International Women's Day
Happy International Women's Day.
I had no idea this was a thing until recent years. I was sitting in the quad one sunny day freshman year with a few friends and two guys were walking around with a bucket of flowers. They came over to our small group and handed the girls flowers. A kind gesture, but more needs to be done.
Over the last year, women have experienced great strides towards gender equality. but we still have a long way to go. The theme for International Women's Day this year is #PressForProgress. Progress is progress. With movements like #TimesUp #MeToo and the gender pay gap, the pressure is on for equality, especially in the workforce.
Take action in whatever way you can. Below are ways to enrich your knowledge, a few of my favorite females, organizations to consider donating time or money to for the empowerment of women, and important women in my life who have made me who I am today.
Learn more about what progress means and looks like. Start with the actual International Women's Day website which outlines goals and provide resources for the #PressForProgress campaign and also the UN Women website focusing on integrating women into economic, political, and social roles across the globe.
Creatives // Encouraging prose, illustrations, and sources of inspiration
Cleo Wade is a poet, advocate, and soon-to-be author. She writes simplistic yet thoughtful reminders for everyday life. The notes often include "that is all" because that's all there really needs to be! The themes range from social issues to encouraging us to love ourselves, embrace quirks, and constantly grow. Do yourself a favor and watch her Ted Talk too.
You've probably seen Milk & Honey or The Sun and Her Flowers in aesthetically pleasing photos on instagram, but there's a reason Rupi Kaur's poetry resonantes with so many: her words hold so many truths. The best selling poet inspires readers through love, pain, and femininity.
Mari Andrew illustrates raw, emotional drawings ranging from relatable to visual depictions of the chaos in our heads. I met her at Pike Place Market over the summer and I think I freaked her out by recognizing her on the street haha. Hopefully I didn't and only attests to the fact that she is steadily growing and imploring people to dream big, reflect on the past, validate the pain, be vulnerable, cry, indulge. and live unapologetically.
Share Love Everywhere is the sweetest movement I've had the opportunity to be apart of! Ashley Reale started hiding these little happiness cards after seeking the light and positivity in the world. Each card has a handwritten note or quote that delights the finder. What started as a small movement in Tennessee has now stretched far and wide across the world. I was an ambassador two years ago and it brought me so much joy to make these. I loved to hide them and think about the prospect of someone finding one and (hopefully) changing their day. The opportunity to be an ambassador came at a hard time in my life and instilled the idea of spreading love changes someone else's life and your own.
Food // Because my life revolves around food...
Two ladies Soleil and I absolutely love and draw great influence from for our blog The Little White Table are Lee from America and Alison Wu. Both these gals are developing healthy recipes, advocating for tuning in with your body, promoting self love, and above all learning along the way.
The best part about a place like Seattle is the local flavors. The Pacific Northwest is located in the optimal spot for fresh ingredients year round making it one of the hottest foodie towns in the world. Even better, the food scene is dominated by powerful women who own some of my favorite spots in town and also choose to give back to their community. My personal favorites include: Renee Erickson (General Porpoise, Bar Melusine, Walrus & The Carpenter), Maria Hines (Agrodolce), Molly Moon Neitzel (Molly Moon's Ice Cream), Linda Derschang (Smith, Oddfellows, Tallulah's, King's Hardware), Kari Brunson (Juicebox, Frankie & Jo's), Makini Howell (Plum Bistro), Rachel Yang (Trove), and Autumn Martin (Hot Cakes, Frankie & Jo's).
And at the very least, celebrate the women in your life.
I wanted to recognize a few women who have shaped me into who I am.
My grandmothers for being the matriarchs on each side of my family. They are the glue that fosters love and togetherness, spearheading quality time together. Plus, they always cook the best food. You can't beat my Lola's egg rolls or my Nana's red sauce. Their unconditional love and support set the foundation for two great families that I'm grateful to be apart of.
