The first meeting was held in Santa Monica at Bread & Porridge. Only three showed up, but it was a success in my book. Before WE, I felt alone and disconnected from other women as I’d lost three extremely close and important friendships as a result of my divorce.
WE initially began as a social support group where monthly meetings consisted of brunch, girls’ night out, hikes, and more—all with the idea to befriend, connect, and support each other. A few months passed where no one would show up but I kept at it. I hosted a potluck dinner, and I had twelve women in my one bedroom apartment in the Valley. ” Towards the end of the night, I asked each woman to share what they wanted to get out of the group going forward.
A month later, our very first volunteer day was scheduled at the Downtown Women’s Center where we provided manicures and makeup applications for the homeless women at the shelter.
My older brothers, on the other hand, had much more freedom.
They were allowed to participate in extracurricular activities and sports and have friendships outside of family.
Fast forward to the age of 17, I married an Albanian man ten years my senior and moved to live with him in Los Angeles. He wanted to live the Albanian lifestyle; I did not.
It was a painful realization because I did not want to hurt him, however I was hurting myself.