Mother’s Day for us All

My goal was to look like a feathered lion. Crushed it.

We all have it. A love that knows no limit. A patience that can’t be explained. The resilience to keep going when we’re at the end of our rope. Mother’s live it out in a unique way, but all women are amazing.

Every path is different. We can’t judge each other, but we can respect and admire the women in our lives. So here are a few women (some moms, some not, all women) I’m only connected with online who I look up to daily and a sliver of the reasoning behind it.

Ashley has survived more natural disasters than most people will ever face. It would actually be very on brand for the cicadas to surround her new living place. I might have to check in on her and any crops she might have planted. During it all she’s kept her family safe, her workplace thriving and all of us online laughing through her exploits. She is the Amy Poehler in my life. Humor is a highly under appreciated gift in many women. And we don’t just use it to keep our kids entertained.

Sarah was in the very outer limits of my circle of friends in college. But now seeing her on social media has given me a renewed appreciation for her. For some of us “being ourselves” means unapologetically declaring “I love PSLs and I’m not ashamed of it!” For others this looks like refusing to be anyone’s secretary, or rejecting even larger expectations. But she looked the world square in the eyes and chose to be herself over every meaningless expectation placed on her. As she shares fears and victories, I constantly feel empowered to choose myself over others’ expectations.

Heather has grown in my heart. You know how some people you see as exactly how they were when you knew them? I had this problem when attending my high school reunion. You struggle to see them as anything other than their teenager selves and expect at the same time that they see you as the evolved adult that you are. I’m not sure she and I ever really interacted when in college, but that doesn’t often stop us from painting a picture in our minds of who someone is. She has slowly but surely changed my mental picture of her. It’s easy to say that someone’s online person isn’t really who we are, but I believe hers is extremely close. She’s open, honest, wise, funny and very real. And I’m proud after all these years to be a fan, not just of her books or social accounts, but of her.

Emily has been a joy to watch. She has passion, vulnerability and wisdom. I feel like I’m watch a rocket about to take off. There are some people that you see and you just know have the potential to make it to the top if that’s what they want. There’s something so beautiful about observing potential. It’s a heavy weight to bear, but learning to define it yourself can make all the difference. For some of us, reaching our potential means landing at the top of our field. For others it means seeing how you’re changing living every single day. And happiness often comes from figuring our where you want to land and living it with all you have. I don’t know what it will mean for her, but I’m gladly following along and cheering in my heart at every step.

Some women become mothers, some don’t. But every woman in my life shows the characteristics that we praise on Mother’s Day. So here’s to you, who care for others, who welcome others in to your life, who help support those who need it, who point out healthy boundaries, who take care of yourself first in order to be strong for others. Every day is a new battle, but you’re not alone. We’re in this together.

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