Meet my Pink Network!

When I moved to Toronto 11 years ago, one of the things I missed most was the tight circle of girlfriends I’d left behind. I discovered that meeting legitimate, close girlfriends can take time. I’m lucky that over the years, I have met some really amazing ladies. Without any family in this city, these women have been my pseudo family. Although we don’t see each other all the time, we’ve shared milestones together, celebrated holidays, laughed and consoled ourselves with lots of drinks & bad TV. I don’t know what I would do without my friends.

As you may already know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Approximately 23,200 Canadian women and 180 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Most of us have been in some way touched by the disease. An important part of fighting cancer (and just dealing with life in general) is to have a really strong support network.

When Telus offered to donate $400 in my name to The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, in exchange for a post about my “Breast Friends”, I couldn’t say no. As part of their Go Pink campaign, Telus has set up an app on their Facebook page where you can create a photo gallery of your “Pink Network” (best friends). By doing so, Telus will donate $1 to The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Telus will also donate $25 for every pink BlackBerry Curve 9360 sold during the month of October. The goal is to raise over $250,000 for early detection research and treatment. If you are interested in learning more, his video does a really great job at highlighting the campaign:


On this blog I talk a lot about my experiences with men, dating and relationships. However, behind each of these stories, are amazing girlfriends who supported me, listened to my crazy stories and helped me pick up the pieces when things went south. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to convey how grateful I am to have them in my life, but I figured this post would be a start.

Meet my Pink Network: (I’m praying they don’t hate me for posting photos of them on the internet)

Ange and I met as co-workers but quickly became friends. Ange has an amazing sense of humor and is a kick-ass designer with a knack for making everything she touches stylish & beautiful. We share a mutual love for ugly cakes, bad tattoos, weird crafts and incessantly quoting How I Met Your Mother. She’s taught me that most of the days problems can be solved with good friends, a bowl of soup and a Betty White comedy sketch.

Rebekah is the first real friend I made in the city. An ex-boyfriend introduced us because he thought we would get along. He was right. We have been friends ever since. Rebekah is level headed and loyal. When I found out that my family wasn’t able to come to my university graduation and I was considering not going, she volunteered to come watch me walk across the stage – something I’ll always be grateful for. Even though I don’t see Rebekah nearly enough, whenever we do spend time together it feels like hardly any time has passed at all.

Jeanne and I met through a mutual friend. When that friend moved away, Jeanne and I started hanging out regularly. She is kind, generous, hilarious and incredibly easy to get along with. Even if she doesn’t know you very well, she is the kind of person who will welcome you into her life with open arms and instantly make you feel at home. Jeanne is one of my favorite people to spend a free afternoon with. Whether we’re going to walks along Queen St, watching bizarre documentaries or just hanging out, we always have fun. She has a positive energy about her that I’m pretty sure is contagious.

Melissa and I met a few years ago through blogging and have since transitioned to “real life friends”. She is go-to “plus one” at parties, my unofficial business manager/social director/career counselor and as she puts it “Resident Pushy Jamaican”. When I was first learning to network, Melissa would literally push me towards people and force me to talk to them. Although I’ve gotten over my fear of talking to strangers, she’s always coming to me with ideas on how to grow this blog and my career. She reminds me to dream big. I can’t help but think her encouragement has helped me become who I am today.

Amy and I have been best friends for 27 years. When I first saw Amy peddling down our street on her tricycle, I thought “This girl looks cool. I want to be her friend“. The rest is history. It’s impossible to distill our friendship into a few lines so I will just say this: I love Amy like family. When life is chaotic, she’s my voice of reason. Amy is one of the best people I know and I can’t imagine not having her in my life. Even though we haven’t lived in the same city in years, she’s always just a phone-call away.

Part of this assignment was also to describe the best weekend I’ve spent with my girlfriends. The truth? Because of busy lives and geography, I don’t think any of us have ever been in the same room at the same time. I’ve never had a true “girls weekend” but it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing.

The good news? You guys can help make this a reality! You can help me win a well deserved weekend getaway at a Niagara Falls spa or a winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley for my girlfriends! (Trust me, they totally deserve it for putting up with me) Please tweet the following:

“RT @by_simone It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! http://su.pr/ApNvU1 Meet my #pinknetwork & tell me about yours”

Thanks for your support!

Who’s part of your Pink Network?

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