Free spirit, self-sufficient, call it what you want—that’s me. I’m proud to be an independent woman, but it can be a double-edged sword. Independence is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I can hold my own in nearly any circumstance.
But when it comes to asking for support, I struggle. It’s not really about pride, I just want to do things on my own. I know I sound a bit like an overgrown toddler, but there’s an amazing sense of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something on your own, like there’s nothing you can’t do. And who doesn’t want to be a modern-day Wonder Woman?
But here’s the thing. I can’t do it all on my own. I mean, maybe I could, but I don’t want to. That would be a hard, lonely road to travel. Humans are like pack animals — we aren’t meant to exist alone. We need support, crave it even. Our support people cheer us on, lift us up, and hold our hands through tough times. They call us on our shit, give us tough love when we need it, and provide a web of support to catch us when we fall.
When it comes to that kind of love and support, my coffee mug runneth over. Despite my fierce independence and the fact that I’m a total introvert, I talk to my sister every day.
Maybe it seems a bit extreme, especially coming from someone who just said they are both introverted and independent, but stay with me.
My sister and I are close, though not spatially. Life has taken us hundreds of miles away from each other, which makes it impossible to grab a coffee and gossip about nonsense. Coffee and nonsense are two of our favorite things. But the distance between us doesn’t keep us apart because we talk every day. In fact, we literally never stop talking. Our conversations are continuous and flow from one day to the next. We are never more than a few clicks away from one another. We text when a barista screws up our coffee order for the third day in a row, or when our kids are acting like they just escaped from the zoo.
Sometimes our conversations are superficial silliness, and other times things get deep. We pick up the phone when we’ve had a hard day or to celebrate a major accomplishment. My sister knows my darkest secrets and my greatest fears, yet there is no judgment between us, just unconditional, unwavering love and support. I don’t hesitate to call her for anything, day or night.
I look forward to talking to her every day, because she builds me up. She is one of the strongest women I know, and she inspires me to be a better person. Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t use any tired clichés, so let me try that again. My sister is freaking amazing! She isn’t just a strong woman, she is a strong mom who kicks ass every day and makes life look like cheesecake with Adam Levine. Basically, I want to be just like her. Better? I’m going with it, if you don’t like cheesecake and Adam Levine, there’s nothing I can do to help you.
I never feel alone, because I know no matter what kind of shit-day I’ve had, how badly my kids are behaving, or if my husband has been hiding in the bathroom for 45 minutes, my sister will always be there for me.
Everyone needs a person who gives them hope in the face of despair, and makes them laugh until they can’t breathe. I’m creeping into my mid-thirties, and I know how rare these types of relationships are. Whether it’s a parent, a sibling, or a friend, if you have this kind of daily love and support in your life, don’t take it for granted. Keep talking, keep calling, and keep texting, every day.