Today is International Women's Day, and I want to celebrate by sharing some encouraging notes that I hope will help you feel strong and empowered today! I'll be doing some more posts throughout March for Women's Month, and I've even got an exciting giveaway coming up to celebrate. Stay tuned!
To the woman working in career fields that have long been the domain of women--nurses, teachers, sewists, and more: thank you for continuing the legacy. Women like you have quietly worked, persevered, and built our societies through your jobs and skill sets. Sometimes you have been treated as if you and your job were trivial because it is "women's work," but what you do has been foundational to our societies and families. You have spent hours with the sick and dying, opened little minds to the wonders of the world, created beauty on shoestring budgets and imagination, cleaned rooms with knowledge and skills not found in books. Your work is important. You are important.
To the woman staying at home and raising children: thank you for your perseverance and love. Simultaneously you are put on a pedestal and written off by various parts of society. Your work in raising the next generation and engineering a happy, healthy home is necessary, but sometimes people may judge you or wonder why you choose to stay "stuck in the past" when modern women can have "more." Your job is sometimes seen as less valuable because you don't receive pay. Please know what you do as a caregiver and homemaker is dignified, honorable work that couldn't possibly be paid for in dollars. Your family and home benefits from your time and attention, and you can feel confident in knowing your choice to stay home is valuable and above reproach.
To the woman working in a male-dominated career field: thanks for pushing the boundaries of what is possible for women. We recognize the difficulty you go through in oftentimes having to prove yourself and your ideas are worth taking seriously. You may feel the need to change yourself to fit in better at work, but I want you to know that who you are as a woman is capable and strong. Even if your efforts at work are not always acknowledged or the little pressures and slights you feel begin to weigh on you, know that women around the world see you and are applauding you. Even if we are not called to be in a male-dominated field ourselves, we thank you for opening up this opportunity for our daughters and granddaughters. Your pioneering work and patient dedication benefits all of us.
To the single woman, whether by choice or circumstance: thank you for your presence and passion. Oftentimes you may be overlooked, feared, or treated as a commodity because you are a single woman. You don't need a significant other to be happy and whole. You are able to do what you want when you want, to craft a life around your passions and desires, to dedicate yourself to great purposes with less distraction. That is a beautiful, powerful gift. Don't wait to do exciting things until you have a man or dilute who you are to be more "appealing." Continue to grow and strengthen yourself, to advance and climb, to chase success and purpose. Be the strong, bold, incredible woman that you are and let others take notice and be inspired. You are top-notch and you are cherished.
To the woman with different abilities or illness: thank you for getting up and fighting each day. Your life probably doesn't look like what you expected or what society says is "typical," but you continue to find solutions and workarounds that make your life successful and allow you to do what you need and want to do. You overcome obstacles that others may not even realize are there, and you do it with determination. You work with your body, your mind, and your health to find rhythm and balance, and when it gets thrown off you keep going and find another way. You aren't afraid to be seen in beautiful dresses, to admit you need to pause and recoup, to start a business as you spend your days at home. Your circumstances don't define you, but they have made you who you are today. You constantly take the lemons life gives you and make not just lemonade, but decadent lemon meringue pies out of them. Thank you for your grit and persistence in building a beautiful life.
To the leader-woman in the spotlight: thank you for being willing to take hits to do something great. I have discovered that being a leader is simply being the one willing to take the most punches and get back up, and you're doing that every day. You are critiqued, you are judged, you are maligned by those that don't know you or how much you've worked to get where you are. Double standards for male and female leaders are difficult to navigate, but we respect the grace and persistence you demonstrate in confronting them. Your character, integrity, and skill earn you the right to speak at tables long denied to women. You are our voice in positions of power and influence. Thank you for representing us, advocating for us, leading us, and continually getting back up for us. Lead with everything you've got, and don't slow down or shrink back so others feel more comfortable. You are at the forefront of advances for women, and we thank you for your bold strength.
To the woman in the beauty or fashion industry: thank you for finding the beauty in each woman and showcasing it. Whether you are a MUA, designer, stylist, fashion business owner, model, or woman that goes out of her way to compliment and encourage others, thank you for what you do. You have the opportunity to shape and mold society's ideas of what is beautiful, and you use that to knock down falsehoods and build up truth. Your work is not vanity or frivolousness. You help us reveal what is inside us and how to express it to the world. You teach us skills and give us looks that help us women feel radiant and empowered. Thank you for your attention to marginalized women or women outside of "ideal" beauty types. Thank you for reaching out and helping us see that beauty comes in countless shapes, sizes, and colors. Thank you for taking difficult stands to build up women as a whole, even if it results in lower profit margins, popularity, or societal approval. Your sacrifices and integrity are noticed and we cheer for you!
To the woman without children, whether by choice or circumstance: thank you for showing strong womanhood. Whether you have decided not to have children or have had complications with conceiving (or any other reason), you put up with a lot from a society that often sees you as abnormal or strange. You are no less a woman for not having children. You are a fun aunt to the kids in your family. You are a mother to those without family in your social circle. Your love is deep for your family and friends. As you grow in character, experience, and skill, you mentor and raise up those around you through conversations, business, and leadership. You have a deep impact that extends beyond your home. If you desire to add children to your family someday, I pray this happens for you and that you remain encouraged until that day comes. If you don't want to have children, I trust you to make good decisions for yourself. Don't let society look down on you in any way or be discouraged by the ignorant comments of others! We support you.
To the woman who feels like she just doesn't fit in: thank you for reminding us that womanhood is complex, multi-faceted, and unique. Sometimes we like to create categories or groups, but these groups become destructive if we exclude or disrespect others because of them. We all have different stories, one-of-a-kind lives, and individuality that makes the realm of womandom the amazing and beautiful place it is. Don't feel the need to forfeit the wonderful things that make you you; embrace them. Let us each reach out to other women that are different from us, that are outside of our "group" or unlike us and make them feel cherished and accepted. You, especially, know how that feels, having been on the fringe yourself. Thank you for taking the initiative to make sure others don't feel that way and to remind us of the amazing variety and complexity we possess as women.