My mom for filling my life with endless love and support. My childhood was full of learning and fun, and as I've grown older, we've become closer. I'm lucky, I got the cool mom. One of the best things she does is write little notes and smiley faces serving as a constant reminder to be happy. She constantly encourages me to take risks, try new things, and to do my best. I'll never be able to come close to amount of knowledge, compassion, advice, and love you've given me, but I hope I have made you proud. I love you.
My sister, Gina, for being the weirdest, funniest person who just gets me. This girl is a running extraordinaire (running her first MARATHON this month), received tons of scholarship and is killing it at UCLA, but most importantly finding her way through the world and figuring it out. She's a constant source of inspiration, fun, and adventure. Thanks for being my sister, but most of all, my best friend.
My aunts for being some of the coolest people I know. We're like the Kardashians without the drama. They have a pulse on the latest and greatest in Los Angeles, tell me stories about my mom, contribute hilarious quips in our group messages, but, most importantly, are generous and caring and treat Gina and I as the daughters they never had.
My best friend, Lauren, who is the closest thing I have to a second sister. We have been in each other's lives since we were five years old. Everything from soccer games to Disney movie marathons, she's been by my side through my best and worst (aka middle school lol). She went out of state for college, moved to Oregon for a job and is now moving to Seattle for a new job! Lauren is making some moves! She is a constant source of rationality, thoughtfulness, and compassion in my life.
My best friend, Cristin, who I have also known since I was five, who is a force to be reckoned with. The girl paid her way through college and graduate without debt then hopped into Teach for America. She's supporting herself in Las Vegas, furthering her own education with a master's degree, and one of the most ambitious go getters I know. She's always there for me (and Lauren), ready for a vent session and sip of wine.
Soleil, my roommate/Leo/bestie, who exudes gratitude beyond belief. This gal writes thank you cards and bakes cookies just to give to friends and coworkers. How many people do you know that do that? Let me tell you, it's not many. She's thoughtful, caring, and driven. When she gets an idea in her head, she zones in on achieving it. She's constantly improving her health and wellbeing while diving into creative projects and giving me pep talks on the side.
Leigha, my roommate/Sagittarius/weirdo, who was once a random person who got dropped into my life and I now can't imagine it without her. We bond over awkward situations, watch endless amounts of my one second video and the television show Survivor and exchange the funniest stories. Side note: Leigha is one of the best storytellers I know. She is grounded (thank GOD, Soleil and I would be lost without you), supportive, finds the humor in any situation, kind, and friendly.
Sharon, my former roommate/travel and music buddy/bestie, has managed to put up with me for three years (with my ridiculousness). She's one person I know I can go to a concert with thanks to our similar music taste (aka she's a 1975 and LANY lover too). We've been able to visit various parts of the PNW and even Europe together. She's also recently achieved AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP. This girl is one of the most intelligent people I know and is saving up money to apply to physical therapy school. She provides me with a necessary dose of reality and rationality, patient and gracious.
Crystal, one of the first people I met at UW and was able to maintain a friendship with throughout the four years and postgrad. She works a full time job at a top research facility, has a part time job, takes classes, and plans to apply to grad school soon. She's hilarious and can laugh at herself, generous, and someone you can always have a good time with.
Anna, who weasled her way into my inner circle (jk please stay here), and is a friend and confidant. She works on one of the toughest units at one of the top hospitals in the city and is constantly striving towards her goals of traveling Asia and working in the medical field. She is wildly determined, honest, and funny.
Grace, who I refer to my blog mom! While we don't get to see each other as much, whenever we grab brunch together we have a great time. She has a killer blog, checks in with me to see how life is going and serves as a mentor for blogging and life.
Hailee, who was indirectly my mentee for a club I was apart of through college, who is a reminder of confidence and strength. She is one of the the smartest people I know but exceeds her intelligence with work ethic. I know that she will one day be a doctor, but first she has to travel the world with the Bonderman Travel Fellowship, which will take her to Southeast Asia and South America. This lady is hard working, dedicated, driven, and keen.
Bella, another person I've known since freshman year, is kind of a "mom" friend in the best way possible. She always is there to lend an ear and truly listen to whatever I need to discuss. She's loving her job at Planned Parenthood, educating women and providing healthcare. This gal is one of the most supportive people and equally empathetic.
