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Young Women Leaders

Archive for the category “Inspiration”

The Power of Vulnerability

How often do you feel like you can let your guard down and just go? Let out feeling and emotions that you just bottle up and not feel ashamed and stupid about? I always thought that that is what you can do in a romantic relationship but lately I have begun thinking that one shouldn´t wait for that (if one is not in one), and maybe go more towards being vulnerable in more situations, letting it out in little pieces bit by bit?

I have a tendency to build up stuff that eats me up from the inside, and ignore them, not recognizing that they are there, inside. Then they build up and finally, something really small can send me off the edge to breakdown, anger, tears and self-hate. I have written about this self-harming behavior here before. It is worth considering in this case, as self-harm can take many more shapes and forms than the obvious forms, such as cutting.

When I was in college, my mentor sent me this video, about how being vulnerable is actually really good. When I watched it the first time, I cried and cried because I recognized how hard I was (and still am) on myself. I kept those high standards inside me, not wanting to show their negative effect on my thoughts toward myself. And I never ever showed how bad I sometimes felt inside and how much damage I would to myself by thinking in negative spirals.

The other day I watched the video again, and I teared up. When I am under much stress, I do still sometimes treat myself in that same way. With damaging words, locking myself up. It is more rarely now though, maybe because I am older, maybe because I have learned more about myself. That I do not know.

But I do know that letting those who love you see you vulnerable is friggin´ scary and you may not want to let all parts out because it is painful. I also know that those who love you will help you and support you, just the way you would if a friend opened up to you, right? So I think it is a good thing to open up, to different people, the ones you trust and confide in. Open up more for more people, it is powerful to be vulnerable.

And knowing that others deal with the same thoughts of insecurity will make you love them more.

power of vulnerability

Let´s practice the following!

Thank you everybody new who has been reading this blog these past few days!

It´s Monday and as we could all use a pick-me-up at this part of the week, I thought we´d kick it off with this quote by the fabulous Eleanor Roosevelt:

Picture cred: inspiration.entrepreneur.com

Famous Favorites: Kate Beckett

When studying in the U.S. I would (when my schedule allowed for it) spend a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays catching up on TV series. I cannot handle shows where there is not at least one strong and cool female character/lack of intelligence, and hence I am very picky with what I am watching (Bechdel test anyone?). I am not sure that this show that I am about to recommend passes the Bechdel test, but Kate Becket sure does.

Not to spoil anything, but the show Castle is about NYPD detective Kate Beckett and author Rick Castle. Watch it. Kate Beckett is amazing, portrayed by Stana Katic.

Here´s some clips from the first 100 episodes:


Why do I love this? Because it show just her, her expressions, many different, no words. Even if you have not seen the show, I think you would appreciate this.

Also, this is great:


BA.

Happy Friday!

The most powerful women in the 20th century

Hearing about women that succeed in their work against all odds, pushing through, makes me inspired and happy in my soul. Knowing that others have paved way for me and others around me makes me feel gratitude to them. They stepped forward even though it may not always have felt like an easy thing to do.

I sometimes cut out pictures of women (and men) that inspire me, and put them somewhere I can see them and be reminded of their work and that it is possible for me to succeed as well. I found this list of the most powerful women in the 20th century, and I think you should take a look and be inspired!

I hope you´re having a great Thursday!
Hanna

… and I´m back in the game!

Finally, finally, after weeks of communication and miss-communication with my internet provider, I have now managed to fix internet to this apartment of mine! Gah, I can´t surf at work and surfing on my phone has just been the WORST.

How do we catch up on life? I don´t know, but I´m hoping (as I wrote a few weeks before) that there are new things to come, news, activities, MORE BLOG POSTS most importantly!

I should probably also exchange profile pics, this is what I currently look like (a bit different than the one on the right of this page):

ImageI´m so happy to be back and that you´re here with me!

Hanna

Partners in crime – what it means to your sanity

Last Sunday I finally got together with my friend A-Conk on Skype. It´s been way too long, you know the way it is when there´s an ocean and six hours of time difference in between. Anyhow, it makes me happy to know how quickly we pick up where we left off, and how much she energizes me in what she does and what we do together (never mind that ocean and time difference).

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I got to know Al at the end of my junior year in college. We were both Political Science majors, but had never taken any classes together until then. Since we were both gone fall semester junior year (she in Washington D.C. and I in Santiago, Chile) we had to take this class called Methodology (or Methods as it is known) in the spring. So we had Methods together, and at the same time one of our honors classes on poverty alleviation with my mentor Welker. During this time we got to know more ABOUT each other but we didn´t hang out. But in the summer we were basically the only people around on campus, and Welker set us up to become friends. Why? Because we are meant to be together!

Look, I come from the cold and ice of Sweden and Al comes from the land of corn and dairy of Ohio, but there are so many things we have in common, such as our interest in politics, hard work, work outs, good food, family, fashion, and saving the world.

I´ve wanted to write this entry about Al all week long but I feel like I am not doing it well enough for how much she means to me. But today I went running and I thought “screw it, the most important thing is that I write it, not how well it is written.” Going running also reminded me how much it means to have a person like Al in my life. When we lived on blocks next to each other last year, we were so good at going to work out together all the time. We did this program called Insanity in Al´s living room or the racquetball court at the gym, we went for angry ranting walks to the country club and back, and we got out there so often together. As much as I need somebody to go working out with, I need a partner in crime in the work that I do. I need Al to bounce ideas with, I need her to listen to what I say and to point out things that I cannot see myself. I need her to dress up with me and go to a presentation and present the living hell out of our material (which we do very well by the way).

