When I came back to work two weeks ago my colleague, and partner in crime, of nine years was off - which was disappointing as I was excited to talk to her. But luckily I had so many other great women around me (Erin, Brigitte, & Amy) that the week flew by.
However on Monday I came into the office and I couldn't wait to hear from Joyce. So much so that I phoned her office and listened to her voicemail just to hear her voice! I called back later and got her in person and I was flooded with this overwhelming happiness, like connecting with a long lost loved one. One of the many things I learned in Grenada was how important our female friends are.
Before I left Grenada I consciously decided not to pursue any promotions at work. As much as I love the thinking and planning that goes into being a manager or a team leader, it meant I always kept my colleagues at a bit of a distance. In my mind you need to do this when you could be (or are) the supervisor, be friendly but not friends.
Now without that baggage impeding the relationship, upon hearing Joyce's voice I could finally just be me; just be so grateful to have her back, and just love her dearly without holding back. It was probably the happiest I have felt at work in a long, long time.
In Grenada I have so many amazing female friends and I know it is because we approached each other as equals, as partners (and sometimes editor) that I could just be me. And in return I always got to see the real them too. I also think it is why we became such fast friends is they could feel my honesty. When you are holding back parts of yourself people sense it and they too hold back. Although in Grenada people don't hold back too much!! We could learn a thing or two from them.
Most importantly my friends in Grenada have taught me a lot about letting go and giving yourself permission to be you. I hope I can honor all the women in my life (Grenadian, Canadian & American) by being a better person, a better friend and a better leader.