{In Her Own Words} Just the Beginning

And so here we are. It’s Aisling here, the morning after the MOST amazing day before. I’ve never felt so inspired, so proud, so genuinely absorbed. To quote Angie, ‘pond, schmond’. Ladies all over the UK and the US poured their hearts and souls into their posts for us over just 3 and a half (!) days and it is utterly overwhelming that they all took time out of their awesome, exciting and busy lives to do so. Yesterday was about celebrating women. An internationally recognised day to show appreciation for half of the world’s inhabitants and a day to focus on being PROUD to be female. It was not a day to indulge in wanton sexism, or to ‘man-bash’. That is not what we were about, nor is it what we delievered. Women loving being women and discussing what lies ahead for us, that’s what we gave you.  

Those 3 and a half days for me, were hard. Like, ‘ugh-why-can’t-anything-just-go-RIGHT-for-once?!’ hard. You see, I was trying to write my ‘In Her Own Words’ post and it was NOT going well. I know for a fact that a few of our contributors struggled to get started or finished, some even decided they couldn’t offer us anything because they simply didn’t know what to say. I’m sure no-one found today easy to write about-the issues are so complex and varied, where do you start? I started and I abandoned 3 different pieces, ending each with a more dramatic and unnecessarily emotional display than the last.

There was a very personal story that I was using to discuss matriarchy and women as martyrs. It wasn’t worry about sharing an incredibly sad story with you that caused the early demise of the unnamed piece, if you’ve been a reader of our little blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m happy to share my personal woes if I think doing so might help other women. And I think that one day, my matriarchy-heartbreak-martyrdom story may well do just that. But as much as the story was happy to tell itself, ultimately I was feeling the end result was sadness. A lesson was learnt, but it was too late. Too sad. So, back on the shelf that one went.

Next, I thought I’d write about my Mum. My ultimate feminine icon. The one woman on this earth that I would be proud to emulate in every way. Every decision she has made, every thought she’s had, every moment she remembers-to me, perfection. When Anna submitted her ‘In Her Own Words’ piece to us a couple of days ago, once I’d scanned it and announced to Phil that I was leaving him to live with Anna, I sent her an e-mail with my favourite line. It is this,

‘They do not mess up so badly that all they can do is say sorry, they never see the beauty in getting it wrong.’

I didn’t tell Anna why it was my favourite line, but I tell you all now. My Mum once said nearly the exact same thing to me. It was just over 3 years ago and I had made a BAD decision. One that very nearly altered the course of my entire existence. I needed to cry and I needed to eat Giant Chocolate Buttons. A cuddle from my Mummy would have gone down nicely too. Instead, she put her hand on my shoulders, looked me dead in the eye and said,

‘You fucked up. You need to apologise because it’s the only thing you have left left. One day you’ll look back and see that this made you into a better person.’

I may be a better person now, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be as good a person as my Mother. And yet, when I sat down to write, the words wouldn’t come. There were too many and they were too full of emotion to fit on the page. I’d have had 100 words to post and that wouldn’t have sat well alongside the genius we’ve featured today. Binned.

My third and least successful venture was entitled ‘If I were a Boy’. You’re all singing Beyonce now, aren’t you? That could be why this didn’t work out-I was too distracted with singing and shaking what God didn’t really finish giving me. Essentially, I was aiming for ‘How different would my life be if I had been born a boy’. My most ‘on-brief’ piece, admittedly, but I couldn’t get more than 3 lines down. It was all in the mind, apparently. Pfft.

And so. I was heading to bed at 1am on International Women’s Day, with vague intentions of getting up 3 hours later. I theorised that it would be 7am in Russia and therefore I could wake Clare up and demand she write my piece for help me. As I was drifting off to sleep, a little voice in my head made big noises, reminding me that my post had to round things off. Draw International Women’s Day to a close. 99% asleep, I realised that International Women’s Day SHOULDN’T end. After the epic togetherness and utter beauty we’ve seen here on ours and Angie’s pages, how can we realistically say, ‘OK, that’s it. See you next year, thankssomuchbyebyenow!’ We can’t and we won’t.

In Her Own Words’ is sticking around, thank you kindly. We’re not sure in what form, just yet. We’re not sure how we’ll do this. We’re not sure about a lot of things. But we are certain that yesterday, all over the world, women found their voices. Women who already had their voices used them to shout. Women worldwide spoke to each other and helped each other and we DID SOMETHING. You all did. Everyone that read, commented, tweeted, told a friend-you all did something to help women across the world. Thank you.

This isn’t the end ladies, this is just the beginning.

“In Her Own Words: In Celebration of International Women’s Day 2011″ was created to share and celebrate the experiences of women from many walks of life. All day Tuesday, March 8th Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person will feature posts written by a collective of intelligent, passionate and opinionated women bloggers from the United States and the United Kingdom. We encourage you to comment and create dialogue as well as visit their respective blogs. The conversation starts here, but it does not need to end here. Be sure to stop by Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person throughout the day to read all of the posts in the series. For more information about International Women’s Day, visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

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Categories: International Women's Day
7 interesting thoughts on this

7 Comments

  1. Anna K
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Yee ha! I feel so inspired. SO INSPIRED. Each and every post taught me something different. And your round-up is perfect. You're right, to end it now would be making a token out of the day and what it represents. It should be something innate within us all.

    If you live with me I'll force you to watch the MTV Best Kiss clip EVERY MORNING. With your cereal.

  2. Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Completely agree with Anna about feeling really inspired after yesterday – and I love that you're planning on continuing with this. It feels like there's real momentum here, and that's just fantastic.
    Well done to you, Clare and Angie for bringing this all together in the first place. xx

  3. Esme
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Yey, I'll be looking forward to the new 'In Her Words' posts because these have been FAB!

    I'm a new reader (and commenter) and an instant convert. I came to these posts from Kirsty's blog, thinking I could just add a comment saying that I had experienced a Russian International Women's Day first hand (whilst living there), but instead, I just kept reading and forgot to comment!

    Inspiring, well done xx

    P.S. Aisling – it took me a while to realise that you're the RMW Aisling! What a stunner of a wedding – I hope I can recreate just some of the love and happiness shown in your photographs.

  4. Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Yay! Thats all.

  5. Posted March 10, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Dear AOW – I loved reading all the pieces and being involved in IWD. Aisling – your post is perfect love the way you shared your thought process in how the final thought came about. Here's to it continuing.
    ps angie – alas my work computer won't let me read your blog so will have to wait for an evening in to do that.

  6. Posted March 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    this is a brilliant and beautiful recap…i loved participating and i think it was a day filled with so much empowerment and the stories are on two of the best blogs in our community to stay and be seen later by women who might forget that this is our fight, today.

    your mom sounds incredibly wonderful…

  7. Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Hoorah!

    P.s. Your Mum sounds rad.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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