I need her to be silly with me and goof around. I need her to go buy beer and sit on a roof/in the honors house to write a thesis together. I need her to remind me that if a person doesn´t like all of me, then he/she is nothing worth spending energy on. I need her to come with me and sit in the waiting room at important meetings, just knowing that she is out there with me.

I need her to come out with me and scare the shit out of people because we make a great team together. I need her to talk about women that inspire us and make up teams such as “Team Rhinestone” in honor of the chair of the political science department. I need her to tell me about her job and life and realize that we are often in the same structures of lowest on the ladder in the workplace.

Having a person like Al in your life is something that I wish everybody had. Just as much as she helped me exercise my body, she helps exercise my mind. She has chops, as Welker would have said. She is a smart, funny, loving, good-looking great friend. With partners like her, you go great lengths in work and you develop yourself as a human being.

This reminds me of Al. This could also be a video we made together, I wouldn´t doubt it.

there will always be something

I’ve felt like I am not doing all that I can to move forward. But it hit me the other day: discrimination and injustice will not disappear in a moment. Sadly, of course, but at least I know that there will always be work for me to do. And that is strangely comforting.

New circumstances, new ideas

When I was unemployed this summer, my uncle told me that I needed to “get out in the official world and get some ideas.” What he meant was that by sitting at home and writing one billion job applications would get me no new ideas. It would probably just bore me to death, which is usually what happens with this kind of stuff. Instead, just by going for a stroll in the city, I would run into people, see signs, watch events and challenge my brain to come up with new ideas and thoughts.

And this actually works. When you feel like everything is going to the shitters, which happens quite often for me, then moping around inside, feeling like you don´t want to bother anyone only helps to a certain degree. Getting out there, may it be for coffee with a friend or listening to an author talk about their new book possibly opens up new rooms in you.

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I have recently begun getting involved with my local UN Women organization. It has made me realize more and more that there are other out there that want to work with women´s leadership, equality, and that it doesn´t have to be so hard to do. I go to a book circle every month where we talk about the CEDAW, the UN document for women´s equal rights. There may not be a lot of us there, but the insight and the energy I get from talking to there people has made me consider running for office in the organization.

And then there´s the random talks on Skype or chats that I have with my friends in other parts of the world. Just a few minutes ago, I chatted with my friend Hailzor, the person who saved me from dying the year I worked as a Resident Advisor (RA) my sophomore year on college. During the few minutes we chatted, I got so energized from hearing about her life in L.A., her job, living situation. She gave me two great sites for inspiration for this blog and she made me even more encouraged that we young women do have a place in thir world, and how we are capable and deserving of changing the world for the better. That´s a great friend (and may I add vegetarian too, now? She thinks of it all.)

So, all in all, when your thoughts are going down and your spirit with it: Get out there, join a book club, a study circle, call a friend, send a card. Put yourself in the position where you can see something new.

Hanna

PS. You should def start following hailzor  on Twitter. She´s smart, funny and gorgeous! @hailzor is her name!

I am funny! (On the inside…)

Woowoowoow, it´s already Thursday???!!! Geezz, where did the time go? I don´t know.

That´s not true, I know where it went. It´s just that because I now have somewhere to live and a job to go to (I start Monday), my brain went blank and I have not done anything else in the past few days than meeting up with friends and frequented second hand stores for furniture. Something I think you all should do! Mother Earth will love you.

Anyhow, if there´s something I would really love to be it is this: funny. I want to be the sharp, wise-cracker making sly comments that are seriously funny all the time. What´s my problem? I´m very self-aware. I´m aware of how I look, walk, sit, talk, and by thinking about all of these things all the time I am for some reason blocking my sharp brain and mouth from making life more fun.

Are you really funny may you ask me? You know what? For your information, my brother told my mom that he thinks I´m funnier than Soran Ismail (Swedish comedian, whom I also know from my time as a student council coolio). That my friends is a compliment. Ok, he´s in my family, but whatevs.

Apparantly becoming funny takes a lot of practice. And since it is not my plan to become a stand-up comedian anytime soon I will lay low on this one. What I will work on will be just talking whenever I feel like I have a joke. It may not be perfect, but since I warned you I expect you to politely laugh. Is it more ok for men than women to be funny? I think so. I´m not going to get into the horribleness of the Oscars (I didn´t watch, just saw the bits and pieces that were horrible the day after), but I was so impressed by the coolness of Jennifer Lawrence. I was also sad to hear the STUPID questions they asked her, but hey, that´s what journalists do, right?

Photo cred: justjared.com

Photo cred: justjared.com

Anyhow, JenLaw is cool because she´s funny, rocking a dress, falling on stairs, never losing her cool, and has some real bite in her responses. Watch and get inspired:

Making me happy

It really makes my day when I hear from you people, when you comment, when you read and appreciate and come with new thoughts. It makes me happy to hear that you are reading and that you appreciate and find what I am writing interesting/good/thought-provoking etc.

I´m happy you´re here with me. 

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