A Cup of Life

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

There is a remarkable truth behind this saying and I bet many women reading this post right now can relate. Whether it’s sitting in a little snow covered café half way around world, dreaming of an international love affair or scribbling a European bucket list right here at home, a cup of something warm brings people together in unimaginable ways. It engulfs us in a rich brew of imaginative wisdom, compelling us to forget the world outside and reassures us that in this impossible life, things are possible.

More often than not, I find myself wondering if I was born in a completely wrong era. One in which trust and true love no longer exist. Where the want and need for success overpowers honesty and basic humanity. A world wherein people’s greed overrides simple integrity.

Being able to find a life partner in this world is difficult enough. So hoping that the universe will be kind enough to surround us with women whose wants and goals, desires and thoughts, needs and aspirations are similar to ours may be something of a long shot. Women who can ungrudgingly tell us that our stockings don’t match or that the figures in our presentation are not central. Women who are not afraid to remind us that sometimes we need to let him go despite the pain. Women who will see us at our worst and still love us anyway.

Truth be told, I have never really been one to enjoy a cup of tea. I’m more of a blissful coffee lover. But in the end, tea or coffee, it doesn’t really matter. That is, not until I found myself surrounded by strong like-minded women.

I guess, everyone is blessed in their own way – some find their blessings with the birth of a baby, others in an early life partner or a strategic career move. Others may never find it at all. Now don’t get me wrong – every female in this universe will at some point in their lives have a group of girlfriends, but whether the universe feels you are lucky enough to experience the true meaning of sisterhood is an entirely different thing. By this I mean, girlfriends who can read a whole paragraph on your face without a single word being uttered, who understand how you can stay awake till the early hours of the morning wondering about why your life is (or is not) the way it should be, who see your scars both inside and out and who know your pain and feel your every emotion. Girlfriends who understand your insatiable need for success, who will stay with you through the tumultuous nights of lab work, who will sit with you and search for the meaning behind Schrödinger’s Cat and plan your survival guide if stranded in a laboratory during a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. These are the girlfriends that define us and the true meaning of the word sisterhood and everything those travelling pants stood for. Girlfriends who understand the pain of the past, the hope of the future and constant need for a vanilla latte in the present.

Some may find us arrogant, too independent and free-thinking. Some may think we are plain down cruel. Others fear us although I don’t really know why. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t come down to what other people think. It never has. The need for a woman to find such positive influences in her life is far greater than her need to find true love because it is the woman in your life who ultimately define you, who understand and shape you, who hold your hand through the tears and who nurture your soul. If you are lucky enough to find them, treasure them with all your might because whilst you may be able to travel the world, the bond of true sisterhood is rare and will never forsake you.

So I end this post with a wish for you: that you may one day experience the true meaning of sisterhood and that you may enjoy a cup of something warm that quenches more than just your thirst – a cup which purifies your spirit, surrounds you with good conversation and which comforts the very depths of your soul.

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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