The Power of Female Friendship

The one thing I really feared about settling into our new Melbourne life was that I would have a hard time making friends. I had grown up around my neighbors, who turned into my best friends in the whole wide world and are my constant support system. Then I went to college and was surrounded – even lived in a house full of them – by my 500 + sorority and Panhellenic sisters (panhel love is REAL). It’s safe to say that I have always had strong, intelligent, and wonderful girls around me and for most of my life.

But what really irked me about my upcoming adult – ish life was the fact that I wouldn’t be living in a community of girls around my age. How do adults make friends? Where do they come from? Are they allowed to be choosy or do they just have to take whomever just floats their way?! I was startled by the notion that I would have to actually TRY and step out of my comfort zone to make friends in a new city.

Well hey. Listen up – I can’t even count on two hands how many friends I have already made in Melbs – and we’ve only been here like 9 days!! So it’s safe to say that making friends as an adult isn’t nearly as hard as I thought. And I can’t even begin to describe the joy, encouragement, and support I have been given by random women from all walks of life this week. So here’s a break down of all the wonderful, magnificent women I have encountered and been blessed to run into so far.

– Bronwyn is the woman who picked us up from the airport, helped us track down our real estate agent, bought us chocolate, and constantly checks up on us to make sure we are still alive. She is our guardian angel and Australian grandmother. I can’t thank her enough for her constant love and patience with our crazy questions. We would literally be homeless without her!

– Julia was my education consultant at Tradewind and answered allll of my dumb questions, comments, and concerns during my initial interview for CRT work. She was calm, cool, and collected with a hint of warmth and was such a helping hand in the process of setting up my work life.

– Nikki, the other girl in my interview, has been nothing short of amazing. She and I grabbed coffee after our interview and have kept in touch ever since. She understands my grandma lifestyle on a deeper level and has been helping me get acquainted with the Aussie school system while offering a huge amount of love and support.

– Linda is a Chinese woman who helped me set up my bank account and my SIM card when she absolutely could’ve shooed me away and been rude about the fact that it took me a million years to get my life in order at her desk. She was so helpful and I felt like I could tell her literally anything. She also has a deep love of Celine Dion and almost convinced me to go to her concert with her in a couple weeks. I went in again the other day to ask Linda about something and she was right there with a hug and an answer. YOU GO, LINDA.

– Laura is an American that I met through Leading Out who lives with her Irish boyfriend. She is beautiful, Cuban, and such a sweetheart. We had a heart to heart over our Americanisms on Degraves Street and proceeded to spend the rest of the day together. She constantly checks in and has really opened our eyes to an amazing American/British/Irish community that includes a new rugby team for Rory and some American restaurants for me. Need I say more? Love you so much, Laura!

– There is a worker at LUSH who was so sweet and showed me how to work the shower gel and shampoo bars. She is kind of my soul sister and has an epic nose ring that I could never pull off. I brought Laura in the next day to play around with the shampoo and she instantly remembered me and gave me some love. How sweet is that?!

– I met a Canadian teacher named Kaylin at the bus stop on the way to work and struck up a conversation with her. She was so kind and helped me find the school I was trying to locate even though it was out of her way. Dang, Canadians are nice!

– I had dinner with another Canadian teacher, Breann, and really fell in love with her accent. It was nice to have someone to eat bruschetta with and to talk about our love of the movies (even thought movies cost like $22 here? Cmon Australia).

– Every morning I am placed at a new school and have to be introduced to another layout and timetable by a daily organizer. Not once have I been hurried, shushed, or ignored – every single lady has been so generous with their time and really helpful when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

– The staff of the schools are also incredibly nice – they show me where the coffee is located, give me updates on school drama that affects the classes I teach, and ask me about my life. They make me feel at home in the middle of nowhere Australia. How nice is that?

– Kelly King was in charge of me at Kensington Community School and was the second American I have met so far. She was patient, kind, honest, and hilarious. We became best friends right off the bat and people started asking if we knew each other. She has been so kind and has invited me to so much.

– The librarians at City Library are seriously my best friends. I love having life chats with them and figuring out which book to read next. They are me in 20 years. I can feel it.

– The lady at Dymocks, the bookstore, always wants to know about my life and asks so many questions. I can’t help but giggle and play along because I just feel so grateful to be able to talk to someone from a different culture like that.

– I met up with Taylor, who I became friends with in South Africa in 2013. It was amazing to see how strong our friendship was after 3 years and many miles apart.

– Today I met Tanya, a Canadian teacher who loves yoga just as much as I do. I think she is my yoga soul mate and I am so excited to go to her newfound studio and hang out with her friends in Prahan! We literally just struck up a conversation in the main office of a school today and talked the whole train ride home.

So the main point of this whole list is that female friendships are such sources of encouragement and light in my life. I never would have imagined that I would meet such amazing and kindhearted girls in such a short amount of time, but I am seriously so happy and overjoyed that I did. As I look forward to a future filled with coffee dates and trips to the market with my new friends, I can’t help but think of my support system back home. To all of my friends, my sister, Mcat, Kinsey, Chi Omega, my neighborhood girls, and everyone in between – thank you for constantly lifting me up and showing me what good female friendships look like. This world wouldn’t run without the help and unwavering love of good friends who treat you like family. I hope that you treat every stranger you come across like a potential new friend and make someone’s day today with a little word of praise or encouragement. We all need to keep raising each other up instead of tearing each other down. Together, we can seriously take on the world!

I love you all unconditionally,

Kelsey

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