A few months ago I asked four of my dearest friends to, “think of five words that I offer women”. I don’t know why. I think I was feeling particularly insecure about myself and wanted to know that I was still inspiring to other people. I was at a strange point in my life. I had just finished my PhD and was trying to figure out who I am.
I am no longer a student, likely I never will be again, which is weird.
I no longer have consistent deadlines imposed on me by other people, likely I never will again, which is weird.
I am as they say…transitioning.
I didn’t get the fancy tenure track job that I applied for, most likely because I had spent my entire PhD program telling everyone that I didn’t think that path was ideal for me (cue manifestations from the Universe).
I wasn’t ready to run for state Senate yet, because we were moving and I need to get to know my community better before I run for office and win (cue manifestations from the Universe).
I was launching a new online program called Marginalized No More to build up an army of kick ass women who are reclaiming their voice through focused, empowered, inspired, and passionate political action (cue manifestations from the Universe).
I was scared that no one would listen to me. I was scared that no one would know I am an expert in my field. I was scared that no one would believe that working with me will change the world. I was scared that my shimmer and shine was too bright for most people. I was doubting my badassery.
And so I asked and received every single word that my friends dished out to me and OH MY JUICY DELICIOUSNESS was it AMAZING!
Alison wrote: Assurance: that they can (grow, do, overcome…whatever it is they fear they can’t do) Fearless: you model being fearless, which does not mean being without fear, but able to success despite fears Perspective: you function as a conduit to diverse perspectives and how culturally oppressive norms get in the way of social justice Definition: what is enough, how to test it and review it and embrace it. Perfection isn’t real. Women are enough, they just can’t do all the things. And they don’t have to. Optimistic: you bring passion believing that all of the above is possible.
Liat wrote: Agency, passion, support, loyalty, encouragement
Marci wrote: Empowerment, courage, inspiration, nurturing, resolve
Kim wrote: Freedom, voice, acceptance, courage, strength
Y’all, I put all of their comments in a note on my phone and printed it out on a piece of paper and I have been carrying it around with me for months.
Every time I doubt what I am doing, get afraid to send the essay or apply for the speaking gig, fear that the book deal will never come…I read that piece of paper and I am reminded without a doubt that I am fire and hope and passion.
I am my own unique brand of badassery. I am Dr. Melissa Bird, PhD. I am wonderfully, beautifully, unapologetically…me.
BIRD GIRL MAGIC ON THE INTERWEBS:
USC Bedrosian Center My AWESOME second installment of my podcast with the USC Bedrosian Center hit and holy cow the feedback blew my mind. One of my friends said he made a scene in the grocery store when he yelled “HELL YES” so loud. Then he texted me this message,
“The points that you made regarding how we put people into boxes based on assumptions was big for me. Just because someone is Catholic from a rural part of CA does not mean they don’t want better access to birth control. Your point of simply coming to the conversation to listen to one other without assuming they are “the other” is needed more now than ever. Our founding fathers had huge differences of opinion but they all agreed that the rule of the king and parliament was not the way to go. As a member of the federal executive branch I am very aware of both the extreme power and the extreme limitations that it has. When we forget that the other two branches have the same situation we loose sight of the beauty of the system and this experiment loses its power.”
I may have just had a little bit of a HELL YES myself! If you missed the first installment on activism, check it out here.
by Jennifer Judd-McGee by swallowfield on Etsy
Marginalized No More I launched an amazing ALL ONLINE program called Marginalized No More that you can do in your jammies with your favorite beverage in your hand. This activist program will help you make a demonstrable difference in your community by tapping into YOUR passions so that you can engage in things that matter to YOU. Buy it now and get started today!
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @birdgirl1001
Have a kick ass week, Missy