For most of my life I’d categorize myself as a lone wolf; independent, strong-willed, traveling around the States and blowing through jobs depending upon me alone to survive and thrive through life’s challenges.
But this past week while listening to a speech in a women’s leadership meeting which compared women to wolves; the strength in numbers, our differences, similarities and the impact we make together, suddenly I realized as I looked around the room filled with powerful and passionate women that this lone wolf belongs to a pack! I asked myself, “When did this happen?
And it’s not just one pack, it’s several; my office pack, women leadership pack, Girls on the Run pack, Women on Fire pack and I’m even assembling a pack of my very own.
Recently a young and very talented lady who is passionate about helping other young women reached out to me to meet for coffee. She asked me how she could help my cause. What should she be doing with her talents? With her life? How can she make a difference too? Then she asked if she could join my pack too. I sat across from this complete stranger prior to our meeting, who now felt like family, and told her she’s in my family circle. Together we are going to make a powerful impact helping other women, more so than we ever could alone.
“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” ~Rudyard Kipling
Oddly enough, another person recently asked to join my expanding She-wolf family. A coincidence? I think not.
Just last night I had dinner with a professional acquaintance I hadn’t seen in over two years. When she texted me with the invitation, she typed, “you and I are going to be friends”. Sounds good to me I thought with a huge smile on my face. When we met, it was kismet. We talked about our life struggles, exciting projects, good books to read, vacations, love, loss and how we can help other people with their life struggles. By the end of the night after sharing our stories, we were both convinced we weren’t just friends, we were sisters.
What I’ve learned over the years is this; family is much more than sharing a last name. It’s much deeper than a bloodline. My family has expanded to a circle of compassionate, intelligent and supportive women, who share more than a name; we share common goals and a love for one another that doesn’t require a family tree.
For all you lone wolves out there, I’m not knocking being a lone wolf at all, it has served me well. But there comes a point in time when you realize, “it’s not just about you”. You have a duty, an obligation as a strong, brilliant, talented, passionate woman to participate in something much bigger that will change the lives of individuals, communities and the world…and yes, even you along the way.
My advice to your girlfriend? Join a pack of She-wolves and by running together you will really begin to live a life filled with adventure, compassion and love.