Living through a pandemic has given us many intense challenges to navigate as we collectively adapt to a new-normal way of life.
During the recent lockdown in NSW, my weekly walks in the sunshine with a couple of close friends were also therapy sessions.
When one of us had experienced a terrible week of sick kids, homeschool and COVID tests, the other would listen and offer condolences. It was a chance for us to unpack and feel heard while getting time away from our homes and family. There was also plenty of laughter too.
The things we'll never say in 2021. Post continues below.
But I know that this is not the case for many other women around me.
While some have formed unbreakable bonds with people they barely knew; thrown together by circumstance, others have let unfulfilling friendships fade away.
We asked eight women how pandemic life changed their friendships. Here's what they had to say:
1. The friendship fade-out.
Ellie says that her friendship circle had not been right for sometime, but that she wasn't forced to make changes until COVID came along.
"I was happy to partake in a meaningless social life because it wasn’t causing me any harm," Ellie says.
"I had actively curated a circle of friends around me because I wanted to live out the narrative of someone in their 20s that had a solid 'squad'. What that resulted in was me taking on a sort of performative identity. I was willing to sacrifice part of me in order to ensure I had weekend plans and dinner reservations every Saturday.