A letter to the wonder(ful) women
“She was a wild one; always stomping on eggshells that everyone else tip-toed on” – Kaitlin Foster
Hey beautiful 🥰
The current climate is so toxic and overwhelming. So, I wanted to write a letter to all of the women in my circle, to all of the women reading this. It is my hope that you end it feeling a little inspired, loved, empowered, and/or ready to carpe diem!
My 35th birthday is coming up (August 6th #teamleo ♌). 35?! Holy shit. If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a minute to brag a little as I near this mid-point in my 30s, so bear with me 🙈
- Mother to (2) handsome, amazing boys
- Recently promoted to Associate Director for a company I’ve been with for 10+ years
- 2nd-time homeowner
- Earned (3) degrees
- CEO of my own consulting business (more to come!)
- Great credit
- “Nails done, hair done, everything did”
- Awesome gift giver
- Great listener/advice-giver
- Avid planner
*phew* Okay, so the reason why I made this list, was not to be cocky, but to remind myself that I’m a wonder(ful) woman! 👏🏽
IF YOU GOT IT, FLAUNT IT
I feel like a lot of women were taught from a young age to keep their strengths to themselves – don’t flaunt them too much. Don’t come off as too confident. Don’t say too much. Whether this mentality was taught as a child, something we picked up in the workplace or instilled within us during toxic romantic relationships – it was meant to suppress us 😠 Some men (in romantic and professional relationships) don’t like showy women. Many of the older generations liked their women seen, not heard. Barefoot and in the kitchen. Even now, there are many men who are intimidated by strong, confident, successful women. Blah, blah, blah. I say to hell with all of that – it’s our time!
That said, sometimes you just have to see it written out to really grasp your awesomeness – to remind yourself that you are a badass. I encourage you to do the same. Write out your strengths, flaunt them! Don’t be afraid to brag a little. You earned it, girl! Don’t forget to uplift the women around you by celebrating their strengths too. After all, “when women support one another, incredible things happen” 💕
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
Whatever you say, say it loudly and one more time for the people in the back! 📢
I don’t know what it is about being in my 30s, but in the last few years, I’ve really felt like I have some things I need to say! I can admit that my execution is not always spot on, but can we blame that on my deeply embedded Leo traits? 🤪 In all seriousness, I’ve learned how to be the bigger person, pick my battles wisely, and most importantly, how to let my opinion be known without coming off like a complete bitch. I’m just a little bit of a bitch, ya see – choosing to speak up more than I’m holding back.
I realized in both my personal and professional relationships that I don’t get very far keeping my thoughts and opinions to myself. It doesn’t make me feel good either. IMO, when it comes to your personal relationships, it’s better to express yourself than suppress yourself for the sake of your partner. What does suppression accomplish other than you resenting yourself (and them)? It’s not healthy and it doesn’t aide in your personal growth.
CALL IT LIKE IT IS
In my workplace, I got tired of not saying something about the inequality I saw and personally experienced and just watching the circus perform the same show on a regular basis. I got to a point where I had to call a spade a spade and I haven’t really looked back since. It’s why I was finally promoted after I spoke my mind, stood up for myself, and proved that I’m an asset. I have a few select ladies to thank for giving me that much-needed encouragement 😘
As far as my romantic relationships, I stopped holding back what was on my mind. I have always been the type of girlfriend to let my partner know what issues I’m having and give them ample opportunities to adjust. Obviously, this entails my partner actually wanting to change. If you say you’re going to change, then I expect you to follow through 📝 Simple as that. If you don’t, then I’m going to call you out on it. I refuse to settle, but I’m willing to compromise. However, two people can’t compromise if the conversations are one-sided and I’ve resented a few men because I kept my mouth shut to appease them.
