Happy International Women’s Day, everyone!
This day is very much my sorta kinda Mother’s Day; or, as I have seen it referred to on Twitter, “the feminist equivalent of Christmas.”
A very good friend of mine called me this morning to wish me a Happy International Women’s Day. She reminded me that today is my day; and it is. And it is her day, too. And yours, too. And every other woman’s day. Today is all about women everywhere; celebrating ourselves, each other, and all of the difficult, courageous, and revolutionary work that has been accomplished throughout history and is still being done today in order to better the lives of women, and to ensure their rights and freedoms, regardless of where their lives take them.
I wanted to thank everyone who entered our International Women’s Day giveaway. We partnered with LELO to give away the absolutely beautiful LELO Soraya luxury vibrator. The winner of the giveaway has been chosen and announced on the Rafflecopter form in the giveaway post.
The one mandatory entry of the giveaway was to share a story in the comments about a woman who has inspired you in some way throughout your life. You all shared some truly touching stories about the women in your lives with us. Thank you.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, I decided to spotlight a handful of the stories that were shared with us during our LELO Soraya giveaway. Sharing stories about phenomenal women in the world who have directly impacted the little community we have gathered here is a fitting celebration of the importance of today, I think.
My sister has always been the strongest female figure in my life. She’s my sister, my mom, and my best friend. I have more memories of my sister and I than I do of my mom and I. My sister picked me up from day care, changed my diapers, taught me how to crack my knuckles and cross my eyes, teased me like a typical big sister would, and shared with me in secret her first tattoo. I was the first person she told when she eloped with her first husband at age 21, and she is the one I always go to for support and encouragement. She bought me my first teddy bear, Patches, who I still have to this day, from the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. We share a love of books, second hand stores, and hilarious movies. I don’t know what I would do without my sister. I still want to be just like her, and I even try to walk, talk, laugh, and act like my sister. Even though there is more than a ten year age difference between us, we share the same regrets and sorrows about our mother, and we have connected through that pain above all else.
When I was growing up, my grandmother was just my grandmother. She taught me basic things like phrases in Japanese, how to use chopsticks, how to eat everything that was put in front of me. Because she wanted me to, I had to attend language school on the weekend. As a child I didn’t understand that my grandmother had a past. When I was about 13 my family visited the internment camp she’d lived in during World War II. But even that wasn’t the whole story. It wasn’t until I was in college that my aunt revealed that my grandmother had never, ever spoken about the war to her children. You couldn’t expect my grandmother to just talk about her life; you had to ask her specific questions to elicit responses. I’ve been learning about my grandmother’s life my whole life – just random pieces at a time, like the fact that thanks to the war, she can’t stand applesauce. She’s outlived her older brother, her sister-in-law, her husband, her brother-in-law, and most of her friends. Despite all of that, she is incredibly resilient – despite being in her late 80s, she’s still travelling to Japan, gardening, taking care of a little dog, and making trips to Vegas. Even with looming health problems slowing her down, she’s just made necessary adjustments in her life. Even though I don’t always feel like I share common ground with her, I am incredibly proud to be her granddaughter.
I would have to say my friend Nicole. She lost both parents when she was 17 and had to leave her school and friends and move across state to live with grandparents. Today she is the most level headed sweetest person i have ever met. She had a rough go at things and she never let it get her down. She is an amazing person and inspiration to me always!
My grandmother inspires me. She had seven children. Lost two children as toddlers. Lived in six different countries. Was chased out of most of those countries by war. And still kept her dignity and pride. She was a strong woman. A survivor. She is my idol.
My mom inspires me. After being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years her husband walked out on her. She didn’t have a high-school diploma, had no work experience and had four kids to care for. She started taking classes to learn basic computer skills, got her high school equivalent and started working at the bottom of the ladder at an insurance office sorting files. She worked her ass off, was a fabulous parent to me and my siblings, and now, 15 years later she is in a great position at the same company and owns her own home. She is a wonderful grandmother to my 8 month-old son. She didn’t give up, she faced her fears and she did it all by herself. For these reasons she is an inspiration.
Thank you to everyone who shared their intimate and personal stories of the inspiring women in their lives with us, and a huge thanks to LELO for allowing us to give away one of their most-coveted vibrators in celebration of this day.
I hope you all have a fantastic International Women’s Day. Enjoy your day!