“She took a leap and built her wings on the way down.”

I’m tempted to say I’m back. I really am.

But the truth is I can’t say that. I can’t say that because I am not sure I am.

I think I have changed. I am not sure I am the same person I was 3 blog posts ago.

In fact, I am sure I am not.

No. It’s not because I’m married now. It’s because a year and a half of monumental changes in the life of a person can have that effect. And they did.

A brutally demanding job in an unforgiving environment has made tougher. It has taught me to be unapologetic about who and what I am. It has taught me to speak up. It has taught me to ask for more. More money. More work. More credit. More responsibility. More change.

It has taught me that sometimes strength is simply using your voice to speak.  “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” ~ Speak up for someone simply because it is the right thing to do. Say a kind word to someone you do not need to be kind to simply because you can. Say no to what you do not want out loud. Speak politely and firmly as you voice the need for positive change in your life, in the lives of others and in the space aroud you. A chip in the glass ceiling is the biggest step towards shattering it. Your voice can change a life. My voice can change a life. Our voices can change lives. Speak up.

I feel a sureness in my step that wasn’t there before. A confidence born of knowing that I am adding value. Born of knowing that I have earned the respect of those around the boardroom table. Despite the pressure of that pedestal, not fearing being wrong or being corrected. It’s ok. Learning is an unending journey. If you are not learning, you will stagnate.

That little voice that questioned whether my opinion was right or even mattered speaks to me a lot less now.

I am filled with gratitude for the life I have. For God. He is my beginning and my end. For my incredible husband (He shoud be worried about setting such a high standard when he has signed up to live up to it forever *chuckles*). For my siblings. For my mother and the time I had with her. For the extraordinary friends that bless me with their presence in my life. For my family (new and old). For a new stage in that life. For never feeling like I know it all. How could I ever? For every hardship and heartache that taught me to appreciate the good that life has to offer. God blessed the broken road that brought me to this very moment. How remarkable is that thought?

I love being a woman more. I own being a woman more. I donated most of my shoes *gasp.* (If that isn’t proof of a significant shift in the wind, then I don’t know what is). I have chosen to see the good in the my life and take a moment to appreciate it. I acknowledge the hardships in my journey (those bygone and those to come) knowing they serve a purpose. I take in the simple, daily moments because they paint the beautiful bigger picture. I buy myself flowers. I own myself. I finally get that I can. I finally let go of the excuses not to.

There is a change. I live by a new Constitution.

She loved life and it loved her right back
celebrate her passion
She listened to her heart above all other voices
celebrate her wisdom
She pursued big dreams instead of small realities
celebrate her priorities
She saw every ending as a new beginning
celebrate her resiliency
She discovered real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics
celebrate her self-esteem
She was kind loving and patient…with herself
celebrate her tenderness
She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses
celebrate her accountability
She realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible
celebrate her spirit
She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans
celebrate her goals
She ignored people who said it couldn’t be done
celebrate her independence
She had a way of turning obstacles into opportunities
celebrate her magic
She went out on a limb, had it break behind her and she discovered she could fly
celebrate her faith
She discovered that she was the one she’d been waiting for
celebrate her self-reliance
She added so much beauty to being human
celebrate her presence
She walked in when everyone else walked out
celebrate her friendship
She just had this way of brightening the day
celebrate her radiance
She made the whole world feel like home
celebrate her warmth
She decided to enjoy more and endure less
celebrate her choices
She decided to start living the life she’d imagined
celebrate her freedom
She colored her thoughts with only the brightest colors
celebrate her optimism
She was an artist and her life was her canvas
celebrate her brilliance
She ran ahead where there were no paths
celebrate her bravery
She crossed borders recklessly, refusing to recognize limits, saying bon jour and buon giorno as though she owned both France and Italy and the day itself
celebrate her joie de vivre
She held her head high and looked the world straight in the eye
celebrate her strength
She not only saw a light at the end of the tunnel she became that light for others
celebrate her compassion
She designed a life she loved
celebrate her joy
She took the leap and built her wings on the way down
celebrate her daring
She said bye-bye to unhealthy relationships
celebrate her happiness
She remained true to herself
celebrate her authenticity
She made the world a better place
celebrate her