The Year of Me

Year-of-Me

Apologies as I have not posted in a while, life has been crazy and I have moved to this fancy new website! I don’t usually do personal posts but I felt the urge to share recently. I feel like talking about the quality of life and how each individual has the choice of making the most out of life.

This post might lean more towards the cliché so if you aren’t about that, now is your cue to exit. Now you’re asking what can I, a 25 year-old woman, tell you about living and life? Truth is I can’t tell you anything for sure, I’m still figuring it out for myself. But what I can tell you is that the last few years have been hard.

I have struggled with anxiety and insecurity but in this last year I have overcome so many obstacles and proven my strength, to myself and others. I have become healthier, both physically and emotionally and I’m back to my overly optimistic self. My favourite thing to say over the last year has been, “I’m just being Miley”, from the Miley Cyrus song “See You Again” (I’m not even really a fan but the saying somehow suits how I’ve been living for the last year).

Looking back I realize for a period of time I wasn’t myself. Letting people into your life is a risk, a risk we make almost every day. It’s a risk that can change you for better or worse. For about two years after I graduated high school I felt like I needed a boyfriend, I craved that kind of affection. I became obsessed with finding someone to fill the void and I did something very unlike myself; I found someone and became so dependent on them that I forgot who I was.

After taking some time to put that behind me I started to find me again. The clock struck midnight and I have turned back into my confident, independent and wonderfully optimistic self and I could not be happier. So you want to know my trick? I have been single for about a year and a half now, it hasn’t exactly been by choice but I think it has been for the best. Basically, I am writing this to tell you what I have learned in the past year and a bit of being with my true soulmate, me (and maybe my sister).

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The Year of Me

Fierce Females: Charlotte

Charlotte

What is it that empowers you most?
I think what empowers me most is that feeling I get when I force myself to do something I’m afraid to do. It doesn’t have to be anything major, it could be something silly like jumping off a diving board! but it makes me think “oh wow I can actually do that” and that builds momentum and allows me to do other things. Pushing through that fear is an extremely empowering feeling.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I think what I love most about myself is my tenacity and work ethic. When I decide I’m going to do something I give it 100%.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
What makes me feel most beautiful is physical activity. I’m a very physical person and exercise makes me feel great. Nothing makes me feel more confident than hitting a perfect spike in a volleyball game or lifting a heavy weight at the gym. I love feeling aware of what my body can do.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I would have to say my dad. He and I are different in a lot of ways but I really admire the way he balances work and family and he always keeps everything together through the tough times. No matter what he always put his kids first. He’s also smart and funny and extremely patient.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Definitely Amelia Earhart. I think people forget how hard it was at the time for women to do what she did. Plus I’m afraid of flying so I’m impressed on that level as well. Also Sylvia Earle. She’s an amazing marine biologist and I’m blown away by her dedication to marine life and the health of our seas.
 

I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

 
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Ok I’m going to out myself as a huge nerd but I’m going to say Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. First off, I want to go to space in a time where it’s totally safe and normal. Second, she’s an amazing authority figure and commands respect like no one else. It can be hard to identify with female characters on TV and in movies because they are so often one-dimensional sex objects. Janeway however, incredibly interesting and I’d love to spend a day in her Star Trek onsie.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is probably to die knowing that I made the most of my life. I’ve had enough ups and downs over the years to know not to get too hung up on specific goals so I think short-term and extremely long-term. I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Even though I’m not practicing at the moment, I think graduation law school and getting called to the bar was probably my greatest accomplishment. It felt good to finally finish something I had worked so hard for. It made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

What is your favourite quote?
“This too shall pass” It’s use is twofold. I repeat this to myself when I’m experiencing pain but also joy. It’s a nice reminder that all things, good or bad, are temporary. You need to either breath and get through it or breath and enjoy it.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12-year-old self that it’s ok to try things that other people think are stupid. Don’t get too hung up on what others think of you and don’t let yourself be pigeonholed.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means that men and women are equally welcome in the world.  That means that women and men should feel equally welcome in all jobs, geographical locations and social settings and that they should each enjoy equal benefits thereof.

