I have tagged 2 blog posts with female-friendships:

From Train Rides to Trump Trials: A Reflection on the Power and Underappreciation of Female Friendships

A bonfire illuminates two women sharing a warm embrace in cold Norwegian outdoors.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, 09:15

As the train begins its usual journey from home to the heart of Oslo, I'm jolted from my sleepy lethargy by an announcement over the radio. The sentencing hearing in Donald Trump's hush-money case, an incessant chatter in the media land, practically incessant, has been postponed. The protagonist in the courtroom drama, his lawyer Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in 2018 to payment of $130,000 in hush-money to a once famed porn actress, though our erstwhile POTUS denies involvement.

The train casts a shadow over the glossy surface of the fjord, whispering tales of deceit and evasion. Guilty or not, this brings me to the thought of the immeasurable significance we attach to our relationships, the lies we tell for their preservation, a tragic comedy in its own right. And maybe, it's time to encounter parallels in an unlikely arena – female friendships.

As the train hums its near silent lullaby, trudging along the railway tracks with a forlorn rhythm, the importance of history seems more profound. The history shared among women, how it shapes us, elevates us and at times, breaks us. With the temperature outside locked at a chilly 14 degrees Celsius, these friendships feel like a humble bonfire, an antidote to the cold.

As I embark on this meditation on female friendships, it’s the sheer resilience that strikes me first. A symbolic monument that stands tall amidst the chaos, it is a sanctuary for healing and growth, a testament to the strength of shared experiences. These bonds, while often brushed aside in the name of societal norms and traditional family structure, can possess the power of an elixir - healing wounds made by a patriarchal society.

There's a word in Norwegian, 'Samhold', which roughly translates into solidarity or team spirit. It's the epitome of what these friendships represent, the superglue that holds us together amidst the turmoil of life, relationships, and the constant trial-by-fire that is existence as a woman. Whether we’re battling the personal demons of injustice or celebrating joyous moments, it’s these connections that see us through, as a steadfast anchor in stormy seas.

Yet, why is it that like the news of the hush-money case, these friendships sometimes find their way to the back burner, often postponed – always in the periphery but never in the limelight?

Maybe it's the introspective melancholy of the quiet train ride, or the grey morning sky stretching out in endless expanses- a void waiting to be filled, but today, this feels like a question worth pondering.

As I look out of the smudged window, the landscape speeding by in a blur of dull green and pale blue, I can't help but acknowledge the profound influence these friendships have over our lives. How it shapes us, comforts us, enforces our growth amidst trials and celebrations. I yearn for a world where these invisible strings of camaraderie are understood, appreciated, and celebrated – not postponed or overlooked for more 'critical' issues. But that's a narrative for another day. For now, let me find solace in knowing that when the world gets too cold (intriguingly like the 14 degrees outside), I have these friendships - a warm, crackling bonfire in the frosty wilderness.

Today, I will cherish this vital cog in my life’s machinery – these friendships – more mindfully. And I implore you to do the same.

Tags: female friendships personal reflections societal norms

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Stardust Sisterhood: The Enduring Radiance of Female Friendships in a World of Uncertainty

A group of women huddled together, smiling, lit by the soft glow of a setting sun, with a solar panel in the backdrop.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 14:13

As my eyes skim the bent edges of the news article, the mournful lullaby of rustling papers fills the train car. The words, etched like epitaphs, pulse through my fingers as I close the worn clutch of my university iPad. Intricate ghosts of what once was and the somber realization of shifting realities. Tucked within the indifferent ebb and flow of commerce, lives weave together like a frayed tapestry, hastily cut by indelicate hands of market trends. Now, left to shiver in the biting 4°C of Nordic dusk, 86 pulses revolve around the closing door of REC Solar, as if suddenly ousted from their familiar orbit. Yet, beyond the cold and the uncertainty, humanity tries to sneak in pastel hues in the unlikeliest of canvases. It adds layers and celebrates the complexity of a world filled with transient contours.

It nudges me to think of my own journey, coursing through the veins of a female student trying to make sense of a world constantly in flux. Then again, are we not all just fragments of stardust trying to return to our celestial escape? Struggling, yearning, aching? These thoughts transport me to a realm often frequented, but seldom dwelt upon—the cosiness of female friendships.

The soothing hum of the train takes on a rhythm, the stanzas of a song that everyone knows but no one discusses. They exist, these friendships, beyond the superficiality of societal norms; they are the beacon in the gloom, the thread that holds these star fragments together. Their importance goes beyond the need of company or the warmth of laughter. For, to exist is one thing, but to thrive is another, and female friendships nurture this thriving existence.

These friendships are not just timely seasoning on life's varied palate, but trademark ingredients of resilience. The warmth they inject, the echoes they persist, hold women together—much like the 86 employees of a beleaguered solar company bearing the brunt of global industrial shifts.

The cold wind that sweeps the Norwegian plains is akin to hard times we face in the sphere of relationships. However, the importance of female friendships steers through this journey much like a solace that buffers the blows. It paints the biting reality with the hue of heartiness, adding the aesthetics of compassion and camaraderie.

Adjusted in seats of trains, in classrooms of universities, in corners of homes, peering into the bustling city life or gazing stars encrusted in ethereal skies, women ink stories. They mould experiences into lessons, and dreams into realities. It's these experiences that knit a yarn of connection and trust, and it’s these shared realities that transform into unshakable bonds with fellow women. The shared whispers, the understanding glances, the comforting silence, all sew a quilt of solidarity.

I grieve for REC Solar—suddenly there seems to be an emptiness in the industry skyline, a void filled with the despair of uncertainty, echoed in the closing lines of industry reports. However, the quiet resilience found in female friendships provides an unsaid pledge of hope. No matter the biting cold or challenging the adversities, sisterhood comes with a promise of unwavering luminescence in the chilling Nordic twilights. After all, are we not stardust, seeking our way home? Through the coldest winters and warmest summers, we gleam in the company of sister stars—outshining the darkest clouds and the gloomiest nights.

Tags: reflection female friendships life changes

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