At the Bar: Happy International Women’s Day!

I wrote this a year ago on International Women’s Day in 2018. I wrote it in the midst of a breakup, in the midst of being tired of apologizing for what I knew was MY truth, no one else’s, in the midst of knowing the expectations I placed on myself were unfair. And thus, this came out. To the women in my life, I love you, I’m humbled by you, and I’m proud to know you.

***Disclaimer: I speak a lot of women’s strength and positive characteristics in this little note to women. Before anyone gets offended, I am in NO way writing that men do not carry these traits. I know many a man that does and shares in these beautiful things. I am also not speaking for any woman that doesn’t want to be spoken for. I am merely writing my own thoughts here and celebrating women today from my perspective. Why? Because I want to. ❤ ***

It’s International Women’s Day and maybe it’s corny or predictable to write something about women today but as a woman who has decided to turn her life upside down, ask questions, feel pain, pleasure, happiness, and doubt…… I think about the things we put ourselves through, the lives we live and the responsibilities we take on, the experiences we want to have…And today, to be quite frank, I have never felt more beautiful or powerful in my life.

Do I mean that to sound egotistical or vain? Absolutely not. What I mean is that I better recognize what we as women seem to possess and give to this world. Our strength is our beauty… 

 But what are the things that make us strong?  

Our Resilience. I would say I’ve reinvented myself four times now. Am I the same person in a lot of ways before these reinventions? Yes. Will I probably always be, as someone recently told me, much like dynamite wrapped in c4? Yes. Full of energy, life, hyper, passionate, emotional? Yes. I will probably always be those things to some degree. But I have faced so many challenges. Loss, death, suicide, having to watch others in pain, death of myself or the identity I associated with, injury, etc. Every woman I have ever met, has dealt with similar things in one way or another. We have had cards dealt to us, and even in those events we can keep a softness about us. We keep an understanding of how the pain is meant to bring us to a better place. How we can take those events and still uplift others around us, while realizing our potential. Filling ourselves up along the way, as we do individually and together….Have you ever seen a group of empowered women together, all working towards personal growth? What a beautiful sight. Powerful, stunning, and scary all at once.  

Our Vulnerability. Some mistake our emotionality or sweetness for weakness. We CHOOSE to be sweet, vulnerable, open. We can of course choose who and what to be vulnerable towards, but, to be vulnerable means that we are open to the things that life puts in front of us. It is not a weakness. We run at life with open arms to embrace every high point and even more importantly, every single low point. If you’ve never let yourself fall down a hole, you’ve never been uncomfortable, you’ve never had to build yourself back up….you’ve never seen just how truly powerful you are. I have often thought to myself in my lowest points that if I could just not feel anything anymore or block my heart/soul/emotions/not care, then life would be so much easier….. 

Now before you’re all like “awww”…..stop.  I definitely choose what to give energy to about nowadays and I know where my energy is well spent, but I can never block my heart or emotions entirely. I don’t want to. To be able to be vulnerable has given me my greatest gifts and I refuse to live life half way. So thus, bring the tough stuff. Maybe I’ll learn to be less of a participant of my feelings and maybe more an observer (2019 update: last year I found myself shamed and apologizing for being an emotional person. No more. Though, I am better able to recognize and manage when I’m being emotional and I think that’s kinda bad@**-y), but bring the tough stuff. Let me be vulnerable. Let me live. 

Our Humble Natures. There’s a difference between not having confidence and being humble. To be humble means to me that we are in awe and grateful of the world around us. Yes, sometimes we women can get down on ourselves. We are taught to be “humble,” not accept compliments, or when we do receive one act like it’s not true or we could be better. That can be detrimental to us. Yes ,we can easily get down on ourselves because we will allow ourselves to say sorry, apologize for not being thoughtful enough, or offending someone. Yes, we will make mistakes and sometimes we let those eat away at us because we are taught to feel guilt (not healthy, truth). But overall, we know the things that make us truly humble. When someone does something nice for us with no expectation, when someone tells us when we first wake up with terrible breath and no makeup that we are beautiful, when we look back at our pasts and see how far we’ve come because of our very own doing. Those things truly humble us. Make us grateful. Make us powerful. Connect us to this life we often try to make sense of.  (2019 update: I read a quote once that said “have so much self-esteem that you’re humble” and I’m here for it).

Our Motivation.  Most women are motivated, I believe, by love or connection. By our friends, our family, our own self love, dreams for betterment. We wake up every day and know we need to connect. Whether that’s with ourselves on the couch, whether that’s crushing a business meeting, whether that’s sending a text to someone hoping it will bring a smile to their face. We never stop being motivated. We want to inspire ourselves. Be enough for ourselves. We don’t need a man, another woman, our significant other, a friend, a family member to tell us we are enough. We can tell ourselves that we are enough. We motivate ourselves to do things in life that fill us. Sometimes that is giving to another human. Sometimes that is giving to ourselves. We make that decision and that is beasty.  

Our wit. Our charm. Our power. Our love. Our ability to love our significant other. Our ability to stand on our own two feet and apologize. Our ability to stand on our own two feet and own our actions. Our ability to give a softness to this world while also standing tall and be a boss. Our ability to say yes. Our ability to say NO.  

There are so many things that a woman has, we will always have, because we choose to have it. We choose to give it. It is ours. Ours to live with. Ours to give out. Our softness is our strength. Our pain is our power. To the women in my life I have had the honor of sharing moments, time and glances with, to the woman I AM, I say this…. I am proud of you. You are strong. You are vulnerable. You are beautiful. Don’t put your head down. Stand tall.  

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