To the women who inspire me

In honor of National Best Friend Day, I wanted to write a little something about some of the special women in my life.

I think that, in a way, I’ve always been a feminist. I’ve always spoken up for fairness and equality (even if it meant arguing for my siblings and I to get toys worth the same amount of money), I’ve always believed in girl power, and I’ve always had strong, amazing women around me. It’s no surprise that I turned out to be a fervent feminist, and it’s no surprise that I surround myself with my best girls. They’re my rocks, my support system; my go-tos when I need advice, a shoulder to cry on, a fun night out, or anything and everything I could possibly need, so I wanted to give those beautiful women a shout out.

First, to my mom, who is the reason I’m here and why I am the way I am. Who taught me to be strong, to not let bullies get to me; to keep trying and work harder to get what I want. Who keeps our family together with a diet of laughter, love, and lots of bad jokes, and is the center of our universe. My mom is the most beautiful, strongest, and amazing woman, and sure, I’m biased, but I have the best mom in the world.

To my aunt Titina, who’s there when my mom isn’t, and isn’t afraid to tell me what sometimes is hard to hear. Who supports me unconditionally, cares about my well-being more than anyone else, and is one of the smartest people I know. Who inspires me to keep learning, keep growing, and reminds me to take care of myself every day.

To my sister, my cousins, and the rest of my aunts, who make me proud to be a woman and to be part of this family. Who did my hair and makeup when I was 12 and going to my first party, who took me shopping, listened to me cry about bullies, gave me advice and supported me through my years of school. Who are proud of me every day, and who I miss every single day I’m not at home in my country. Who I love dearly and can’t wait to see again.

To my friends Grace and Katie, who have the single most beautiful friendship I have ever witnessed, and I’m lucky they chose to let me into their world. Who have been there for each other every single time they needed it in the last four years, who lovingly call each other best friend and know what the meaning of that phrase, and have been there for me ever since I met them, whether it be to lend an ear or give wise advice. Who understand my Gryffindor personality, and accept me at my most overwhelming Gryffindor state. Who make every pop culture reference under the sun, and understand my passion for every single fandom I love.

To the beautiful Kelsey, who I reconnected with after six years of knowing each other but losing touch and yet, it feels like we’ve talked every day for the last six years. Who is brave and courageous and shares her feelings and experiences with the world, teaching us all with her beautiful words and writings. Who is literally #goals, even when she’s in her PJs and at her most unkempt. Who understands needing to vent your frustrations, needing to scream about Steve Rogers, and feeling like you’re falling apart but pretending like you’re put together. Who never stops learning and listening and understanding her privilege, and is so careful about her intersectional feminism.

To Emily, who is smart, fierce, funny, and writes the most relatable articles and often makes me cry with her words. Who loves Disney and gets what post-CP nostalgia is like, and understands my editor struggles when I’m on article 15 of 30 to edit and the words all start to blend together. Who has worked relentlessly for as long as I’ve known her, and inspires me with her work ethic and enthusiasm (and her love for Grant Gustin).

To Lauren and Selah, who are my favorite writers and whose articles I look forward to editing every time. Who share their words and their feelings with us and the rest of the world, and we are infinitely lucky to read them. Whose friendship is everything that a friendship should be, and who are always a text or snapchat away, or commenting on my instagram and being the supportive, loving and kind women they are.

And lastly, to the girls of She Did What She Wanted, for forming a beautiful and diverse family with girls from all around the country and the world. Who share their stories, who make this a safe space for all girls, and who are a piece of the puzzle that this collective makes.

To all the women who inspire me, thank you.

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