For Women’s History Month, 2023, I would like to take a minute to recognize and thank the women who have been a part of my history. In my earliest years, rarely did women hold positions of power. I attended a Catholic school, the Nuns were our teachers and the Priests would occasionally patrol the classes and hallways just to ensure we were all behaving. When I had any sort of a medical appointment, the nurses were women and the doctors and dentists were men. In restaurants, the wait staff were women and the cooks and proprietors were men. The coaches on my sports teams were men and the “moms” filled in for all the admin duties. Same if you look at politics. Not many women were even considered viable VP or Presidential material until Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. Other than Mary Kay, I did not know a single woman who owned her own business until my mom opened a restaurant in 1984.
So I offer a heartfelt thank you for paving the way for me to my Mom, my grandmas and my aunts. My teachers, coaches and librarians. To them and all the women who paved the way for women to have careers outside of their homes. To the women who fought for our right to vote and to hold our own bank accounts, and be able to receive bank loans for our businesses, I thank you too.
Thank you to some of my personal women heroes like Ann Richards, Dolly Parton, Claire Huxtable and eventually, Abigail Maines, who modeled that women can be whatever they want to be. They can be smart and polished or voluptuous and funny or a mom who is also just as fulfilled in her career as she is with her family. For me, all of these women modeled excellence in womanhood.
They were all trailblazers and I liked what I saw. To all of the younger women I have had the opportunity to mentor, I thank you too. You girls inspire me and keep me young at heart. I learn just as much from you as you learn from me. To this next generation of women, I hope you too find the strength to be whatever kind of woman, wife, mother, friend, mentor, employee, boss you want to be. In life, there is no one size fits all. That is the beauty in all of this. I celebrate our similarities, differences and anything that drives our individual pursuit of an impactful life. So get out there and kick some ass, have fun, fill your life with laughter and help make this world a better place for those who come behind us. xoxo, RC