This week I've been packing, cleaning, and saying goodbye. Saying goodbye is the hardest, but also the best, because I've gotten to spend time will all my favorite women. I've been realizing that I was fortunate to be raised a woman in the West. There's some kind of depth or groundedness or fineness or something about women in the west.
Women in the west taught me about the power found in a community of women, the strength housed inside a woman's heart, the comfort in nurturing and being nurtured. I've grown up around women who let their hair go grey and their skin get wrinkled; who know how and when to ask for help; who taught me to cook, do laundry, and care for children; who reach out and share their love for me frequently and freely. My mentors are examples of badass feminism and housewife femininity. Each has a womanness deep inside her that doesn't have to be defined by her dress size or her salary or her minivan. Each connects to herself as a woman in her own way.
The most important thing I've learned from women in the west is to do hard things. I've learned to do hard things because they hurt and cleanse and build up strength. I've learned to do hard things because hard things happen and the only option is to face up to them. I've learned to do hard things because doing hard things makes a woman better.
There is strength and courage that women in the west hold deep in their souls. I have it too. I will carry it with me, call upon it often.