As I’m sure you’re aware, today is International Women’s Day. Throughout my life I have been gifted by so many relationships with strong, brave, powerful women. Some I’ve been lucky enough to have been born into and others I’ve amazingly, and quite simply, stumbled upon along my journey. To all of the women in my life whom I deeply love, admire and respect, this post is for you.
For my grandmother, who left her home country many years ago, settled and resettled three different times, worked with her hands, endured hardship and raised three successful daughters who grew up just as spirited as she is.
For my mom, who is the most pragmatic, independent and compassionate person I know. Who taught me the art of being stubborn, no-nonsense and driven. Not to mention the importance of a budget, an education, the ability to do your own laundry, clean your own bathroom and be self-sufficient. And now that I’m a mother, I am still in awe at how she managed to get three kids up and out the door by 7:30!
For my sister, who has spent a lifetime courageously walking beside me as we’ve navigated life. For supporting my decisions, being my cheerleader, allowing me to fall apart more times than I can count and yet still loving me despite my weaknesses.
For my “sisters”, my friends, who are hustling for their dreams, supporting their families, mothering little humans, raising them up to be respectful of equality, diversity and justice. You amaze me every day with your ability to love fiercely, to fight passionately, to question and still believe in goodness.
For my mother-in-law, who has shown me what real class looks like. Whose love of art in all forms reminds me to look for the beauty in everything and for raising three sons who have never questioned the power, rights and equality of women.
For the women who care for my child, I don’t say it enough but I appreciate the love you give to my little girl when I’m not around. I applaud your ability to be patient, caring and loving in the face of 10 needy toddlers. You are so much a part of her confidence, growth and joy.
But International Women’s Day is not just about women.
For the men in my life, for my dad, who never made me feel like being a women was prohibitive. Who insisted I be tough, smart, quick and clear. For my brother, who has always seen his two strong-willed sisters as equals. And of course, for my husband, who reminds me every day that my only limitation is my self-doubt, who inspires me to dream bigger, be bolder and knows how to give a serious case of tough love when needed.
Lastly, for my baby, who continually reminds me to put it all out there: be fearless, unapologetic, loud and proud and ever curious. May these traits continue to thrive throughout her lifetime.
May she (and all women) see a time when we no longer need a day to remind the world of our importance.
May she work a job where equal pay is the rule, not the exception.
May she never be on the receiving end of cat calls, groping, harassment.
May she never hear words that make her feel like she is less than simply because of her gender.
May she be respected for her skills, her knowledge, her abilities.
May she grow up to remain steadfast and true of the rights of women.
May she learn from the brave, spirited, feisty women who’ve come before her and walk powerfully in their footsteps, as she stands up, marches on, speaks proudly and lives confidently in the truth that we are equals.