I heard a little girl speaking to her mother on the elevator asking why she had to go to her classmate’s birthday party even though it wasn’t her friend.
Her mother said, “We need to be kind to everyone in our class not just our friends. We need to think about how we want friends at our birthday party so we do the same for others. We need to be…”
DING. The elevator door opened to their floor and I didn’t catch the end of her statement. I wanted to chase after the woman and squeeze her frail and tired body.
I started creating a whole list of things in my head that “We need to be” particularly as women. Need is often a dirty word, but let’s give need the power back just for a minute.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the past 10 years around groups of women. I was in a sorority in college and my coaching team is predominantly female. I’ve met and befriended women from all over the world and I have grown such a deep respect and admiration for women who are fighting the good fight. I am in several online communities in the digital world that promote women traveling, exercising, writing, and pretty much owning their personal passions.
I love women who are standing up for what they believe in, especially when it isn’t something that everyone believes in. We need more women like that.
I believe in strong women, feminism and women having a voice.
So, here it is.
I don’t hate men. I love men. I was raised by an incredible man, grew up with two wonderful guys as my older brothers and I am currently in love with one of the good ones.
But, I, in fact am a woman. And I have a voice. A voice I can proudly articulate.
Today is International Women’s Day and I am beyond grateful that I have a voice because many women still don’t.
On an episode of Magic Lessons with Elizabeth GIlbert she said, “To be criticized is the tax that you pay for having a public voice. To be rejected is the tax that you pay for having a public voice. There is a very simple way to make sure that you are never criticized and never rejected and that is to never have a public voice.”
So, today, I want to write a message of hope, a bit of a mini-manifesto; for young women, old women, working women, children, students, prostitutes, artists, or anyone who identifies as female.
Individually, it is hard to be everything we want to be but together we can be. Together we are what we need.
We need to be women who speak up.
We need to be women who champion for others, not just other women, but anyone who is an underdog that will not champion for themselves.
We need to be strong and fierce. We need to be vulnerable.
We need to teach little girls that it’s not about who has the most Barbie dolls or the prettiest dresses but who shows kindness and compassion to others.
We need to stop telling little girls how pretty they are and start asking them what books they are reading.
We need to make our daughter go to everyone’s birthday party.
We need to be tender hearted and supportive.
We need to be intelligent, quirky and free. We need to drink beer when we want to and wine when we need to.
We need to make other women feel powerful, beautiful and sexy no matter what they wear, what their body looks like or what happened in their past.
We need to gain respect by simply living in a manner that demands respect.
We need to stop comparing our lives to celebrities or our sorority sister’s Instagram account. Her instagram account is not her life, it’s a projection of what she wants you to see of her life.
We need to realize that everyone struggles, cries, eats a whole tub of hummus for dinner (that can’t just be me)
but we also need to recognize that we live in a world where so many women are still voiceless.
We need to be the voice of reason, respect, and dignity for those women who live in places where they don’t receive any of that.
We need to be women who our husbands are proud to call theirs, and our children and grandchildren will be proud of our legacy long after we are gone.
We need to think about what we send out into the universe, what we represent and how we make others feel.
We need to realize that being all of these things, does not mean we need to hide our flaws, shortcomings and imperfections.
We need flaws to be. We need to constantly question who we are, where we are going, and what impact we want to leave on the world.
We need to remember that despite any woman’s’ outward appearance- there is a soul inside of there trying to get out.
We need to remember that we all have a lion inside of us.
We need to be fierce and determined but gentle and nurturing.
We need to be whatever the hell we want to be.
We need to be women who leave a legacy for generations to come.
We need to use the incredible gifts we are given instead of wasting time wishing we had someone else’s gifts, someone else’s body or someone else’s life.
We need to be warriors, travelers, creators, teachers, doctors, lawyers, mothers, scientists, artists, CEOs, and businesswomen.
We need to be women who cheer on our friends, cousins, sisters, neighbors and co-workers.
We need to be women who instead of getting jealous of another person’s success acknowledge their hard work and diligence and apply it our own lives.
We need to be women who laugh too loudly, speak what is on our mind, and start families when we want to not when we think we have to.
We need to be women who use our voices on good days and on bad days to show the world that the flaws make us human, not weak.
We need to celebrate the women who represent what we need to be not just women who look nice.
All of the women who use their brain, their intelligence and their beauty because yes, you really can have it all.
All of the women in my life both near and far who represent what we need to be and so much more.
And this post especially goes out to that mother in the elevator- keep telling your doe eyed daughter what we need to be.
Most importantly, we need to work together and use our voices because we are exactly what we need to be.