It’s good to be in the company of strong women. It’s especially good these days, when there are so many unsubtle reminders that misogyny is all too alive and well. We need an antidote for this poison; and, maybe it begins with the company we keep.
That’s why I wish every woman could start her day at Caroline Center. She would feel how real and see how empowering it is to be part of one of the hardest working, women-driven communities in the city. She would see what I see each day. That the women who come to Caroline Center for career training, most of them not yet 30 and still very much on the road to becoming the women they were meant to be, can quite literally take you to school on the subject of “strong.”
In the company of Caroline Center strong women, I see my own strengths differently. I’m not afraid to show my authentic self. The steely parts and supple parts of myself that I never knew existed, that no mirror could ever reveal.
At Caroline Center, I have rarely, if ever, met a woman who was not strong; who did not possess, in good measure, many highly valued qualities of character. Frankly, most Caroline Center trainees are off the charts in this regard. Honest, responsible, respectful, and conscientious – yes. But, I’m also talking about the qualities that chisel the word “strong” into bas relief. They are there, too – qualities like grit, perseverance, self-discipline, optimism, courage, and kindness.
Somewhere above the clamor of our current politics,
I know there are communities of strong women
just like the community at Caroline Center.
Women who embrace change through education and choose to listen to their own inner voices instead of the voices of their critics and naysayers.
Women who know that sometimes you just need to claim what’s yours, reserve what you deserve, even though others may say you’re impatient or selfish.
Women who choose to be exactly who they are, to do what they do, and to like what they like without regard to others who may judge them for it.
Women who recognize that there’s no need to apologize for having their own voice when others just want them to be quiet.
Women who love themselves – body and soul – even in the face of those who will try to shame them into invisibility.
Being in the company of strong women at Caroline Center, especially during this election season, is making me really self-conscious. And, I’m happy about it. Caroline Center’s strong women are making me more self-conscious by being more self-aware, more confident, more emboldened – basically, more ready.
But, ready for what?
Ready, as the women of Caroline Center are, to have the confidence and courage to be fully themselves – and, to be the very best version of themselves – no matter what.