Fear and doubt are a necessary part of every creative process, but they make for uncomfortable bedfellows. When we work to reclaim the narrative of our lives, and when we learn to highlight our courage rather than our shame, we can start to take control of our inner world. And maybe, when we share the story we're most afraid of, we can feel a little bit less alone.
Thank you to Jos A Magnus Distillery providing such a beautiful venue and delicious drinks. Thanks to Torie from Cherry Blossom Creative who led the discussion and Lauren Petri who made the most mind-blowing treats for the evening.
Danielle | Jos A Magnus Distillery
"I guess if I had to say something... if I had daughters and I wanted to teach them something... I would say no matter what's going on in your life, no matter what's happening at this time, you should not fear the support of other women. It's something that is very evident in this room tonight, that we are here for each other and I think the only time that it gets interrupted or lost is when we are so afraid of women that we don't want to let them into our lives. I think it's important that we push that aside and support each other."
Torie | Cherry Blossom Creative
"One of the biggest things that I've realized this year is that how well you're doing in your life and how well you think you're doing in your life are totally independent variables, they have no relation to each other. You could be doing incredible things in your life and feel like garbage about yourself or you can be feeling amazing about yourself and not really be doing much. That was very freeing for me. When I feel bad it doesn't mean that anything I'm doing in necessarily bad..."
Lauren Petri | Pastry Chef
"I guess my realization, especially after this evening, that everyone is going through transitions and I have to remind myself that even taking a step back is a step forward. I might not feel like I'm doing much right now, but what I'm doing is a success in itself and I just need to embrace it and be excited with where I'm at and all the opportunities that have been given to me because of that step back."
"I think a big part of self-love is self-acceptance. It's easy to compare yourself to others and feel that you're falling short. It's a hellish journey to finally accept that you are you, you deserve everything you have, and you should never settle for anything less than what you want. It may be a hustle, a struggle, and painful at times.. but I remind myself that I'm worth it." That's self-love."
"I would like for women to think about this on a daily basis and throughout their lives: is their happiness worth it? These are words that have absolutely resonated with me in the past months and past few years, and it has profoundly impacted my life. It has made me introspective and it has defined what I want, what I need, and how to set big goals for myself. It has changed the trajectory of my future."
Rebecca | Designer
"Something I think about a lot is how my daughter will interpret the work I do. The example I'm setting for her is to not be afraid, take chances, and to have confidence in yourself. Being a mom has allowed me to grow my own confidence and spread my wings in a way I never thought was possible."
"LOVE is the purpose of life. Eternal life."
Tina | Photographer
"After being in a relationship for 7 years, it was difficult going back into the world and finding friends you could trust. It's really important to forge relationships and have one on one conversations and not just have your 'going out friends.' Surround yourself with people who are like-minded and creative, that help support you and lift you up, that you can trust and be vulnerable with."
"Everything in my life is about to change. Literally every part of my life. My job, where I live, and that's really scary. Tonight honestly gave me hope that it's going to be ok, that it may even be good."
"I realized that after the election a lot of things changed for me with how I think about family, work and meeting new people. I was very empowered with the women's movement and I wanted to surround myself with all different walks of life. Interacting with so many new people has made me recognize how important it is to carry a good vibe and great energy for those around me."
"I've always been one of those people who thought that your passion couldn't be your job. I lived and planned my life for them to be separate and now realizing it doesn't have to be true. Fear is a driver to find what you're passionate about. If I never find what that thing is that I'm passionate about, there's still an amount of fear that's necessary to keep exploring forever. Passions can change over a week, month, or a few year, they can change when you're 60, but how you live your life, what your livelihood is, I don't have to stress and make it that big of a deal."
"I think this last year has been a big transition year for me. I think it has shown me that when I take risks I actually thrive in it. I have always been used to being in the comfort zone, I changing jobs because of my immigration status or whatever reason it was, I always I felt safe. Taking the leap to do my own business and doing my own thing has been a huge risk and something I never thought I would do. It has been scary and fulfilling in ways I could never imagine."
"I'm originally from Ohio, though I went to grad school in DC eons ago. I was State senator back home in Ohio for a decade and starting in public life, particularly in my mid 20's, was quite challenging as a young woman. You do face a lot of obstacles and a lot of preconceived about your capabilities. One piece of advice I can give to women regardless of their field is if you want to be a lady boss you're going to have to be persistent and you'll have to believe in yourself. There are so many times I could have given up, but it all worked out in the end, you just have to surround yourself with those that encourage you."
"If I had something to share to women I would have to say, anything you want to do you CAN do, you just have to be patient, and if you do something you have to know that you can get it back in a different way."
" So I read this quote by Christopher Poindexter and it goes, "The thing about chaos, is that while it disturbs us, it too, forces our hearts to roar in a way we secretly find magnificent." I just finished a two-year program and reading this quote on the last day was something that meant the most to me. The past two years of my life have been messily chaotic. But I think that I came out totally winning. You just need to love yourself and love what's happening and just open to yourself to all the chaos and embrace it. That's when you'll find the most change in your life and I hope you can take that and apply that to any part of your life right now."
"I've realized over the year that formal employment was kind of a sham for my generation. I'm 33 now, I was 30 then, and realized that I was in these fake employment situations where I was just going from contract to contract, and I decided that no one was going to make me happier besides myself. So... I decided to manage my precarity and become self-employed, and I have been doing it ever since. It's been an incredible journey of figuring out what makes me happy, what I want to do every day and being realistic with myself. I've recognized that being yourself in your business is incredibly challenging, but it's more rewarding than working for a boss. I can look at myself in the mirror and say, "You are your own boss lady!" It's tough, but it's made me grow and confront myself in ways that I would never have if I were answering to someone else. It's made me more accountable to myself which is not always easy and not fun, but I have grown so much as a person, and I wish it for everyone."