Today is a great day, not because it’s a Monday, but because today is International Women’s Day. Growing up the oldest of four girls, it took me a little bit of time before I realized that we didn’t need to compete with each other. There was a time when I would get jealous, but I’ve realized that there’s enough going on in society and that there’s space for every woman. When I embraced this idea, my life became richer for it, and I have an amazing set of women in my life who remind me of my value in the world and I will champion them everyday. In addition to telling the women in my life that I love them, I wanted to highlight some advice that some amazing women have given to other women in this blog post today.
“Anyone who says women are weak are afraid they’re too strong.”Cassandra Clare, The Land I Lost
Cassandra Clare is easily one of my favorite writers in the world, and I thought I would include this quote because I’m reading her newest book, Chain of Iron, right now. Women are able to endure so much, and society has all these expectations for us. I think that we all could accomplish so much once we commit to being aware of the power that we all have. Let’s remind the women in our lives just how powerful they are today.
“I always think if I could go back to my 27-year-old self and talk to her, I would say, ‘You can’t let anyone be responsible for your own happiness. That is up to you.’ Now I can say that because I am in a fulfilling, loving, happy relationship. But 27-year-old Kaitlyn was just starting to learn that and figure it out. You cannot make someone else responsible for your own happiness.”Kaitlyn Bristowe, 9 to Wine
Kaitlyn Bristowe is one of my favorite leads to come out of The Bachelor franchise, because she has always leaned into who she was and how she was feeling. From being sex-positive with a farmer plowing her field anytime, to crying on the internet, she is someone who continues to speak her mind and discuss issues that are important to her. For me, this advice reminds me not to let other people define what my happiness should look like. I should look inward for my definition of happiness.
“It turns out you can’t command the perceptions of others, and the more you try, the more you risk losing your own sense of self-worth and alienating people. It took decades of running myself ragged trying to gain acceptance from others for me to learn a fundamental truth I would now like to share with you: No one cares. No one is watching you. No one is tallying the total of your decisions, judging you from afar. They are not doing this because they are too worried about themselves. They are making all kinds of judgments about their own lives and worries, and I love you very much, but they are just not thinking about you right now.”Tara Schuster, Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies
Tara Schuster’s book was recommended to me, and I resonate with her on a lot of different levels. Something that resonated with me and kept me reading after the first chapter was that she mentions how her mom has always criticized her growing up. That is something that my mom did a lot, in part because that’s who she is, and the other part is that she values the opinion of other people so much. For a long time, I scrutinized everything that I did because that was how I grew up. As I tried to become a better version of who I am, I realized that no one is analyzing me as close as I thought they were. This has helped me overcome a lot of my personal issues.
“I am still proudly oppositional and defiant. I probably always will be. You should be, too. Never forget that you can forge your own path and use your own voice in whatever way you want. You don’t have to play by the rules.”Claudia Oshry, Girl with No Job: The Crazy Beautiful Life of an Instagram Thirst Monster
This is a lesson I continue to work towards learning as a college graduate. For most of my young adult life, I have always been a planner, and I become a little undone when things don’t go according to my plans. Following Claudia Oshry’s career, she seems to fly by the seat of her pants, and it has worked for her. It makes me believe that my path doesn’t have to look like someone else’s, or how I’ve planned it out. I can always create my own career for me, and if it works as well as it has for her, then I’ll be beautiful, stunning, and smart with my own company one day too.
“It takes time. And it takes hard work. And when you’re not putting in the work, you’re not going to move forward. I’ve always been someone who has waited for opportunities to come to me because I was scared of rejection, but I looked around and realized everyone who was reaching their goal was going after it and working on it every single day. And just because someone might tell you “no,” it doesn’t mean it’s the end. I always thought “no” meant I should stop, but now I see it as telling me to work harder.”Becca Tilley, Create & Cultivate Interview
Becca Tilley is the contestant I find I was the most drawn to in The Bachelor franchise. When her journey started, she was the virgin on her season and had so much grace in the way that she carried herself. In contrast, I was watching it as a virgin myself, and the way that identity defined me made me feel embarrassed, shamed, and unworthy of love. I’ve followed her journey since, and I think that it has also allowed me to give myself grace in who I am and the things I’ve experienced. I look forward to her podcast Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad every week.
“It’s easy to look at the negative [and] get down when things don’t go your way. It’s easier to complain than to encourage. But nothing good comes easy—and I believe our lives are a direct reflection of the way we choose to see them. So change your perspective.”Tanya Rad, Hum Nutrition Blog
And I think that was a great transition into how I found out about amazing modern women, Tanya Rad. Tanya is my favorite follow on social media, because she is such an empowering light to women everywhere, whether you’re a younger girl trying to figure out her period, or a career woman trying to find your courage in the work place. I highly recommend that you follow her no matter who you are or where you are in your career, because she has reminded me about the confidence I should have in who I am everyday.
Who are some women who have made an impact on your life? What is the best advice you’ve ever received? If a younger version of you walked up to you asking for advice, what would you tell them? Tell me in the comments below.
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