It has been humbling to see such an array of posts from some phenomenal women unfold and being received by women of every demographic in the celebration of my birthday. I really can’t thank my “Leading Ladies” roster enough for their contributions.
In as much as the series has been about me, it really isn’t. Sometimes we go through life and the motions never stopping to take a moment to think about the road traveled. Each of the women in this series had to take a real and in some cases a difficult look back to how they arrived where they are today. In many cases, there were several drafts, thoughts of how vulnerable they wanted to be and still great gratitude for going through the process.
I didn’t just play editor-in-chief. I took the journey with them. I laughed, I pumped my fist and some even made me cry. Not because the stories were tragic, but because collectively I saw me in each and every one of these women. Week after week, my road to thirty became clear as I read each post and realized I am not alone in my thoughts, actions and struggles. The roster was made up of different ages, races, geographies, perspective etc. Still, the message was clear and consistent- leading ladies are about more than being a celebrity or a person of importance. We make things happen, we fail, we ground ourselves in our familial values and culture, we learn, we share, we support one another and everyone else.
Have we arrived?
The answer is “yes” and “no”. The truth is while this collective roster practices what they preach many of us “in real life” do not. There are some of us who are bashing, catty, jealous, and very singular in their approach to life. I’d like to think these types are the minority, but I encounter them more often than I would like to. If nothing else, I hope that this series has inspired all that have read it to deviate from those behaviors, love themselves and champion others.
The journey is the destination.
In other news, we all have a sense that no opportunity is beyond us. We have the ability to grab what we want with fewer obstacles than previous generations. Essentially, we can have it all if we want or we can have bits and pieces. The choice remains with us. The challenges of balancing our ambitions with the reality of life still exist. However, audacity and perseverance has squelched some of those concerns as well. Perhaps, it is the case that we haven’t arrived; but I do believe we are almost there.
Many thanks to all of you that have supported the series. Whether man or woman there is something to be admired about those that are willing to share themselves for the purposes of helping others.
The “Leading Ladies” posts may be over for now, but the movement continues.