Expand.

Woman.

The word itself stands alone.  It is powerful.  It is big and bold, encompassing every ounce of the spectrum.  We feel.  We know.  And our days never lack in navigating when’s an appropriate time to ‘feel’ and when it’s time to ‘know’.

During this pandemic, there were weeks I felt I was floating in and out of my “purpose”.  Fueled by frustration, I’d dig myself a hole and bunker in – waiting to see if anyone came looking for me.  And considering the world was in quarantine, you can imagine how my “pouting til they notice” played out.  No one but my husband and my dogs noticed my withdrawal.  

Eventually, I got tired of feeling sorry for myself enough to set some small morning goals – trusting that even in the tiniest steps, forward is still forward.  And once I started showing back up for myself, the more I saw myself in the women I had been mindlessly scrolling through just weeks prior.  Instead of comparing, I started connecting – other women are trying to show up for themselves too.   

Writing poetry.  Starting an online business.  Learning Photoshop.  Getting back in shape.  Redecorating.  Taking virtual courses and workshops.  Giving meditation a try.  Studying a new language.

I watched as so many women took this “pause” to sit with themselves and listen.  It’s crazy what gets lost when you’re always trying to be everything to everyone all of the time.  

Other women expanding themselves.

Honoring themselves.

Within their same 4 walls.

How empowering.

We carry a flickering hope that ‘honor’ will circle back around to us eventually, while continuing to give ourselves away in the meantime.  The slow deflate makes us feel like that pitiful, half-filled helium Smiley-Face that’s somehow still hovering with the big birthday balloons.  

We’ll patiently wait for the green light, the pat on the back from a boss, a boyfriend, a producer (and so on) because while its misogynistic and outdated, it fits like an old pair of shoes.  Perfectly broken in but after a few hours, still manages to blister your heel.  Now you just try to remember to wear thicker socks.

An expected pain, a ‘comfort zone’ discomfort

That’s just the way it is.

But it doesn’t have to be.

And if it doesn’t have to be, would I try to change it?  

How many of us, if given the opportunity to rise higher than we ever imagined, would actually trust ourselves enough to follow it all the way? 

I know my answer…now.  

But I’m also processing the reality of how hard it was to arrive there.  

I used to think that if I could get others to believe in me enough, success would come. 

Now I know the truth: Success only comes to those who believe in themselves enough.  

Shit.

That’s harder.

I think it’s really important that these are my thoughts today. 

On International Women’s Day. 

May we all want more so badly that we just go fucking get it.