Listening to "Crowded Table," a song about women coming together to lift each other up by The Highwomen (a supergroup made up of Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, and Natalie Hemby), I found myself getting a little catch in my throat at the line "I can be your mountain when you're feeling valley-low." We are a few days into self-quarantine work-from-home life and on day two of shelter-in-place lockdown in the Bay Area, and never have I felt more grateful for the women in my life.
In the midst of all the fear and anxiety, it's so easy to escape the world, to binge-watch TV for hours on end, immerse ourselves in a book, drown our sorrows in a bottle of wine, turn inward to protect ourselves from facing the scary uncertainties of life. I'm not condemning any of those things, but they can lead to a spiral of despair and emptiness.
For me, nothing has lifted my spirits during these unnerving times more than the support of my girlfriends.
For me, nothing has lifted my spirits during these unnerving times more than the support of my girlfriends: getting on a group video chat to discuss Love Is Blind and some real-life romantic drama; texting memes back and forth with my oldest friend and laughing until my stomach hurts; sharing everything from home workouts to board-game recs with friends on social media; and just commiserating with the feelings of helplessness, loneliness, and worry with the women in all areas of my life. Talking about things that matter, things that don't matter, and just being present for each other and seeing each other's faces, even if it's on a screen, makes a bigger difference than you'd know. Face masks and bubble baths are great, but self-care doesn't have to mean being by yourself; it's community, it's relationships, it's being available to the ones you love.
My friends' honesty, encouragement, humour, and unconditional love in the face of our current state of affairs is, quite literally, giving me life. I won't take it for granted again.
So call your best friend, set up a virtual happy hour, FaceTime with your book club, reach out to your single friend who lives alone — we need to be each other's "mountains" now more than ever.