Hey ladies, yup you. I am talking about how incredibly freaking fierce you are. Listen up sister friends. It’s actually really true what they say about the women who lift each other up; the palpable power of women coming together to learn, grow and share. To wildly tell the truth. It’s actually unstoppable. I am forever grateful for the women from all places and times of my life who have rallied around me, who continue to say things like “Write a book. Your words are like a song I want to hear sung.”
So, confession- I was a little hesitant and all “oh boy a women’s conference” about speaking at the Charleston Center for Women’s annual conference. At. First. I was dripping with flip-ness (read: self doubt). I was placed with 2 other women on a panel about (gag) PASSION. First, I was like, um, what do I know and/or have to offer to other women about finding their passion? Like, I still don’t actually know what I want to be when I grow up and um, also, did you miss the memo about my ass on the kitchen floor puddled in all my broken pieces– and the yoga pants/pudding pops situation?
Then I remembered. I. Got. Up. And I said all these things to all of you about living with a heart broken wide open and fuck, fine, I’ll go do the thing. So, armored in geeky glasses and my best LulaRoe leggings, I bravely marched into Southend Brewery on a Thursday evening and met my fellow panelists. I was sure they’d be super together, glowy skinned, salad-eating and be all, ya know, well-postured in the I do yoga every day way. Can you hear the story I was telling myself here? Yup, self doubt, shame and what the fuckness ALL OVER the place. Well the truth is that they were 1) eating nachos, 2) also on the kitchen floor at various points in life and 3) well postured and glowy but like NOT in the obnoxious way. In the “oh my god I am already in love with both of you” way. They were amazing and I was hooked and we used words like “picking up your passion” “moving through your feelings” “letting go of self-judgement” and I didn’t want to barf– I wanted to marry them.
Flash forward to last Friday where hundreds of women from all walks of life came together to learn, grow, support one another and take action. The buzz in the room was buoyant and the three of us got up there and turned ourselves inside out, told our truths and helped other women own theirs. It was only 50 minutes, but I could actually feel the room moving together as women said “me too” over and over. ME. TOO. First, it’s sort of amazing what happens when you go after your own passion and you just put your stuff out there. Who the hell knew that my messy stuff could help your messy stuff and in turn we could walk away arm in arm? Second, never, ever underestimate what a woman can do. After our panel I had several women come up to me and tell me about their kitchen floor moments– about the horrible places they had found themselves in and about the choice they made to get the f up. They talked about that place of “well I could sit here for always OR.” Or. And they all chose the latter. They all chose to move forward. And not only like one foot in front of the other, but actual leaps and bounds into starting non-profits for other women, going back to school, writing books, advocating for victims and telling their stories. And these women, these amazing warriors told me that MY WORDS had helped them that morning.
Jaw. Drop. No. Words.
Moral of this story: gorgeous people of the world– if you have a story, I’m going to need you to tell it. If you feel like there is something creatively buzzing away under your heart, your WACKY SWEET BLESSEDLY BROKEN heart, you have absolutely got to let it out. The world needs you and your story. Our stories, those spaces of “me too” are exactly what we need to heal. Ourselves, our babies, our nation, our collective heart.
Secondary moral of this story: if you are going to go after your passion, if you are trying to figure out what this other writer/speaker/truth teller side of you might be, and it’s gaining momentum– you just might, possibly, want to have business cards. Before you go to a conference. Of women. Looking for connections. Just a thought.