The air was filled with laughter and chatter, as more than 4000 women took their seats in the auditorium. Everywhere I looked I saw women hugging one another ‘hello’, squealing with delight as they located a friend, beckoning her over, ‘I saved you a seat, come sit with me’. We were all there for a women’s conference. A celebration of friendship, purpose and love and yet I felt utterly alone. No one had saved me a seat; there were no smiles of recognition as my gaze connected with other women in the crowd. I was there on my own. New to this city, it was a last minute decision to attend the event and it seemed like everyone had a friend except me.