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by Laura Yurs

I’m not good at bullshitting.  That’s one of my truths.

Would you like to hear another one?

It’s taken me a long time (the better part of 36yrs) to embrace being a woman.  I’ve fumbled with finding my voice and with accepting myself as worthy of friendship/love/respect/(fill in the blank).  It’s difficult for me to connect with other women sometimes.  I feel awkward and/or intimidated.  It’s taken me time…so much time ….to step into the light and to allow myself to be seen.  It’s taken me days, weeks, months, years to recognize the power of being a woman.  To stake my claim.  To acknowledge my life’s passion.  To be vulnerable.  To speak confidently.  To stop apologizing for my opinions.  To take control of my life.  To find courage.  I grew up in a family dominated by men with strong personalities.  As a woman, there are definite pros and cons to that fact.

Five years ago, I gave birth to my daughter.  Hours after her birth, my husband, holding her, nervously confessed, “I have no idea what to do with a little girl.”  I sat quietly beside him thinking the same thing…and feeling enormously ashamed for feeling that way.  How could I possibly be able to help her find her way as a woman when I felt so utterly lost myself?  Ultimately, I accepted my daughter’s lead and embraced the idea of simply helping her become who she was intended to be.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Her birth changed me.  It made me consider what it means to be a woman and what I want for her as a woman and what she might want for herself someday.  ….and slowly, I began the journey of looking inward and contemplating those vulnerable & complicated questions.

On that journey, I’ve been fortunate enough to gather a tribe of women.  I love that phrase: “Tribe of Women”.  And I believe in it’s power.  Don’t misunderstand.  I’ve also been blessed with a handful of wonderful, self assured men who’ve supported & encouraged me to live boldly.  As a woman struggling to embrace her identity, though, the power of other women’s support has been compelling.  I’ve been so generously welcomed into a community of other women searching for similar truths.  And in that community, I’ve slowly discovered my voice.  There’s strength in unconditional love.  There’s power in self-portraits.  There’s insane joy in wearing glittery shoes because you love them and they make you feel beautiful.  It doesn’t mean you’re silly.  You can still kick ass in glittery shoes!!  Trust me.  I believe playfulness is important.  And so is collaborating and holding each other accountable and celebrating each other and pushing each other to reach further and witnessing each other’s struggles/accomplishments and fighting for our gender and sometimes…sometimes it’s about creating a space that allows that woman to simply be.  To rest.  Without judgement.  I love my tribe of female souls….each and every one of you.  Some of you I’ve known for years and some of you I’ve yet to meet face to face.  We’re a varied group and together we’re a force.

My hope for my daughter is that realizes the power of a tribe as she grows older.  I hope she realizes her inner strength and how amazing it is to be a woman.  I hope she shares that with me : )  I hope I’m able to help her spread her wings and take flight.  I hope the women in my life know how much I love them….

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  1. Mony #
    October 3, 2012

    What an inspiring post! Thank your for being bold and sharing your truth!!

  2. October 3, 2012

    I am too grateful of my Tribe of Women. :-D Great post!

  3. Goda Ona #
    October 3, 2012

    Yay you – bold, authentic you!!! Loved reading this Laura.. Celia is very lucky to have you for her mom because you ARE doing the hard work! And I’m very happy for your tribe of women.. It is so so important to have. XO

  4. Erin #
    October 3, 2012

    <3

  5. October 3, 2012

    Love this! True, beautiful, and important.

  6. October 3, 2012

    It is so hard for me to think of you not being the woman you are now. You as a woman, as a person give me inspiration everyday. I am serious. Everyday, something you have said to me comes to my mind and helps me get through what I am dealing with or the thought just makes me smile and happy for knowing you and all that you have added to my life! Thank you for being you. And thank you for being so open in your posts.

  7. lifeineden #
    October 3, 2012

    Ah friend, I knew we were kindred spirits. I too have long struggled with how to be a woman, and how to cultivate friendships with women. I was always loud and opinionated, but not always in a thoughtful, soul-connected way. Grew up with mostly boys. Couldn’t relate well to my one sister (until adulthood). It has so often been a struggle.

    Now I too find myself in a new place. Finding my tribe. Connecting and letting myself be me. It is so rewarding. I just wish so many of you were closer.

  8. Lola #
    October 3, 2012

    I so needed to hear this message this morning..thank you!

  9. Staci Lee #
    October 3, 2012

    Beautiful. I would be lost on some days with out my tribe.

  10. Richard Yurs #
    October 3, 2012

    Laura I,m so proud of you! What a beautiful testimonial. Rick, P.S. You don’t have to worry about daughter, trust me!!

  11. October 3, 2012

    It was so overwhelming to look into Sarah’s newly born face and realize “Holy crap, she’s going to be looking to me for guidance.”
    I found it was the push I needed to begin living the life of a woman I wanted her to have as an example. She has taught me so much as well. As you say, you truly can kick some ass wearing glittery shoes. Pink is a color of deep strength.
    Thank you for your post, it was timely and well written.

  12. October 3, 2012

    Beautifully written, Laura. So true, I cherish the few close girls I have.

  13. damiec #
    October 4, 2012

    i always found the guys easier to hang out with for so many reasons, but after having kids everything shifted a bit. i need women more, and i am so glad that i’ve found some with whom i am so simpatico. wish so many of them, and you count in that group, lived closer. xo

  14. October 5, 2012

    I thought I am the only one feeling this. It’s so comforting to know that I am not alone. Thank you for such an inspiring post.

  15. October 11, 2012

    Wonderful, Laura. It’s taken me years, too.

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  1. The Importance of a Tribe « laura louise photography:
  2. An Imaginary Dinner | Overexposed + Underdeveloped

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