Charlotte is the owner of Hogwash Bath & Body in Winnipeg, Canada
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Charlotte

Fierce Females: Nicole

Nicole

What is it that empowers you most?
I love feeling like a capable, independent woman. Sure, I still live at home (I’ve been in university for 5.5 years, and I have 3.5 to go!), but I was raised to take care of myself. It was never my goal to meet a rich man who can also lift heavy things for me! I am instead empowered by my education and future career which will allow me to be independent; I am empowered by my physical strength and endurance; I am empowered by my integrity.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
As someone who has spent most of her life on self-improvement, this is a tough question! However, I guess I can say that is exactly what I do love about myself–I work hard to do well at the things that I love, because I love them.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
This is a tricky question for me, as it is for most women. As someone who struggled for too many years with disordered eating and self-image, I am all too aware of my love-hate relationship with my body. But it is honest of me to say that I feel most beautiful when I am dirty and makeup-less–after a hard run, ideally in a bit of mud too! It is then that I feel physically capable, and valued for it, rather than valued for my body and makeup.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I always struggle with “role model” questions. Not that there aren’t great female role models out there, but I suppose I would simply rather not completely identify myself with someone else. We’re all unique, and we’re also all flawed. Perhaps it would be fairer to say I find role models for individual aspects of my life; for example, when I ran track, my role models were my teammates. Some of them had such a hardworking drive to excel, but also knew when to listen to their bodies and take a break (this is extremely challenging for distance runners!). They had the right perspective about competing amongst school and friends, which was refreshing to be around.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Cleopatra! Margaret George, one of my favourite authors, wrote an amazing autobiography finally depicting Cleopatra as someone more than Rome’s mistress. She is instead described as a woman of fierce integrity and sophistication, a hallmark female in an age of patriarchy.

“You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered.”

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
This is a toughie! But I think I have to say that if not Cleopatra, Pocahontas (the fictional, Disney version). Who wouldn’t want to run around in the woods singing great songs all day with your pals, with some John Smith action to boot?

What is your biggest life goal?
My life goal is to find ways to incorporate all the loves of my life: music, sports, medicine and, of course, my friends and family. I find that as I am slowly forced out of the pseudo-adulthood I call university, I am being pushed to concentrate my life in one area–my career. But physician burnout is all too real, and I strongly believe I’ll be a better doctor (and better person) if I am able to continue doing other things I love. How can I preach health, yet not be healthy myself?

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Some would say my biggest accomplishment so far is getting into medical school, but I would have to disagree. I think my biggest accomplishments are to be found in running. As a slightly chubby kid, I loved reading, singing and acting–I was the least bit an athlete, especially compared to my superstar siblings. However, in junior high I discovered I loved running and cross country skiing. Although hardly a natural, I worked terribly hard (to the point of several stress fractures, which are not recommended!) to achieve my goals. No, I never won CIS nationals, but I won my own personal championship by pushing myself to reach my potential.

What is your favourite quote?
I guess this isn’t necessarily a real quotation, but I always liked the phrase “don’t limit yourself”. When I was in high school and a competitive cross country skier, my coaches asked us to all find a mantra or phrase to use when we were really bagged mid-race. I chose: “don’t limit yourself”. I find it still applies to my life, as it’s always tempting to self-limit and give up, but I’ve always been amazed by what I have achieved every time I kept going. This also requires getting over the fear of failure, a difficult task for most of us! Who knew I would run that time? Who knew I would be in medical school? Who knew I would still find ways to sing regularly? If I had limited myself back then, I certainly wouldn’t know it either.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered. You are still valuable now, to the core, and now it is up to you to value yourself, always, as the dressings of grades, times and appearances will fade away.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means forging your own path towards your ideal destination. Other people can come along for the ride and help you along the way, but they are not to steer you away from your own path.

