Let me tell you about this coffee.
Last week, after seeing on my Instagram Story that I had a total cluster of a morning, one of our Ladies sent me a little Starbucks Giftcard via email. The note said she hoped it would help and be a good excuse to take a break during the day. It meant so much to me.
What this Lady didn’t necessarily know was that the entire week prior I had been struggling with some of the most severe anxiety symptoms I’ve ever experienced. I have been having full-on anxiety attacks, and on this day I was finally coming down from what was almost 4 days of panic. So much of my problem is feeling like something is wrong and not knowing the right person to go to for help. It’s also feeling so unlike myself. Honestly, it’s just been super scary, and I’m taking necessary steps to get a better understanding of it. One of the biggest challenges during this new phase is knowing I need something from the people around me, but not being able to define what it is, and then panicking when it’s not right.
This little coffee, this little act of kindness, was just what I needed. The little voice from far away letting me know “I can tell everything isn’t good, I’m thinking of you.” It seriously meant the world.
And strangely, despite our growing geographical distance, I have had more than this one great memory with this Lady over the past year. I traveled all over the place for a client tour for work and spent a pretty decent amount of time in Washington DC. The first time we met over there, she took me on a tour around the National Mall and we talked non-stop for like, idk, 5 hours. The next time I was coming to town was over the 2016 Presidential Election. I did not want to endure that night alone, so I reached out to see if I could crash her plans. As it turned out, we shared our pre-election jitters over hot cocktails at a cool dinner place I’d never have found if I were there alone. I joined her the next day for pizza to take in the big night.
This year, more than any other, I have so many great memories of meeting the Ladies in real life. We always have so much to talk about. I think this is because we have some really important beliefs and values in common. Our commitment to gender equality, intersectional feminism, personal growth, among so many other things create this pre-established ground of trust that I’ve seen first hand many times. In a year like this one, for me, these connections were vital.
A somehow equally shocking and over-due friendship breakup has left me hurting even when I think I’m fine. I already put so much pressure on myself and my relationships due to the nature of my work. I travel a lot and work long hours a lot, and the split added a lot of weight to that. Whether or not what happened in that relationship was the right thing, I am feeling so protective of the relationships I have because of that. And Sometimes feeling protective of them translates to feeling super scared they’re also going to be over in an instant.
Having this community and having this feeling like my Ladies are almost everywhere, is like a safety blanket I needed. And that’s why this coffee, while simple, is such a symbol to me right now.
Yesterday we celebrated Obvi, We’re The Ladies’ third birthday. And while we’re still so young (something I think I need to remember when I’m stressed about everything we have still to do) we’ve accomplished a lot this year! Aside from the obvious accomplishment of our 501(c)(3) status, I think the most impactful thing I was reminded of this year was this community. I can’t stop thinking about how excited I am for this community to continue to grow and be a haven for even more women all over the world.
In a few short days we will be formally launching our NPO’s official website. The site details all of our programs extensively, clarifies some of our immediate financial goals, and showcases our current plans for the future. I’m so excited to be sharing it with the world, especially everyone who has been so supportive of this project from the beginning. It’s already morphed into something so remarkable, I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us. We’ve got some big plans.
I’ve said it a lot but I’ll say it one more time: thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my team and of me throughout this process. It means the world. Can’t wait to see what year four has in store.
Happy Birthday, OWTL. I love you.