Dear friends: today is International Day of the Girl, and as such, I have a very important announcement:
Today, I’m celebrating my womanhood by celebrating all the girl bosses in my life.
They never quit on themselves, or me. Most importantly, they remind me to stay focused on being the best woman I can be, and help me keep my eyes on that prize.
These women are JUST A FEW of the many along the way who have shown me what sisterhood is all about. LISTEN to how amazing they are:
Charlotte Long is a forever friend. She’s a light in the storm and a belly-laugh at all hours. She is kind, level-headed, logical, and astute. She is a remarkable communicator, is incredibly patient, is so intelligent, and is going to be an amazing mom. She is a gift, she is my ridiculous twin, and I am forever better for having known her.
Lauren Henrickson is the silly wife I’ll never have, but will always fawn over. She is caring, empathetic, thoughtful, and committed. She is a safe place for me.
Whitney Beth Harrisis the pal and confidante and second opinion that keeps my feet on the ground. She uses art to break down boundaries of judgement. She puts others’ needs before her own, and holds them with unwavering dedication. She reminds me to be gentle with my feelings, and let myself off easy sometimes. She will also drink wine with me whenever. I appreciate this.
Kaitlin Ann Logan and Abby McCollom are two mighty powerhouses. They are fearlessly pursuing their dreams of creating a more just, equitable environment for higher education and secondary students—specifically those who are often overlooked by the system. These women are change agents, and it’s exciting to watch them trail-blaze.
Zack Reeves (not a woman, but still wonderful)give me hope that a feminist absolutely doesn’t have to be a female, and that with a little determination, I can change the world if I want to. He’s taught me about sisterhood through his brotherhood. Wow.
Becky Brandhorstis a girl boss at work, at home, in love, and in life. She shares tough love when you need it, and a shoulder when you don’t. She has set milestone goals for herself and, at only 26, has managed to stay right on track. She juggles adversity with grace and makes me want to do better. Her passion is an inspiration.
Angela Davis reminds me weekly (through actions and words) that God is good—a reminder I often forget I how badly I need—and that my spiritual practice should come first. She offers a family model that is empowering and inspirational to me through her love for her church, friends, family, and husband. She helps me love unconditionally.
Amanda Zuritais a far-away contact whose adventures and travels inspire me to add more to my own list. It is thrilling to see a woman traveling the world with abandon, pursuing the life she loves without apology.
Laura Beth Woods, Ashely Haggard, Jennifer Burris, and Sarah Brewer have long-since been leaders, role models, and dear friends to me. They’ve stood by me on the journey, and have stepped in when I (and they, probably) didn’t know I needed it. How lucky can a girl get?
Kristina Krug is a bright, beautiful, multi-talented dreamboat who’s been making the world her oyster and checking out every corner of it ever since I’ve known her. She’s the perfect person to spend an afternoon daydreaming or scheming with.
Rachel Faylene Millerreminds me of my queendom every damn day, and that it’s worth putting first. She works hard for herself, which is the most inspirational truth of all.
Chelsea Anne shows me the power of self-care, of saying no, and of making time for quiet rejuvenation. She answers the late night calls. She reassures that all is well—even if it isn’t quite at that moment.
Georgia Lynn Henry Gates introduced me to the most sacred place of my as an 8-year-old girl. 18 years later, it’s still given me the most formative years and lessons of my life. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to St. Crispin’s so that other girls could learn how to shine.
Valarie Grant is so stinking talented. She captures people in their purest and happiest moments, and leaves them with a snapshot of some of their brightest, finest selves. And she’s only 23?! Bow down.
Leilani Romo reminds me that, at the end of the day, love is all you need. Period. And after 18 years of friendship, it’s safe to say that she was one of the first people in my life to show me the pull of Girl Power.
Katie Koljack puts disgusting, lecherous, abusive humans behind bars to create a safer Tulsa for all women and men. #GirlBoss
Katie Wallace, Kaitlin Rempe and Abbie Peraza make me feel beautiful and proud of my body every day (physically and mentally), and show me what great things can happen when women take charge charge in business.
Avery Schoenwald is the sister I never knew I wanted. Adventuresome, ridiculous, kind, loyal, and full of life. You are nuts, and I love every single thing about you.
Brenda Ashbaugh and Allison Guimond are the devil and angel on my shoulder… The yin to my yang, the zig to my zag, and all the serious stuff, too. Their support has grown and changed over the years, and forces me to calm down, relax, and try to be a little better. Real sisters, right here.
Calee Rigdon is a vision, and is always quick with an ironic meme, or a change in perspective.
The women of the Tulsa Ultimate Federation make push myself harder than I think I can–not for the approval of someone else, but for myself. Playing with you makes me happier, prouder, and better. Plus, we have all the fun!
Victoria McArtor makes me want to be a better writer. More than that, she makes me want to build a life around writing, and live into the dreams I set for myself long ago. Perhaps most importantly, she’s not afraid to build something from the ground up.
Shagah Zakerion has been so astonishingly honest during her battle with cancer this past year—generous with her mind and worries and bravery—and has still managed to lend her tired voice to the causes of others in the meantime. Aside from this, the work she’s already done to push Tulsa forward is astounding. Spend five minutes around her, and you’ll leave ready to DO. This is the type of gal I want to be.
Laura Beth Woods, Char Rose Ham Long, Rachel Mosely, Lauren Brown, Kate Hoffland, and others make me excited for the challenge of motherhood, should it ever happen for me.
Libby Bender shows me that the backroads pay off, and that big, crazy ideas are worth chasing.
And the best for last: Suzanne Shepherd shows me how to be a great woman, pal, partner, sister, daughter, worker, and friend through her service and relationships daily with the own girls in her life, specifically Amy Judin Best, who has provided lessons of her own as long as I’ve been alive. I was gifted the best momma around, and now she’s my forever gal-pal and always-on girlfriend, always sending me love. HELL YES.
Every day is a day to celebrate the great women in your life, but today, take a moment to pay special attention. Seems like we don’t do it enough.