Fierce Females: Nicole

Fierce Females: Crystal Lee

Crystal-Lee

What is it that empowers you most?
I am a grounded person because of my spirituality. It connects me in a meaningful way to people, events and myself. Through that connection I feel a call to action to live responsibly, speak my truth and follow my heart.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
Living with my heart open is what I love most about myself. It’s a challenge that I make consciously everyday. It takes a lot of strength to knowingly choose the higher road in situations that could easily turn into anger, fear or a number of other negative emotions. Staying open hearted always brings me through my life situations in a beautiful way and enhances my life.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Big comfortable blankets make me feel beautiful. When I am comfortable, warm and happy it is the best feeling in the world. When I am happy I feel like my smile is 10,000 miles long and it’s beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Gandhi had a huge influence over me as a young adult. I feel that his teachings and more so the way he lived his life promoted courage, an intense amount of resilience, and selflessness for the purpose of a cause. Seeing what he and others have accomplished with a minimal amount of resources shows the power of the human spirit.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Coco Chanel. I saw a film on her and she rocked my world. She created the pants look for women. She bent to no one. She took risks. I loved her for this.

 

“My biggest life goal is to impact individuals in a powerful way with my songs.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
If I could be a fictional female character for a day it would be Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I have always loved that story and would love to see what wonderland is like. It’s pure imagination. It would be impossibly fun to take on the Jabberwocky or to play croquet with the Red Queen.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to impact individuals in a powerful way with my songs. To be a voice that reaches someone at the right time, in the right way to give them a feeling or an inspiration that improves their moment. Eventually my goal is to work full time writing a recording my music and spending time working with other artists around the world with the craft of songwriting.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment with my career, is releasing my first EP “Drive” with Grey’s Fool. It was a songwriting project that I started with a friend that grew into an amazing year of studio work, travel and performing. The record features Grammy nominated musicians and sound engineering. I could not be prouder.

What is your favourite quote?
“You already have everything you need to succeed”. I heard this quote from a spiritual teacher and it haunts me. Every time I think that I need this or that to accomplish a goal, that quote is whispered in my ear then I find another way of accomplishing the goal.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12 year old self “You are okay and you are loved”.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means that as a species human beings are allowing the barriers to fall and the blocks that our minds put up based on physical identifiers are moving into a thing of the past. Men and Women are capable of so much greatness. Equal means equal. Equally capable of succeeding and equally capable of failing. I think it is amazing that we have a word to define the command for equality. I see everyone as equal.

Crystal Lee Morgan is a Singer/Songwriter from California and Hawaii.
Connect with Crystal Lee: Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Fierce Females: Crystal Lee

Fierce Females: Alyson

Alyson

What is it that empowers you most?
Knowing that my time here is finite. This might scare most people, but personally knowing that I only get one shot at this crazy thing that we call “life” – one shot to experience as much as possible, to push myself to do things that I’d never imagined, to love deeply and fully, and to try to leave a positive impact – motivates me like nothing else.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my sense of humour. I’ve been told I’m pretty quick-witted, which is a compliment that I hold in the highest esteem. I just adore making people laugh, and there’s nothing quite like sharing a really good belly-laugh with your friends – especially if it’s over a joke you’ve made!

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Working out, especially lifting weights. In the past year I’ve started to really focus on my health and well-being, and going to the gym has become an important part of that routine. I’m not a power lifter or anything, but there’s something incredibly rewarding about being able to pick up really heavy things and put them down again!

