Young Women Leaders

Archive for the tag “friends”

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).


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.


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.


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.


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

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