I can’t help but wonder about all the women who inspired me in my forty-four years of life. Today more than ever, when I’m in the middle of a transition, a rebirth that could only take place with a team of women — angels, messengers, role models, companions, and support.
Back in February, through the generosity of a woman – a friend – I had the opportunity to spend a week in Colorado. Her wish for me was that I found respite at a special place for her. “The mountains will heal you,” she said. Little did she know that not only could I find peace, but that I found myself.
Another woman that I love gifted me her company but only for half of the trip. I felt terrible with her for not being a fun travel partner, but she was patient and respected my process. With or without her, it was seven days for me and myself only. I was caring only for my needs, from the most basic to the deepest ones. Healing. It was a trip that changed my life. When my friend left, I faced the fear of skiing by myself, the fear of getting lost in the mountain, the fear of falling. I found on the other side that if I fall, then I get up; if I get lost, I’ll always find my way back; if it hurts, it eventually heals. It was a metaphor for life. It was the Universe or God saying, “You will be fine; I got your back.”
At the beginning of the trip, I told my friend Rachel that I had no interest in talking to anyone but her (remember not being a fun travel companion?). Nevertheless, I pushed that resistance, and during this trip, I met many people who left something in me. It doesn’t matter if I spent two minutes or two hours with them. They all reminded me of who I really am. They reminded me of the value of talking to strangers and the many things that a small chat can impact you. One of the persons I met told me that each of the people we meet will always leave us with something, a lesson, a smile, a memory, or an inspiration. I know that he’s right. I am grateful, particularly, to the women making this rebirth possible and inspiring me to take flight.
God knows it has hurt, and it’s been a journey full of tears, setbacks, and fear of the unknown. Stepping into the unknown can be daunting. But with the right people holding your hand and rooting for you, the journey gets easier and rewarding.
My mother, I can’t think of a more loyal cheerleader. I genuinely haven’t met anyone who believes more in me than her. Perhaps her overprotection prevented me from doing many things in the past, but her admiration for me today makes me want to be a better mom and a better human.
My friends. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a sister, but I am the luckiest girl to have had many friends that had been sisters to me. Through all this process, they’ve listened to me, hugged me. Sometimes without asking any questions, and others questioning me everything. Always unconditional. Fighting through traffic to see me and hug me. Friends who have helped me to shred the story over and over until I find peace. They are constantly reminding me of my strength and value, reminding me of my talents, and holding my hand while they push me to do things that are way out of my comfort zone. Some of them helping me to take the blindfold to see hard truths when I don’t want to see them— and letting me do the same for them—making me laugh, taking me out, sending a quick text to check-in.
My daughters, my future. The truest definition of unconditional love. A continuous source of inspiration and resilience. Both my teachers and apprentices. I hope that my experience leaves something for them, too.
And the rest of them, the woman behind the counter who makes a tedious process easier. The teacher who pushes me to work harder. That cashier at the market, with sincerity, asks me about my day and treats me with kindness. The seamstress who holds space for me when I have a meltdown in the middle of a fitting (oh, yes, I’ve cried at the tailor). The flight attendant who sees me cry and brings me tissues checking on me as if she were my friend (yes, I’ve cried on an airplane, too). The therapist who helps me know the deepest parts of myself and guides me to my healing. The niece who worships me and considers me her second mother. The cousin who supports me even though we’re miles away, the aunts who send me loving texts just when I need them as if they knew. The grandmother – although borrowed- who’s an example of joie de vivre never ceases to inspire me. And all of those women who had allowed me to share my pen, my words. All of those who had read me and felt something, anything, through my writing. It takes a village, they say. Yes, a village full of women. Thank you.