Here's to the women that have unsettled thoughts, uncertain paths, and hearts like sponges that clean up all of the blood from the broken hearts of others.
Here's to the women that have backbones made out of steel, their great-grandmother's mettle, and the prayers their daddies whispered before they were even formed.
Here's to the women that aren't afraid to make tough decisions, speak hard truths, and aren't afraid to ball their fists tighter than hardened clay -
here's to the women that aren't afraid of the fight.
Here's to the women that step into the middle of the arena. Here's to the women that have rally cries that inspire wanderers behind them. Here's to the women that turn around, without hesitation, to help the staggering few behind them.
Here's to the women that do hard things even though they're terrified.
Here's to the women that sometimes need to rest. With their hands on their knees, they bend over to catch their breath. And here's to the women that stand back up and continue.
Here's to the women that just ... continue.
And here's to the women that run their fingers over the cracks and bloodied edges of you, and when you forget -
when you forget where you've come from
when you forget where you've been
when you forget what battles you've won
when you forget what battles you've lost
when you forget -
here's to the women that whisper softly that
you are a climber
you are a live wire
you are a survivor
Can you hear the reckoning? It's time. It's time to become a generation of warriors.
Don't let the high school lunchroom label follow you into adulthood because nice girl, mean girl, sleep-around-girl are baseless and unimportant and you are going to shake the world - bring it to its knees, and I'm really [not] sorry here, but
you just don't have time for it.
And not like be good and mind your curfew and cross your legs and laugh in all the right places.
I mean be THE good. Hold hands with the lonely. Walk with the lost. Stand next to the silenced. Feed the hungry. Be generous and gentle and love Jesus.
Don't you dare forget how to stand and square your shoulders and bite back though, baby. Sink those teeth in. You are the result of your grandma and her grandma and even her grandma. Every single woman you have ever met courses through your veins and your marrow and use their voices as your rally cry when you have forgotten your own.
Create. You are the damn sun and you were born to do hard things and that means you are here to use your hands to create something. The cracks in your hands are not filled with mediocre. They are filled with extraordinary. Use those hands to hold up what you've created and show the world how good you are.
Find what you love. Chase it to the exclusion of all else. There will be days that you'll need to stop and rest and that's okay. Just don't ever stop putting one foot in front of the other.
Women are powerful, holy beings. The hum of the strength vibrates under our skin. There will be days when your pure and graceful fire will terrify you. And there might be days, months, years even, that you find yourself laying dormant. And it will be then - the moment you rise - that you'll realize that the entire time you were only gathering strength for your roar.
For your battle cry.
My God, the world needs to hear it.
Don't you dare ever forget it.
I told him I wanted it to be extraordinary.
I told him to turn around and walk away if it couldn’t be extraordinary.
I told him that if he didn’t know what extraordinary felt like, or looked like, or walked like, then he needed to turn around and walk through the door.
I’ve had ordinary.
I’ve had plain.
I’ve even had boring.
I’ve had broken, betrayal, and bruised.
I’ve never had extraordinary.
And listen - there are only a certain amount of days on this earth that we’ve been given. That we’ve been blessed with. That we’ve been granted.
We’ve only been granted a few.
So I told him if he couldn’t give me extraordinary, then he needed to walk away and try with someone else.
And he smiled. And when he smiles it’s sort of crooked, but even his eyes crinkle. He smiles with his whole face like his momma and his sister. And damn if I don’t fall in love with him all over again.
This is a win I want marked in my column because not only did he smile, but he stayed.
He is a complicated, messy man.
I’m a self-conscious, half-crazy girl.
We’re walking through this world promising each other that it can be extraordinary.
If that doesn’t feel like a holy prayer, or a deep breath - I don’t know what does.
Someone called me fearless the other day, and I laughed a little.
And snakes maybe hiding in leaves that I haven't dealt with since November.
And not enough sunscreen.
And just not being ... enough.
An entire lifetime ago, BFF Suzy gave me a magnet that reads, "Every day, she takes the wild dare," and it's in my classroom.
An entire lifetime ago, another friend gave me a wooden sign that reads, "Be a go-giver and not just a go-getter," and it's on my desk.
An entire lifetime ago, I framed Christopher Poindexter poems and hung them on my bedroom wall and one of them reads, "There are mountains in your skull, oceans and chaos," and I'm never going to take it down.
I laminated my goals for the year and they're within reach on my desk. They're divided into quarters because that's what responsible adults seem to do or whatever, and it's now quarter 2.
I didn't meet some quarter 1 goals.
And a quiet voice sneaks up the back of my spine and whispers violently in my ear that I didn't finish.
I'm four and my dad is in college and his giant desk is covered with graph paper, mechanical pencils, and he coaches every single one of my activities. I steal the pencils and the paper and I draw. He sits me on his knee. "You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up." His massive hand motions across his desk. I believe him.
I'm in fourth grade and my new teacher with wild red hair and mismatched earrings tells my mom at parent-teacher conferences that I talk too much. "She needs to settle down a little."
I'm in the tenth grade and scrawled across the bottom of one of my papers is messy handwriting. "You'll never be able to do *this* with papers written like *this*."
I'm a freshman in college and we're workshopping our creative writing pieces and I have three in front of me. I stare at the words. "These two are okay, and this one is weird." I glance up. My professor says, "Let's talk about the weird one."
I'm in the middle of my Master's Degree and it's the middle of summer and I sit at my desk crying because a document won't save on my computer and there is no time to take a break.
I'm in the middle of Year Five in my marriage, and the dog leash is in my hand when a truth slips out of his mouth and maybe Mrs. Sutherland was right in the fourth grade - maybe I do need to settle down a little.
I suppose my parents always knew it would happen this way. I suppose they always knew that when I put my head into my hands at the end of a long day, their wisdom - like bombs of rationale - would float to the top.
- If one of is us working, we're all working...
- We're always on your team...
- You only have each other...
- Stop half-assign it...
- Spring always comes...
I close my eyes and pick the one that best fits the moment and paint it over the problem.
I think one of my biggest faults -
I think one of my biggest assets -
I think one of the heaviest things I carry is that I charge forward.
I suppose that can be misconstrued as fearlessness, and Ulysses by Tennyson is one of my favorite poems because
"I am a part of all that I have met,"
"Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
I carry all that I have met in my back pocket so that when the slinky snake named Failure, named Rejection, named Never Enough slides back up my spine,
I can defiantly whisper back that
I'm not done yet.
I'm just ... not done yet.
And neither are you.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences. And if you need an awesome virtual assistant, who is full of personality and really good jokes? Email me. I'm your girl.
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He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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