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Carl Sagan. I re-watched the original “Cosmos” series again a few years ago on a lark and what stuck with me was Carl’s wonder, not just at the vast, impossible beauty and mystery of space, but of what we’ve accomplished throughout our history as a species. He always conveyed such a hope for what we could accomplish if we all just worked together and focused on the bigger picture, and that hope and reflection is something that I’ve tried to internalize and bring to my daily life. I’m endlessly inspired by his wonder and amazement at everything. His reading of “Pale Blue Dot” makes me cry every time I listen to it.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt, hands-down. That woman was fierce as hell and took a stand on a lot of touchy subjects like racial issues and women’s rights, even going as far as to publicly disagree with her husband on a number of occasions. Can you imagine the balls that would have taken? He was the President of the United States! Her Wikipedia is just a giant list of huge accomplishments, one right after the other, peppered with badass quotes about not getting pushed around or taking flak from people.

 

“I remember laying in my bed in my apartment and being unable to even get out from under the covers because everything felt so hopeless”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Amy Pond, from the Doctor Who series. She’s one of my favourite companions because she’s a really clever, resourceful, and complex character who packs a ton of sass. I was rather “meh” on the Doctor’s sidekicks until they introduced Amy, and she’s still my favourite. I’m also completely swept up by the idea of being able to travel across all of space and time and see the universe.

What is your biggest life goal?
Professionally speaking I’d like to eventually move to freelancing full-time, but personally (and more importantly) I want to learn to not be so hard on myself. My relationship with my parents, my mother especially, is extremely messy and left me with a lot of negative feelings about my personality, my abilities, my future, my relationships… you name it. I also carry around a tremendous amount of guilt about pretty much everything, and judge myself constantly for “not being good enough” for anything that I’m doing. Which I realize is silly because I’m doing it, but I struggle to turn off that negative little voice in my head, you know?

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Going to university. When I was 19 I literally walked into a really safe, secure government job. I was making almost 40k annually, I had amazing benefits, vacation time, and of course coveted job security. But I was utterly miserable. I remember laying in my bed in my apartment and being unable to even get out from under the covers because everything felt so hopeless; this was my life now and there was nothing else to look forward to or accomplish.

I decided to apply to the Rhetoric and Communications program at the University of Winnipeg, and when I announced my decision to my family they freaked out and my dad actually stopped speaking to me for several months. I was living on my own at the time and my parents refused to let me move home, so I moved in with a roommate and put myself through school, graduating in 2013.

It was incredibly difficult at times, but I made a decision and proved to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I’m so happy that I took a chance on myself.

What is your favourite quote?
I have a few, which are:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan, “Contact”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
“Don’t give up, you’re stronger than you think.” I actually have this pasted on my mood board in-between photos of Jimmy Carter and Tom from Parks and Rec saying “Treat Yo Self.”

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism is having the courage to initiate dialogues that challenge normative standards of beauty, class, sexuality, etc to effect positive change. It’s everyone working together, supporting each other towards a shared goal of equality, opportunity and respect.

Alyson is a Marketing Manager and freelance Content Marketer in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fierce Females: Alyson

Fierce Females: Krista

Krista

What is it that empowers you most?
The unknown of tomorrow. No one knows. Life can change so quick. It’s daunting at times but I love looking back and learning lessons.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
That I am caring and loyal. I care immensely about my friends and family. I appreciate them for everything they are and do. The people in my life are the most treasured thing I have.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I am still on a high from just finishing some kind of fitness. Whether it be dance, weights, an awesome run or yoga. I feel like I can conquer the day after exercise

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Hmmm tough one. I think I’d say my grandparents. They are so selfless and caring. They have always been supportive of me and what makes me happy. They have taught me so much over the years and even now. I’ve been told I’m an old soul, and my grandparents are the reason behind it. They also spoil me with bacon and baking. Haha

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Does a Disney character count? I’d choose Mulan if so. She was courageous and selfless to protect her family. She is fearless, determined and gets to show up the boys. It’s my favourite Disney movie.

 

“I surprise myself sometimes at how scared I can be but still take a leap forward.”

 

What is your biggest life goal?
To be happy and healthy. I don’t need a million dollars, a big house, to be the president of a business. I just want my health and happiness and my other goals will follow.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Probably what I am today. I surprise myself sometimes at how scared I can be but still take a leap forward. Like moving overseas to a new country. It was a terrifying/exciting change. But I follow my heart and what feels right. I’m determined. It’s not easy being away from home and family, never mind thousands of kilometres away.

