The importance of a real social network

On Tuesday I was on the train commuting back from Stuttgart as a young woman sat next to me. Without paying attention my eyes fell on the display of her smartphone. I noticed then that she was on a video-call with another woman, probably one of her friends. After a bit of time I saw they added another women in the call. This made me think about how important it is for us women to have a social network to which we feel we belong.

Having a group of friends is important at every age, relying on them can even save you in negative moments.

I always thought friendship is a mutual relationship but at the same time I think that if somebody is important for you, you should show it. In a friendship it doesn’t count who does more.

You can show yourself to your friends in any status you are feeling because they know you well and they are there to support you.

In these times when everything is virtual, it is crucial to keep in mind that having a real social network counts: people who genuinely care about us and are there for us in every situation.

During this holiday season, I invite you to make a gift to your friends being there for them and showing them how grateful you are for their friendships.

Our friends are our home base.

Source: Calm

Those coffees with your friends…

I learned pretty fast that the female is a social folk. I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons as a teenager sitting with my mother at her best friend’s kitchen table listening to their conversations. The first thing that Tina, my mom’s best friend, did when we came in was turning on the Italian coffee maker and preparing us an espresso.

The two women were talking about everything without a specific plot: about their children, their job, what happened in the village, some difficulties and of course also about their husbands.

It was a simple way of meeting, often even unplanned: just two friends talking in front of a cup of coffee. For me instead, it was always very interesting to observe those two women, that meant so much for my growth, discussing and supporting each others.

I think women need more than men the feeling of belonging to a community. That’s why they always tend more to take care of the people in their environment and keep the contact alive.

Furthermore I think meeting a friend for a coffee has also a therapeutic character. It takes you out of your routine, it gives you impressions of somebody else’s life and offers you the possibility to feel useful because your friend might need your advice.

Now that I’m in my 30s I discovered again this tradition and I’m proudly carrying it on: I love meeting friends for a cup of coffee and some sincere talks. OK, we do it now in a slightly more modern way: we meet in a cafe and add to the coffee a slice of cake.

Last Sunday, for example, I discovered thanks to my friend Oleksandra a very nice cafe in the eastern area of Stuttgart: it’s called Taraba. They have a delicious offer of cakes and the coffee tastes like coffee should.

Like my mum and Tina, we talked about everything and it felt good. That’s what every woman should have: a friend ready to drink a cup of coffee and to enjoy spending an afternoon with you.

My double espresso macchiato and cake at Taraba – Stuttgart

A woman should have

The following poem hung on a shelf in Ursel’s flat, that was what I can define my first home here in Germany. While living with Ursel and Rui, two fantastic women and great flatmates, I bloomed as a person. I learned a lot of things, laughed and talked a lot at the dinner table and started to enjoy the little things in life for the very first time in my life. Maybe it’s because Rui visited me last weekend that I got a little nostalgic about that time and that’s why I would like to share this poem by Maya Angelou with you:

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
something perfect to wear if the employer, or date
of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE…
a youth she’s content to leave behind….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …..
a set of screwdrivers, a
cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….
a good piece of furniture
not previously owned by anyone else in her family…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a feeling of control over her destiny..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to quit a job, break up
with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
when to try harder… and
WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips,
or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that her childhood may not
have been perfect..but it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD
KNOW…
what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to live alone even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust, whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
where to go…
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…
or a charming inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year…