About a year and a half ago,
I wrote a post about the heart behind this project.
I wrote it after my first three interviews for the blog, as I just wanted to give a little introduction to
why I was interviewing women and taking their pictures and posting it on the internet and was really not a creep, I swear!
I wrote about the women in my life that I wanted to encourage, and about why I think the world needs to rally around women more often.
Today, I want to write a follow up or a part two, so to speak, to share some of the things I have learned thus far on this journey.
I think we live in a world of quick fixes. Everyone is our “best friend,” and we show appreciation for people by double tapping their social media photos. We read captions and ingest people in 140 characters or less. We sit around with our friends, snapchatting our food and reading about other people’s daily highlights on Facebook or Instagram. We perceive things as being #goals, whether it be a couple, a family or a career. Social media, blogging, and technology are all things I enjoy and use regularly, but I have always wanted to find a way to use them with more purpose.
What if I could engage my culture by using popular platforms to go deeper? What if I could sit across from someone with no distractions and just ask them to share themselves with me? What if I asked all of the questions social media doesn’t ask or care to hear the answer to? Maybe a picture of your kids smiling and eating ice cream cones will get 75 likes on Instagram, but what about all of the moments that you wanted to break down during the day because you struggle with mental illness? What about the divorce, the illness, the grief, the triumphs, the overcoming, the soul behind the filtered photos?
Here is an example: I post a lot of cute, posed pictures of my daughters on Instagram. I even have a custom hashtag that is a play on words with their names, and I love looking through it and watching their relationship grow. BUT I also remember that I bribed the hell out of them to pose sometimes, that some days, taking pictures of them was the only thing that made me smile because I was feeling really depressed, or that they both started crying right after the photos were taken. None of you witness my actual life on Instagram - just the moments I choose to share, with words I choose to put out in to the world about my life and family. We call people our friends and claim to know them, even if we only follow them on social media. And that is okay, but that’s not what I wanted when I started Simply Sisterhood. I wanted to create a community of women who allowed themselves to be known on a deeper level, to be accepted as they are, even if they are scuffed up and rough around the edges.
I wanted to love people as they are and believe in them and support them on their journey.
Some of my favorite moments during this journey thus far have been crying with women as they detail their struggles; whether it be a divorce, an illness, or a loss, or watching them cry tears of joys as they relive their favorite, most meaningful moments. And the coolest thing? All of those moments connect and make the beautiful women you see on our blog.
These women all inspire me with their strength and true beauty. They are doctors, teachers, fighters, mothers, writers, mountain climbers, seekers, healers, artists, and scientists. They are you and they are me. I have interviewed people who view the world in utterly different ways than I do. I have interviewed women who have stories I can relate to on such deep levels. I have cried over abuse, bullies and loss with women I am meeting for the first time. It is a beautiful process, just sitting with someone and letting her be herself. I wish we did that more often - just sat with people in their joy or their pain. We are so quick to dole out advice or little patronizing words of wisdom - and while advice and wise words have a place, when was the last time you just sat with someone and loved them as they talked about themselves? When was the last time you didn’t shy away from letting someone feel their emotions and instead just listened and let them wash over you?
This project is for other women.
Or at least that is what I thought when I started it in 2016. But it is so much for me, too. I come home feeling energized and alive after a really good shoot or an interview. You women give me life. Getting to tell your stories is such a gift to me - the fact that you trust me to share you with the world is such a responsibility and a treasure. I am so honored to get to write about all of you and share your words with others.
So thank you, for this first year and a half of sisterhood.
Photo: Jessica Nail Photography
We have only just begun!
What is Simply Sisterhood?
A campaign to end