Happy Thursday – but more importantly, Happy International Women’s Day! Today is an important day for women everywhere. According to the IWD website, this year’s theme is #pressforprogress. With global activism like #metoo and #timesup heralding a new time for women, this theme has come at the perfect time. It’s time to be gender inclusive, motivate and unite friends and family and get communities involved. Gloria Stienen once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”. I’ve collected a handful of super important lessons from the super important women in my life and wrote them out for you. These are important for every woman, in every walk of life, to know and take to heart. Take today to celebrate the uniqueness that is being a woman and to lift all the women you see today (and every day) UP.
When I first became a mom, I neglected myself, because anything that didn’t revolve around my son felt like a selfish endeavor. It wasn’t until I had two more kids, that I realized I was a better mom and wife when I felt good about myself. This could be through my appearance, cooking a certain meal, or going to the gym, etc. Just taking the time to focus on something I love doing or that is good for me. It turned out these “selfish” endeavors were really a gift to everyone because I was at my best with them when I took the time to care for ME. Now I relish in the time I set aside to put on makeup. Not because I’m making myself presentable for others, but because it’s one of the very few times each day where I am focused solely on me.
I would say one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to invest in people who invest in you. I spent a lot of my early college years trying to be friends with people who didn’t want the best for me, and ignoring those who did. It’s such a waste of time and energy! Start chasing friendships and relationships that make you feel extraordinary – even if it’s your mom. In the long run, I was a lot happier and spent a lot less time doubting myself.
A big piece of advice I always talk about is how important I think it is to travel alone at least a few times in your life. I am not a solitary person – I thrive when I’m surrounded by people, but traveling alone made me so self-sufficient and confident. You really learn about yourself, and what you’re capable of, when you have no one else to rely on! And in order to give love and support to others, I think we need to know how to love and support ourselves first.
I think this was a big one for me when I was in college, too. It’s so easy to want to blend in and like stuff you may not actually like because it’s cool, or your roommates will like you better or that guy in your chemistry class will be more into you etc etc etc. But that only sets you up for disappointment because it’s not who you really are. Start RIGHT NOW in being completely honest with who you are and what you like. You will attract others who like those things and will be SO MUCH happier with those people than the people you had to fake it with.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
One of the biggest life lessons that I’ve learned over the years is to never be ashamed of your scars or your past. It’s easier said than done, of course. In this day and age, there is so much pressure to be perfect and to put on a brave face and to not talk about the wars we have fought. I used to be so ashamed of my scars (both physical and emotional) from the year I spent fighting pediatric cancer. I was afraid that people would think less of me if they found out what they were from. I hid them. I was embarrassed of them. And I let those feelings turn into self-disgust and resentment. Instead of appreciating my body for the things it had survived, I hated it. Instead of being proud of the person my experiences had helped me become, I hid away. It was unhealthy and it was unnecessary for me to feel that way, and it is unhealthy and unnecessary for you to feel that way, too.
Guess what? Your scars make you who you are. They are your badges of courage. They have built you up into the person you are today. Do not let anyone make you feel less for carrying them. Do not feel ashamed to show them. And never believe that you are less because of them.
At the end of the day – YOU have to live your own life. Nobody else is going to make the most of it for you. Things are never, ever what they seem from the outside looking in, and chances are if you saw what really lies beneath the surface, you would choose your own life every time. Social media, especially, is just the tip of the iceberg. Life goes by so fast, you should savor each precious moment. Don’t let comparison rob you of all that is yours to cherish, celebrate and experience. The good and bad, the ups and the downs, the joy and the sorrow. It’s what makes you who you are and it’s what creates the family you love so much.
Don’t let comparison rob you of all that is yours to cherish, celebrate and experience.
I hope you guys take this to heart today. Let yourself be a strong voice in your community and help me and the other strong women around you squash gender inequality. We are strong and smart and a force to be reckoned with. I’m insanely proud to be surrounded by such amazing females.
Comment below what you plan on doing to celebrate this important day in the comments below. I encourage you to pick one thing today to focus on and encourage those around you to do the same!
HAPPY #FASHIONWEDESDAY! Yesterday I hung out with the adorable ladies at the St. Louis Michael Kors store getting a sneak...