What is your favourite quote?
Rise and rise again, until the lamb becomes the lion.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Stop being so serious and just have fun and enjoy being a kid. Bump your head, scrape your knees and let yourself fall. Just get back up again.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality. To me everyone should be capable to do whatever they want to do and everything they admire to be. Everyone deserves a choice. Whether you are male or female, white, black, brown or blue.

Krista is a Market Development Executive and Co-Owner of a cafe in Gold Coast, Australia.

Fierce Females: Krista

Fierce Females: Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson

Baskery

 

What is it that empowers you most?
We’ve been around the world making no distance too long, no stage too big, and no crowd too small. Experience in itself is empowering, and watching the results of what you or other independent artists have accomplished without much compromising gives a lot of positive energy and the urge to move forward. And to be honest, a too smooth of a ride could hold you back, so some obstacles in different forms and shapes are things that push and strengthen you. Provocation can sometimes be a trigger too, just like encouragement, so it’s all a matter of the right measurements really. (Greta)

What is it that you love most about yourself?
As cliché as it may sound, but to be able to follow your heart and instincts, not compromising and letting money and too much sense rule you. It’s not something everyone manages to do, so it’s something to be proud of. We also love our talent, but even though we had it from birth, we had to nurse it to develop the skills playing your instruments. Just recently we became aware of the fact that we’re actually professional musicians, all due to our hard work and relentless touring. (Greta)

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Unconditional love from lovers, family and friends is what makes you shine, from the inside out. (Greta)

Who is your biggest role model and why?
There’s no real role model present, but in general, people who’ve chosen their own way instead of following the crowd are always inspiring. Be your own role model if you can, that will make you connect directly with your own actions and deeds. (Greta)

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
There are heroines everywhere, people who burn for something and dedicate their whole beings to that specific thing no matter the costs. We admire Joni Mitchell for what she has done musically and for her independence as a woman in a business that for a long time has been, and still is, male dominated. She’s always done her thing and that’s admirable. (Stella)

 

“to remain true to ourselves, be playful and always break new ground.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Catwoman, because we love cats and always wanted to be able to move like one. Three times Catwoman though, that’d be one busy day for Gotham City! (Stella)

What is your biggest life goal?
To keep from screwing up completely haha. Nah I guess to remain true to ourselves, be playful and always break new ground. You wanna develop as a person and in your profession without pulling away from your own believes. Keep your independence, but don’t say no to a good helping hand just because you’re scared of losing control. It’s a fine line and we’re facing tricky decisions everyday. But the most important thing of all is to be healthy and do what you can to keep your loved ones happy. (Stella)

What is your biggest accomplishment?
To keep this band going, to be self-sufficient. It takes a lot of discipline to manage your career, make crucial decisions and to keep the motivation up. To wake up every day and say “go get them” isn’t that easy. Over time though, you learn what you need to prioritize and what signs to look for out there. It’s an amazing feeling to see the fruits of your labor, knowing that you made it all happen. (Sunniva)

What is your favourite quote?
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” – Aristotle (Sunniva)

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Stay true to your nature and follow your impulses, but don’t ignore advice from others. Be aware of which choices you make, they will influence your whole life. (Sunniva)

What does feminism mean to you?
The word feminism is to me mainly the name of the movement that started in the 60’s. It served its purpose for decades, but I don’t think feminism is a word we need in Sweden today. I would even be radical and say that it creates pity and somewhat undermines the development of gender equality since it is suggesting that women are different from men. Nobody should feel the need to hide behind that word to make themselves heard and stand for an opinion. Women in Sweden today don’t necessary need to regroup to stand up for their rights. There are new groups of the society that suffer from injustices that need to be highlighted but gender equality, which I use instead of feminism, is already a priority in Sweden’s political structures. (Sunniva)

Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson make up the folk rock band Baskery from Stockholm, Sweden
Connect with Baskery: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson

Fierce Females: Kristy

Kristy

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me the most is knowing that I am truly capable of doing and accomplishing anything I set my mind to. And also that I have the power to choose what that is.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I don’t know if you ever need to love just one thing about yourself. Not just as a woman but as a human being I have many pros and cons, positive traits and flaws, ups and downs. What is important is that through my life I’ve learned to love myself, as is, in this moment and every moment. We have to learn to love what we are throughout any situation or journey.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
What makes me feel most beautiful is just being myself. In society we’ve succumbed to trying to always be something else or change what is.

I feel beautiful when I am embracing all that I am and doing things that I love. In those moments I flourish the most and I think that’s when I radiate the most beauty.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My biggest role model is the world around me and everyone in it. Everyone I surround myself with whether it is intentional or not inspires me in a different way. My mother inspires me to be a good partner to the love of my life and mother to my future children. My father inspires me to strive for excellence and to never be afraid to fight for what I want and believe in. My sister inspires me to love myself wholeheartedly and follow my dreams. My friends inspire me to be who I am and cherish my individuality. My boyfriend inspires me to go after anything I set my mind to and inspires me to feel beautiful inside and out. I am inspired daily and constantly from everyone and everything, sometimes without even realizing it.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
One of my favourite cultural heroines is Taylor Swift. She proves that a woman in today’s world can be wildly successful and still remain humbled. She not only has creative strengths, but business strengths as well and still knows how to give back and show love to others around her.

 

“My biggest accomplishment is just becoming the person that I am today.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
My love of music brought me to starting a music blog and my love of dance has left me missing performing and being on a stage. I think for one day, living the life of a female musician performing a concert on stage would be a dream. A lot of young girls grow up wanting to be a “ballerina” and a “rock star”; I think it would be amazing to fulfill this dream side of my life for one day.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to have found the path that I was meant to go down. I am still struggling and deciding what I want to do with my life, but I know it involves owning my own company and something creative. I want to wake up happy every single day, loving what I do and sharing my life with the people I love. Happy and healthy; I don’t need much more than that.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is just becoming the person that I am today. There are many things I am grateful for and proud of that have happened in my life but I am most proud of becoming a young woman in today’s society and being proud of who I am. I have learnt to be comfortable in my own skin and to fight for things that matter to me all while also being responsible and thinking about my future. If I can keep all of those things on track then I feel accomplished.

What is your favourite quote?
One of my favourite quotes is by E.E. Cummings:

“Let it go. Let them go. Let all go. So comes love.”

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?I would tell my 12 year old self to stop trying to grow up so fast. My whole adolescent life I wanted to be older and gravitated to people older than myself. I would love to go back and truly enjoy every single day in that moment rather than always trying to get to what was next.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means that there are no differences, no hindrances, no limitations between man and woman. We are all worthy and all equal of receiving the same opportunities and experiences.

Kristy is a music blogger in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Kristy: Blog / Facebook

Fierce Females: Kristy

Fierce Females: Janis

Janis

What is it that empowers you most?
Knowing that my actions make positive change. It’s scary at the same time as empowering to know that I can make our world a better place – it’s something I’m always striving for.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My choice to be happy. I often let the things going on around me affect my happiness, and often those things are out of my control. I’m choosing to be happy with what I have and what I can control, and it’s so great.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
My confidence. I don’t always feel confident, but when I do I feel strong, vibrant and in that I feel beautiful. Nothing can bring me down when I’m feeling confident.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I have so many inspirational women in my life that I look up to. My grandmother passed away nearly 10 years ago, but what I remember of her is this strong, hilarious, caring, loving, confident woman who didn’t let anything stand in her way. I see this in my mom and my younger sister. These traits are something I look up to and aspire to emulate.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Everyday heroines always inspire me. Women who fight for what they want, for their families, their careers, their beliefs and their rights.

