one of my favorite statues at hearst castle in san simeon
My beautiful friend Lauren reached out to me and asked if I’d write a piece for a powerful movement and event she is helping to coordinate with Unify for International Women’s Day. I was nervous to write something and before sitting down at my laptop I took a moment to pray. I asked for the words to flow from me, to have my thoughts be clear and honest. This is what I wrote.
I AM A WOMAN
I am a woman who celebrates the success of my brothers and sisters. I am a woman to be wed to a soul that seems to be weaved from the same tapestry as I, who knows my heart and accepts my flaws. I am a woman who strives to live in an authentic place, open to saying sorry when I decided to listen to my ego. I am a woman about to leave her twenties, but I was not a woman as I left my teens.
At 18 I hid behind beautiful friends, afraid to be seen and hungry for approval. I found myself vehemently rejecting the women I wanted to be like, judging them for their kind hearts and friendly demeanor. I was angry that they seemed to have answers to feeling comfortable in their skin, while I felt trapped inside mine. The mirror was my enemy and self-hatred comforted me like a blanket made of fiberglass. A girl waiting to grow.
I learned to survive and thrive in society by using media as my mentor, television shows and movies taught me to find the prettiest girl and be friends with her. While watching my back as someone will inevitably try to tear me down. It taught me either you were having fun at the top of the social food chain or lonely at the bottom. By High School I had strategically found myself feeling incredibly lonely and lost while being nominated for Homecoming Princess. I had done what the movies told me too and yet I was sad. The only person tearing me down was the demon in my head. I hadn’t found connections in deeper interest and trusting friendships, I had figured out how to play popularity politics. A girl waiting to grow.
Then like parting clouds, one day when I was 19 a voice in my head said, “try something different, say hello, don’t reject – start accepting.” I accepted a friendship into my life who taught me about love and acting from a place of love. A seed of love was planted in my pain and the girl began her journey into growing into a woman.
I no longer hid behind beautiful people, but searched out beautiful souls. I listened to my heart when developing female friendships. It would take me a little bit longer to find my worth in male relationships, but I eventually did. In the meantime I was starting to grow real friendships, a sisterhood. I was starting to recognize a person beneath insecurity, pain, and loneliness. I was not an armored heart nor a raw nerve, but aware and cautious of who I decided to let into my circle and be vulnerable. People did not need to prove themselves to me, but I would no longer hold on to them if I felt they were not there to be a nourishing presence.
An amazing new narrative is being taught to a fresh generation of young minds, and women in media are presented within our full potential. Women hold places of power based on intellect and not sensuality. Women support each other and lean on each other, instead of seeking out a male partner. Women have strong voices without apologizing. Women have full and caring hearts without being weak. Women are moving into positions where we were previously absent. Together we are effectively tearing down the expectations and limitations placed upon us and creating a new normal.
In the age of communication, where connection is at the touch of a button, it is so vitally important that as women we empower young women to act from a place of love and authenticity. To pass on stories of support and strength, not fear and competition. Express that nourishing your heart and soul, is how you unlock your dreams and where you begin to create the life you desire. That focusing on your own feet doesn’t mean you’re alone, it means you won’t trip. That your sisters will be by your side to help you through the rough patches and can hold you up when you’re too tired to go on. Your sisters will nourish you back to health. Your sisters will hold up a mirror till you’re ready to see your own beauty.
We invite you to get together with your own sisters or if you’re feeling brave walk into a new circle. Either way, know you will be welcomed with open arms on International Women’s Day. We are all writers creating our own story and collectively we can write the story of the world filled with powerful and positive heroines that are shifting minds and changing perceptions.
Thank you for reading my piece and to find a circle visit women.unify.org