So, ladies, I implore you to speak to your partners, your colleagues, whomever. Have a conversation. Express yourself, tactfully. Our opinions matter! Just remember that along your journey, there are going to be people who don’t agree with you. There may be negative reactions, even some backlash. But, damn it, stay true to yourself! Stay true to your beliefs. Bring those positive vibes and that little bit of chaos that mankind thrives off of and grows from 🌀💗
DO THOSE THINGS
Is there something you’ve been holding off on doing because you’re worried about how others will react? F*ck that. Girl, go do that thing you want to do! I chopped my hair off two years ago knowing the man I was dating wasn’t really going to be a fan. I’m still rocking the short cut. When I miss my length or am having a bad curl day, I throw on a wig 🤷🏽 I wear acrylic nails and have a bunch of tattoos. I reclaim my time because it’s MY time. These are some of the things that make me happy and keep me sane.
So, start that business, go on that vacation, turn down that invite, emotionally eat all of the snacks. Whatever it is, JUST DO IT. Most importantly though, feel all of the feelings. Cry whenever you want, be upset, and then fix your crown 👑 and keep it moving. Ladies, we are special, beautiful, and resilient. Look in the mirror and tell yourself this at least once a day.
CHOOSE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF
Choose yourself. Always. No matter what. This is not a selfish act, contrary to what others may believe.
Love yourself first (even if you’re a mom). Doing so will allow you to control how much you give to others. When you don’t love yourself, you’re more vulnerable to the draw from toxic people.
Appreciate yourself in whatever form you currently are. Whether you’ve gained a little weight, haven’t gotten your hair and nails done in forever, or have an imperfection – just LOVE yourself. When we love ourselves, we have so much more to offer the world and no one can take that from us.
Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup ❤️
INVEST IN YOURSELF
Our 30s are a time to invest in ourselves. This new decade is a chance for women to really SHINE 🌟 Eat healthier, get active, drink your water, and take your vitamins. Go for that promotion. Quit that dead-end job. Chase your goals! You may not be in the career you imagined/want to be, but your journey will get you there with the right investments.
At the very least, this pandemic should be an eye-opener as to how very short life is. We may be wonder women, but we are not immune to whatever it is that’s happening around us. Thus, use your time on Earth wisely. Invest in people and things that will be a complement to the already amazing woman you are. For me, I look at the financial moves that will improve my quality of life in the present and in the future. 💰 My vision includes:
- paying down/off bad debt
- incurring good debt
- settings aside money every month for my kids’ savings accounts
- buying a home
- purchasing life insurance policies for my kids and me
- contributing to my company’s 401k plan
- moving my savings into a high yield account
- investing in stocks with Robinhood << my referral link
These are just some of the financial actions that I take to invest in myself. There are many other ways that contribute to your personal growth.
IF THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
Probably one of the most anxiety-induced tasks I’ve done in my life was writing my will. It was written up a few years ago, after finally accepting that time here is limited 😔 With two kids to raise and worry about, I thought it’d be smart to take the guesswork out of planning out life after my untimely demise.
It took a few weeks to complete because all I thought about was, well, death. What I failed to realize at that moment was that I was actually putting on my big girl panties and securing the future for my children and, maybe, my [nonexistent] husband 🤭 So while I was thinking about death, I was pouring life into my family simply by filling out some paperwork that will protect them in the long run.
While it can seem daunting, I strongly suggest that you get your will written as soon as possible, even if you don’t have kids. We are all going to leave behind some sort of legacy and you just never know. The way I look at it, if you can do some of the planning now so that it’s one less stress for your family, then why not?? 🤔 It’s also very much apart of my Type A personality, but that’s neither here nor there.
For the curious, I used willing.com. It was a really simple process. My estate plan includes the following:
- Last will and testament
- Advance healthcare directive/living will
- Durable power of attorney
GO BE GREAT
In closing, remember how powerful you are as an individual, but how much more powerful women are as a whole 💞 While 2020 has been a complete shit show so far, I pray that you find peace within the chaos and continue to use this time focusing on YOU. Keep counting your blessings because any day above ground is a good day.
Some of us may not be where we envisioned ourselves this year but know that that’s okay. We are exactly where we’re supposed to be – on this journey together. Living, learning, growing.
Air hugs & kisses,