 

“I don’t always feel confident, but when I do I feel strong, vibrant and in that I feel beautiful.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Carrie Bradshaw (obviously!) the shoes, the clothes, the life, the job, the attitude.

Need I say more?

What is your biggest life goal?
Yikes, tough questions. I think my goals are always changing and adapting. As of late, I would say my biggest goal is to have no regrets. I don’t want to look back at any point and say ‘I wish I was there for this friend’ or ‘Why did I do that!?” or “Why didn’t I take that job opportunity” I want to live life as a good wife, friend, sibling, daughter, aunt.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
This answer isn’t going to sit well with many of you, but I don’t care (read what feminism means to me). My biggest accomplishment so far at the ripe old age of 25 is being married to my best friend and husband for four years. I can hear you eyes rolling!

Hear me out – marriage is hard, living with a boy is hard, sharing your life openly and honestly is hard. Getting married at the age of 21 when neither of us had steady employment and both fresh out of college is hard. Growing, learning and exploring life with my husband has stretched me and made me a better person than I was four years ago and I think that’s a great accomplishment!

What is your favourite quote?
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

I find this verse inspirational and confidence building. Being one of the youngest people in my field of work is hard; I constantly have to prove myself. This verse makes me feel empowered.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
I don’t think I could limit it to just one thing! I want to say something profound like “Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands” but let’s be real; 12-year-old me wouldn’t have listened or understood how to make that happen! I guess I would say, “Never cut your own bangs!” Maybe I’d listen to that, maybe not!

What does feminism mean to you?
I’m always redefining what feminism means to be, largely because I’m always learning and discovering more. Right now, it means I don’t have to apologize for being a woman. I don’t need to apologize for the choices I make with my career, my marriage, my faith or my future.

I have the power to make my own choices and I’m very grateful for that.

Janis is the Manager of Communications at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Janis: Twitter

Fierce Females: Janis

Fierce Females: My 24 years without feminism

Fierce-Females-FB

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t discover the power and importance feminism until only recently. I’ve always been around people that don’t take it seriously and think that it’s some sort of plague.

Early this year my first and only long-term relationship ended and instead of wallowing and feeling sorry for myself I said, “girl, pick yourself up. You are a strong, powerful and independent woman” and I started a journey of self discovery. The truth is I changed a lot in that relationship and I had to find myself again. I threw myself into blogging, working hard on my freelance business and really started reading more about what it means to be a feminist and it turns out I already was one.

After educating myself and learning what feminism really means I began to realize that there are so many women in my life that empower me and make me a stronger person. That, to me, is a huge part of feminism, women standing together, holding each other up and making each other strong. It means unapologetically being who you are and who you need to be. Feminism means that as women we can do anything a man can, not expecting to become superior but to become equals.

I wanted to empower other women the way women in my life have empowered me and blogging is one of the things I do best. I brought the two together in a new project that I call #FierceFemales. I sent out the following questions to some of the women in my life that I most respect.

  1. What is it that empowers you most?
  2. What is it that you love most about yourself?
  3. What makes you feel most beautiful?
  4. Who is your biggest role model and why?
  5. Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
  6. If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
  7. What is your biggest life goal?
  8. What is your biggest accomplishment?
  9. What is your favourite quote?
  10. If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
  11. What does feminism mean to you?

So far the result has amazed me. Reading the things that other women love about themselves and what makes them strong has made me incredibly happy. Women spend too much time tearing each other down when we should be lifting each other up; and that is the goal of this project. I just want women to feel beautiful, empowered and strong because those three things helped me through a really tough part of my life and I am so much better for embracing feminism.

If you want to share your answers with my blog please email bmaycreative@gmail.com, if you don’t wish to share publicly then get out your journal and fill this out privately and show some self-love.
 

“You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

– Kathryn Stockett

 

Fierce Females: My 24 years without feminism