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On my list of all-time favorite shows are Sex and The City and Girlfriends. I loved them not only because I related to the thrill of shopping and the ebb and flow in relationships, but I hoped for a girl posse that talked as open and honest as they did. For years I would watch them and wonder what it would take for me to have that deep connection with other women. I've had friends come and go over the years, but few friendships stand the test of time.

One of the most beautiful things about being a woman is the connection that we have with other women in our lives. Whether you have a tribe, posse, squad, a girl gang, or you have a family full of close women; these women are necessary to our lives, our success, and our mental health. My inner circle is small, but it is genuine, and it is powerful. One of my biggest blessings is to have two sisters and a mom who I enjoy spending time with. Growing up, it was harder to connect because of our age differences. When you're 16, you do not want to hear what your 13-year-old sister has to say, you wouldn't dare think of what your 7-year-old sister has to say, and your mom is lucky if you listen to her at all. But as I got older, my sisters and my mom have built this sister-sister, mother-daughter relationship that is one that I've always dreamt of. We can't choose our family, but we do choose our friends. When you want those friends to become family, you must choose wisely. My girls and I met back in 2011. We all worked together at the time, and we immediately clicked. Now we didn't instantly become a "tribe." Still, we all meshed well and started to develop one on one relationships with each other. To hear more about our story, listen here. From girls to women, I never would have imagined how close we would grow to be. I would never have believed that our retail days would result in them standing at the altar with me as my bridesmaids. For years we have laughed together, cried together, shopped together, taken a girls trip together, discuss men, and have routine wine and popcorn nights. We are intentional about our time together, and each time we meet, I leave feeling refreshed and inspired to be the best version of me.

WHO IS YOUR TRIBE? So who is your tribe? They are the women that make you want to step up. They push you to become better and are willing to go through the journey of life with you. My tribe supports each other, we pray for one another, we laugh with each other, and we are REAL with each other. They accept me for who I am and continuously motivate me to step up my game. As I mature, the more I realize how meaningful female friendships are. And why it is so important to carefully find the women that you can bounce ideas off of, vent to, and share in successes. Now my husband is super supportive. But I would not torture him through helping me choose between 10 swatches of gray fabric or which version of my Instagram post is better. Head to the right or head to the left... ya'll know the struggle!

WHY HAVING A TRIBE MATTERS Encouragement and Support With your girls comes an automatic fan club. They are cheering you on and wanting the best for you always! They have confidence in you, sometimes more than you have in yourself, and their encouragement may be what you need to make that move. There is a confidence you have in calling them at any time of the day. And when you're worried that your life is falling apart, they will remind you of who you are and push you to keep going. Get Called Out In the most loving and supportive way, my girls will call me out when I'm tripping. You need people around you to tell you when you're bugging, when your attitude is on 100 and when you are letting your insecurities get the best of you. We can't always see this in ourselves, and we need people that we can trust to hold up that mirror for us. Even when it doesn't feel good, we know that they want the best for us and are not in competition with us. We can feel safe enough to listen, reflect, and correct accordingly. Spiritual Growth As a Christian, it is not easy to find girlfriends that like-minded. REAL TALK. I never wanted the holier than though friend, but I also knew for my growth, I couldn't always kick it with the friend that had no relationship with God either. Finding that balance is rare! We hold each other accountable. Not to belittle or judge, but to be sure that we are living up to the standards that we hold ourselves to and that God holds us to. Inspiration The women in my circle are DOPE. Every one of them, in their way, brings something unique to the table. It should go without saying, but those in your circle should inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Your tribe should consist of the people who have your back when you aren't looking, encourage you when you lose faith, and uplift you when you can't stand on your own. Love your besties. Love them hard. Xo, Jessica

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