In memory of my older sister Christine who didn’t make it to 20, my baby sister Patty who just barely made it to 30, and her daughter Gabby who has lost more in 9 years than any child ever should. For my two daughters Kate and Alex who at 6 and 7 are wise beyond their years and loved beyond measure.
In honor of my late Aunt Flip, also known as Dipper who stepped in when my father died to raise her best friends children and their children too. Finally for my mother who I do not see eye to eye with on pretty much anything, but who gave me a second chance at a life I would have never known otherwise.
Women are amazing leaders and I am constantly inspired by what we can achieve when we work together. I believe that by finding and telling stories of strong women we can give hope and strength to others everywhere and especially right here in our community. My daughters will be raised and influenced by not only myself, but also by the daughters and sons of the women all around us as they grow.
It’s a big puzzle that we all hold pieces to. But it is all just ONE puzzle we are all working on.
Todays world is full of new and unique problems. Youth today are facing situations they can not handle alone and yet too often are forced to. Bullying at school and on the internet, twisted marketing campaigns from lingerie companies towards young girls, heavy handed digital enhancements distorting the true beauty of the female form, and destroying the confidence of women everywhere as they seek to become something that does not actually exist.
Life has become increasingly complex and surreal. Watching my young daughters try to navigate it, my concern is growing. I know I am not alone. I want to let the women of tomorrow know they are not alone either. I believe that showcasing women of all ages and stages and from all walks of life I can help shape the inner voices of those around us by helping them find somebody they can identify with and can connect to. Perhaps somebody who has been where they are, and whose story can help guide them to where they want to be. A voice which we give life to here, may change a life there.
My mission is simple. To change lives by changing inner voices. Like a ripple in a pond, it can only get bigger spreading positivity and strength to all in its path. A big circle of positive voices growing every day with every story thrown into the pond on purpose.
I used to be able to do this by traveling to third world countries working with women around the globe. Now with little ones in tow……… I had to find another way.
This project was born out of the need to pay it forward. To thank the women who made me who I am today and for the women who I want to help shape for tomorrow.
Do not judge a book by its cover or a woman by her package. These strong confident women you see today are the product of 100 battles you did not bear witness to yesterday.
Survivors all start somewhere. Showing young women that strength actually is often born of suffering will help them to embrace the struggles while seeking how to learn and grow from it, instead of allowing it to tear them up and destroy them.
Some need to stand up and speak. Some need to sit down and listen. We all fit somewhere and can help someone.
So take a moment and look all around you. Love all around. Everything you need is already around you. It may exist inside somebody else, but can easily be given to you.
These are the women of Tampa, and they are ALL AROUND YOU .