After spending a considerable amount of years on social media, I came to realize that the need for sisterhood grows when we are past a certain age. I cannot pinpoint the age, but it’s a gradual process that sets in as we grow older - our kids get busy with their lives, a certain restlessness creeps up owing to various factors, and we begin seeking to connect with our inner selves.
But what exactly is sisterhood?
In the simplest terms, sisterhood is a connection of minds of like-minded people; an intangible bonding that happens through shared experiences and through opening up with each other about our angst, dreams, and joys.
Sisterhood is the building up of trust between women who feel a need to connect with each other. I find it’s akin to being teenagers again when friends were the most important thing in life.
Now the question that comes up is: why do we feel the need for this sisterhood?
As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, quite a few of us get the feeling that we are standing at crossroads all over again like we did at eighteen. There are a lot of doubts and confusion that have come into our lives all over again.
This is mostly a consequence of all the evolution and changes we undergo with time; and sometimes, we feel the need for sisterhood because we’re ready to take on new things as we get a sense of time passing us by.
Some of us are ready to get out of our comfort zones and redefine ourselves. Some of us are looking for a new identity. Some of us have finally mustered up the courage to break free from lives where we felt shackled.
Whatever the reason may be, we have an urgent need to talk about our doubts, confusion, and feelings in a non-judgmental space where we feel we can belong and breathe easy. We want ourselves to be understood as we try and help each other out and speak without inhibitions about things that feel taboo.
The Sisterhood is a safe-zone for women who need each other.
When I say connect, I believe that a true sisterhood can only be formed in authenticity, empathy, and compassion. It can’t be about seeking acknowledgement of our accomplishments, about a game of one - “upwomanship” so to speak.
No matter which walk of life we come from, we need to connect as women who wish to open up in honesty and help each other out.
My personal experience since setting up Fiery Over Forty is that most of us are willing to connect virtually but shy away from meeting up physically even when the opportunity shows up.
As with most other forms of social media, there’s a comfort in opening up virtually in groups because we don’t know each other, because the perceived anonymity makes it easier to connect.
Why Do We Need the Sisterhood?
I’ve seen friendships build up over time as we get familiar with each other’s thought processes.
So when I organized our first real-time meet-up in Delhi, very few people showed up. I had set up an agenda to create interest and roped in some speakers for topics ranging from health and nutrition to getting back into the workforce after a gap.
This was all based on the queries I had got on mail or on WA. But none of the ladies who had these queries came to attend the meet-up.
What surprised me immensely is how the women who attended the event, didn’t need the structure of agendas. The discussion became free-flowing and everyone opened up and started talking about their problems which were personal.
As one spoke, the others listened and tried to come up with ways to help each other. For me, this was real sisterhood, i.e., an afternoon spent together in an absolutely non-judgmental space, where we shared our problems and sought help for them.
This experience has reaffirmed my belief that meeting in real-time is crucial to forming real bonds. There’s a lot of fakeness about social media that gets dispelled when we meet face to face.
We all know that the eye contact, the ability to put a face and proper identity to a name induce a feeling of warmth, acceptance and caring that is borne out of authenticity is invaluable.
I hope that as Fiery Over Forty grows and our beautiful community expands, many more of us make the effort to step out of the shadows, put names to faces, and foster lasting bonds with each other.
Here’s to creating many more opportunities to nurture a tangible sisterhood - because it’s time to celebrate ourselves in style! Cheers!