Winnie, another former roommate, is reserved and generous. She’s my little winners!! This gal is super smart, enthusiastic, and going to be a pharmisicst in the near future. Couldn’t be more proud of her.
Kristi and I survived ochem together and launched our friendship from that traumatic class. From it we have our annual Hot Cakes date and push each other in our career goals and attempts at healthy lifestyles.
Polly, I met through our biology study group and we bonded over not knowing what we’re doing with our lives. When we lived together we talked about the randomest things since she was such an easy going and cherry person. She’s still figuring it out but switched it up for a post-bacc in computer science, something she loves.
Kass is one of the most daring and kindest people you’ll ever meet. We grew up playing soccer together and shared the same position, so we bonded quickly. She’s been even a come a constant throughout my life between her global escapades. She is inclusive, altruistic, and easy going.
Lisa and I became quick friends after the prospect of being roommates and we questioned why we weren't friends sooner. I now have someone who will forever go to Frankie & Jo's with. She is hard working, optimistic, and encouraging. This girl got into medical school too! Hello future MD!
Andrea and I knew each other in high school and somehow became close throughout college. She made the tough, and often looked down upon, decision to take a year off to shadow professions and reevaluate the path she wanted to go down. Quite a mature decision. I love that she asks me for advice even when I know she doesn’t need it from me. It’s been amazing to see her blossom into becoming a design focused engineer.
Maddie, who was my London travel buddy, redefined the art world for me and brought me in with welcome arms. She’s my museum buddy for life and making her way by following her passions. She is thoughtful and eager to catch up over coffee.
Amy is my adventure pal. The girl is always traveling to somewhere grand. She’s back killing it at Google and living it up in San Francisco. Beyond these extraordinary activities, she is humble and gracious.
Shreya was a mentor for me through undergrad even though she’s only a year older. She’s like an older sister and someone who always reminds me that she's only a phone call away. She’s a firm believer in that everything works out and that’s why she will be a future DO!
Emily is a person I wish I had spent more time with during undergrad, but it makes our time together more valuable since she has since moved back to the Bay Area. She is reassuring and reminds me that I'll figure it out. She's going to be hiking the PCT in a few short weeks and I can’t believe she’s achieveing a lifelong dream! I’m so proud of her. Follow her journey and hikes on her blog!
Katie and I met purely by chance before realizing our social life was intertwined. We had to live together one summer and it was the first time Seattle really felt like home, and it was mostly thanks to this gal. She’s one of the funniest people I know and a great storyteller. She too is kind of winging it as an Occupational Therapist (and is not afraid to be transparent about that) but is having fun all along the way. Plus, she loves Taylor Swift and is the evil soul who got me into the bachelor franchise.
Becca and Kala, my managers, are strong, independent women and embody that on a daily basis. They make me learn from their mistakes by telling me funny stories of their past. Above all, they care deeply for all the company’s employees and advocate for our best interests.
Molly burst into my life when she started working for the same company. We quickly bonded over our love for Moorea Seal and all things craftmade. She has a bright personality and is a feminist extraordinaire.
Brianne uprooted her life in Philadelphia to live out a dream of dwelling in Seattle. She made a solo road trip and moved across the country. She's a friend who always invites me out, tapas lover, will be climbing Mount Rainier this summer (donate if you can!) and an overall achiever.
Shelby, who is one of my old coworkers, and probably the sweetest person I know. She has a positive mindset and always volunteers to help. Whatever she sets her mind to, she sets her mind on it and goes after it. This girl is a dreamer, who achieving her dreams like recently being accepted to be a Delta flight attendant. Congrats girly!
Angi, another former coworker, and someone who always makes me smile. She embodies German efficiency, is wickedly smart (heyo, she's a chemical engineer), eager to learn, and the most adorable person. She's always checking in on me and inquiring about my future plans and goals, and enthusiastic to help me achieve them.
Without these women, I wouldn’t even be close to the woman I am today. Happy International Women’s Day.