1.31.2016

What's your story?

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty - #Maya Angelou:

I saw this quote recently and I knew I had to talk to my girls about it. We live in a world where we constantly find ourselves looking up to people we hardly know. We idolize their beauty, their intelligence, their career, their relationships. We look at them in awe as we compare what they have to what we don't have. We admire their "right now" without knowing what they went through to get there. It's easy to forget that a person's success or beauty didn't just happen. Especially for women, our beauty, our wisdom, and our power exist only because of the journey we walked beforehand. Each of us has a unique story to tell that makes us into who we are today. Similar to a butterfly, we are not born the person that we eventually become. The beautiful person that we become is due to the struggles, the victories, and the relationships that have come and gone. 

At this week's RISE like a girl, I showed the girls three videos of women sharing their story. Each woman shared a moment in time from their lives that made an
impact on who they are today. For example, one woman reflected on the loss of her grandmother. Her grandmother and mother had a very damaged relationship and seeing them together and then watching her pass helped her realize that even when someone we care about hurts us, we should forgive with love. So, I gave the girls the mission to imagine that they were writing a book of their life story. Each chapter would symbolize a moment that made a meaningful impact on the empowered young woman they have become. I challenged them to brainstorm 3 chapters and share with their small group. After a few minutes, we met altogether in a circle to share one chapter of their story. The girls shared some really reflective things such as meeting a certain friend, quality time with their father, being in RISE like a girl, and even having me as their 2nd grade teacher (my heart melted obviously!). Even at the age of 9 or 10, these girls have already made tremendous strides at writing their very own story. 

There is still so much more to be written in my story. I am so excited to see where the next few chapters will lead but of course, I am proud of the butterfly that I have created so far. I could list for you all of my successes that contributed to the Kelsey Martin you see before you today, but that just isn't enough. In fact, I would argue that my failures have contributed more to my character than anything else. From the interviews I bombed, to the pageants I lost, to the friendships I ruined, my failures have built a spirit within me that speaks more to who I am than anything else. The failures in my story taught me how to love, how to work really hard, and how to dust myself off and try again. I love the woman I am today because I fought to become her. And so did you! Your story is 100% uniquely YOU. Everything that have been through makes you into the incredible human you see in the mirror every day. 

Love yourself, delight in the changes, and enjoy the journey. 
Own your story!

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