Yourself First
So, so many women live their lives only catering to the wants and needs of others. We’ve been programmed for generations to live this way. Having women like I do, who tell me that I’m no good to anyone if I’m not good to myself, is important. They know what it means to have a sense of self-worth, and they’ve passed that on to me.
You Own Yourself
Whether it’s a decision regarding work, or my sexuality, the women I call sisters have let me know never to sell myself to someone else. I keep control of my life, and then no one has so much power over me as to abuse me. My independence is worth more than anything else if I want to be happy.
You Will Be Accepted
This only applies to when I am interacting with these gals, but no matter what, I have a place to come where people love me enough to tell me the truth, yet not judge or harm me. It’s my soft place. It’s the place where I can fuck up royally, and it will all still be okay. They may kick my ass and tell me something isn’t acceptable, but they’ll also help me figure out how to make it right. That’s real acceptance. That’s saying “We love you enough to help you not fuck up,” which is so much better than fake acceptance or utter rejection.
Sisters have a way, man. We come together. We bond. We make life tolerable with hugs, coffee, and maybe even shrimp (Inside joke. Play along, please.). Together, we help each other traverse the chasms life tries to divide us with, so that we’ll all succeed.
Success of the Group—Not Just One
That’s what sisterhood is really about. Everyone succeeds. Everyone cries, laughs, and rejoices. So while the rest of the world couldn’t care less, we couldn’t care more for one another.
It’s the way humanity is supposed to function: Caring, loving, supporting.
Thank the stars, the Goddess, whomever or whatever sent my sisters my way. I can’t imagine life without them.