Tag Archives: Women’s History Month

Surrounded

“That’s what a great friend is: Someone who looks out for you when you’ve forgotten to look out for yourself. Find these superwomen, love them and let them love you” – Alicia Keys

That quote summarizes my life. I am part of this amazingly powerful, courageously vulnerable and overall badass group of women. Women from all walks of my life, who look, sound and feel differently than I do. Some are right here in Philly and some are across the country. Regardless of distance, they’re my go to at anytime even when it’s not convenient, ever-growing tribe.

There are many days when I sit back and admire this fierce lady tribe of mine. Members of the group have actually caught me staring at them smiling. Creepy, I know, but I’m not apologizing. I’m often in awe of how exceptional these women are and that ALL of them are in my corner. How in the world could I be this blessed?!

Note: I have some great men in my life too; that’s another post for another time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by a village. A village of strong, kind, brave, fun women. My mother created this village and filled it with other positive role models: Her mom (my grandmother), her sister (my godmother), various cousins and her best friends. I was the first born for my mom and her friends. I became their doll, perhaps their practice baby and that place of distinction hasn’t changed almost 30 years later. These women, mom included, set the standard for how I view friendship. They have, time and time again, shown up for each other, to celebrate, to grieve, to support. It is unconditional love at its best.

My mom monitored this village as I grew up. The older I got, the less control she had. Yet, she encouraged its growth, stating “you can never have too many people who love you.” That stuck.

Fast forward to present day, here I am with my extraordinary girl gang because my mom cultivated this love abundance mindset in me. She is grateful I have other women in my life to look out for me, take me to dinner or listen to me. Yes mom, you’re always #1, they know that too.

One of the tribe members leaned over my cubicle the other day and said “Everyone deserves someone who looks out for them the way you look out for me.” It’s like she knew I was writing this post (she didn’t). That my friends is what cultivating your own group of superwomen is about. I can’t give you a set of bullets to explain how these women walked into my life. I can say that there’s no perfect picture of who should be in your circle. Toss out any preconceived notions and stay open. Love is a limitless emotion and the circle that surrounds you can never be too big.

I am forever grateful to my mom for making sure I was surrounded and to all the women who are walking with me on this journey. Check out my Instagram (@alexcharlic) to see and hear about some of these amazing women throughout the month of March.

40 years of friendship right here

To My Sisters

Lent started on March 1 and if you’re a practicing Catholic, you give something up. So, I gave up apologizing, casually throwing around “I’m sorry” when it wasn’t needed and certainly when I didn’t mean it. I also made a point to find at least one woman, each day, who left on impression on me. Maybe she showed kindness, or strength or listened when I needed it. Plus it’s Women’s History Month, why not focus on my fierce lady friends!

sistasMy little mission yielded a few lessons or maybe observations is a better word for what I saw. In 31 days, women close to me and complete strangers influenced the trajectory of my day. Each, in her own way, raised me up: with encouragement, compassion, advice or a mug of wine. I didn’t struggle to identify someone each day; in fact it was the opposite, I couldn’t choose one name!

As I paid close attention to the women I interacted with, I also paid close attention to my apologizing tendency as well as other negative language I use without even thinking about it. I saw myself really thinking about  saying I’m sorry. I only did it when I truly meant it. It made such a difference!

Word choice and the language we use especially when talk about ourselves is important. In the last month, when I listened more closely to these same women, they were far less empowering when it came to speaking about themselves. I heard women struggling to accept compliments, be recognized, say thank you and talk positively about themselves. It wasn’t always the case but happened more often than not.

It’s been an enlightening 31 days and my intentionality around apologizing and language will continue past the month of March. Now my PSA: Ladies, our paths are different from our male counterparts. That is fact, however, don’t forget where we as a population have come from. We must own our power as women, to set the example for those behind us. You are whole, you are strong, you have God-given talents that no one else possesses. They are uniquely yours. Own them!

The way each woman who crossed my path this month acted is how we all must treat one another. With respect, humility, compassion and grace. We must raise each other up. When one succeeds, it is a victory for all. It sounds preachy and idealistic, I know. However, it’s the only way to move forward and to make sure everyone knows and appreciates a woman’s worth.

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