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My great-grandmother Jeannette. The woman I was named after.
Women are amazing creatures. We are resilient and resourceful. We work hard and love deeply. We are soft and strong and steady as sunrise. We carry babies and jobs and the weight of a world that underestimates our innate power. I have never underestimated what a woman can do. I knew from the very beginning of my life the power of women. I see it radiating from the corners of a woman's eyes and in the way she moves her hands. I see it in the fires she puts out and the peace she strives to keep. I see it in how she carries her head, the strands of her hair, the strong curve of her neck. I see it in the will to keep going, to continue creating, mending, loving, listening. Women are impressive. I see a lot of us apologizing for the light we carry. I get it. The force of a woman is almost too much to bear for creatures with less light and it can be difficult to shine so brightly in a world gone dark. But we must. Don't dim your light. I see you. I see your power. Here is a poem I wrote for you.
You don't have to make your bed
and lie in it.
You don't have to toe the line.
No need to explain yourself.
No need to apologize for the 29th time
I want you to know
that we were taught this bullshit.
to be quiet
to stand in line
to be written out
of our own story.
We can unlearn it
and we must-
Here, I have sharpened these pencils.
Take them and sharpen some more.
Pass them on.
Write a new story.
Begin with yourself
as the heroine.