“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
― Brigham Young
There are so many ways I could have started this post, but this quote sums it up beautifully. We, as women, are powerful. As a historically untapped source of strength and love, it has been awe-inspiring to watch our gender bloom over the recent years, uninhibited by fear or hate. On this day, more so than any, I would love to bring to light the women in my life who continuously push me forward.
There will never be a greater symbol of strength in my life than my mother; she is the pinnacle of strength in my eyes. As a single parent, she cleaned houses to kept food on the table and a roof over our own heads. Even married, my mother was more parent to me than my own father or step-father ever was. I know on many occasions (more than I think I’m willing to admit) she put our well-being and happiness above her own, teaching me what love really is and what you do for those you truly love. I owe so much to her that I’ll spend the rest of my life showing her just how much I love her and how proud I am to call her my mother and friend.♥
I learned so many things about my grandmother after she passed, many of them wonderful, but a few of them were tough to hear. What this did was teach me a lot about her character. She was an awfully private person and my mother has spent a lot of time talking with me about her since her passing. My grandmother had to deal with my grandfather being targeted and killed in Vietnam, which left her alone with two kids. Through this, she met the president, helped publish some of my grandfather’s writings on the war and raised some pretty tough kids, including one spectacular woman I am lucky enough to call my mother. In addition to all of this, she was an accomplished and skilled artist. I remember spending muggy evenings in Raleigh, polishing drift wood for her work as we chatted away. She was, and still is, such an inspiration as a painter, sculptor and all around artist. I look forward to the day I inherit her work and can teach my own children about what a wonder their great-grandmother was. I miss you and I love you so much. ♥
What can I say about this woman that I haven’t said before? She’s been my best friend for almost twenty years and I haven’t regretted a moment of it. She is an example of what grace under fire looks like and reminds me to constantly strive for my goals, no matter how small. I count myself lucky every day that I am fortunate enough to call her a friend and sister. When I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, she turns on a flashlight and walks whatever dark path I’m on with me, always letting me know she’s there. I hope, beyond anything else, that I have been as good to her as she continues to be to me. Thank you for loving me. You’re more than a friend, you’re family. ♥
Jessica and I don’t see each other often, in fact it’s been years, but that hasn’t swayed my love for her. Recently, she came out about a diagnosis and, upon reading the blog, I was in awe. It takes guts, folks, exposing yourself to the masses. Not only guts, it takes a lot of heart. It isn’t as if I didn’t admire her before, but this just solidified it. She is so good to those around her, never asking for anything in return, and is a solid rock to those around her. Jess, I am so proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished. Thank you for spreading your positivity, even when you can’t see the positive yourself. You’ll always be Red #1 to me and I’ll always be your #2, regardless of my hair color at the time.♥
(I bet you forgot about that, huh?)
This girl was my first real best friend at the age of 11. Over the last twenty-two years, I have watched her grow and blossom into such a bad ass human being. Erin is one of the best mothers I know. The care and time she puts into her family is beyond admirable. From Tai-kwon-do and baseball to carrying around a stuffed shark to take photos of him ‘enjoying his day’ for her son, she makes motherhood look like a breeze. I know it isn’t, but I can only hope I am half the parent she is. And tough? Don’t even get me started. She has battled Endometriosis for years and has undergone countless surgeries…and STILL she prevails. She still runs marathons, works out and continues to kick general ass. Thank you for showing me what strength looks like on so many levels and for always having my back, no matter how long it’s been. I love you to pieces. ♥
My sweet Andrea just became a mother. I am so proud of her, I can’t even find the words. I just…I’m so proud of the woman she has become. We met our junior year of high school and we’ve been stuck like glue ever since. Even when she lived across the country, we still spoke all of the time, never skipping a beat. I have watched you blossom over the years and I feel honored to have been a part of it. You always go to bat for me (I have literally gone to bat for you…remember me showing up at your ex’s house to get your things) and you speak your mind, which I immensely admire. You’re always a ray of sunshine in my life, no matter what, and I hope that I have had a fraction of the impact on you that you have had on me. You’ve one of my best friends and I think of you the same way I would family. There isn’t a limit to what I would do for you, and now your beautiful baby boy. I love you, so, so much. Thank you for being you. ♥
I haven’t known her for long (and we haven’t met…yet), but Reese has already had an impact on my life. This woman sparked the fire that currently has me getting rid of the surplus in my life, while maintaining a healthy balance between what I need and love. Through her, I have been exposed to some wonderful bloggers and have continued to explore what it means to lead a healthy life, while being aware of the impact my commercial choices have on the environment. Watching her clean up messy roadsides or shucking clams reminds me that strength comes in all forms. I found this wonderful woman through my best friend and, in Reese, I have found a fellow lover of mason jars, floofs and food. I know that when we do finally meet, it’ll be monumental and most likely spent with our good friend Erin and thrift stores galore…and food. Never forget the food.
Sometimes, it takes a near death experience to bring people closer together; while we were already close before, I think Ruby’s near death experience did just that. I’ll never forget the call I got from Daniel that day. However, I digress, my Ruby is indestructible. In fact, you cannot seem to destroy Dystroy (see what I did there). The courage she showed during her recovery is something I hope I can find deep within me, if the need ever arises. She is a great friend and always has my back, no matter what. The thing I appreciate the most is how easy-going our friendship really is. We can go a month or two without seeing each other and we just pick right back up where we left off. Ruby is never judgmental, always down for a sushi date and knows how to have a good time. She’s also a kick ass makeup artist that I have been lucky enough to work with over the years. Her artwork is nothing short of gorgeous (the first time I saw some of it, I was envious), she breathes fire and was once one half of the babe show The Terror Twins. I count myself so lucky to call you my friend. Thank you for everything. I love you, Rubyface. ♥
I truly can go on and on, as I am fortunate to know so many inspiring women. These women, however, hold a special place in my heart for one reason or the other. these are some of the women who have had a direct impact on my life, no matter how recent. I don’t however, believe that this kind of celebration should be relegated to one day only. Every day should be a celebration of our strength and perseverence. Who inspires you? Let me know below, because I would love to hear! Cheers to you and all of the strong women in your lives!
Favorite Female Businesses (only a few) From Instagram
- The Silver Spider Print Shop (@thesilverspiderprintshop)
I have gotten a few pins from this lady and I love them! Plus, she’s a literary buff and is constantly coming out with similar pins. Check her out!
- Tower Press (@TowerPress)
The dynamic Atlanta duo, @susannahleigh and @_nativebear, have teamed up and done it again. this time, they’ve started their own business! Both of these ladies are a huge inspiration to me and I’ve followed Susannah for years. If you need anything printed in Atlanta, hit these ladies up!
- Bloodmilk @bloodmilk
It seems like everything the lovely ladies do over at Bloomilk turns to gold, or at least gorgeous jewelry and imagery. I have been following @bloodmilk and @jenvonhaunt for YEARS! These badass babes are a force to be reckoned with. One day I will own some of her jewelry. Until then, I’ll be over here drooling.