Chapter 11 Friendships and support networksSet up your tribe

They say ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child, that ‘no man’s an island’ and that ‘nobody ever became great on their own’. And it’s not that I’d never heard those phrases before, nor that I didn’t understand their meaning. It’s just that they’d always seemed a bit utopian to me — they didn’t have a place in the world as I knew it. A place that had taught me everyone was busy — out for themselves, really — and the only person I could count on was … well … me.

Until … well … I couldn’t.

Note to self: if I’d spent half the time investing in my friends that I did on boyfriends and work, someone would have caught me when I fell.

Sure, I had friends, but we spent most of our time complaining when we were together and the biggest thing we had in common was a shared history. And that, I’m afraid, made me pretty damned normal. According to my Smart Girl research, the majority of us feel like we don’t surround ourselves with our kind of people and almost half of us spend most of our time with friends complaining about everything from men to children to jobs. Or, as the case may be, the lack of those things.

The majority of us feel like we don’t surround ourselves with our kind of people and almost half of us spend most of our time with friends complaining about everything from men to children to jobs. Or, as the case may ...

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