I have sisters. I never thought I would say that, but the Smart Girls Group has shown me and given me a sisterhood. When I think of the word, "sisterhood" I think of sororities and superficial bonds. Not to put down sororities, as I know many who have had a wonderful experience from them, but they've never been my thing. Smart Girls Group is a sisterhood of ambitious women and the conference was life-changing. It took me so long to put the sensation I felt into words because I couldn't think of any words that would capture the pure essence of what this conference and Smart Girls Group in general has been to me. I write an email to my mom every night, telling her whatever's on my mind, and this evening journal has been an important part of my day since those anxiety-ridden days of my freshman year. This is where I don't censor anything, so here are some excerpts of what I wrote to her immediately following the conference:
"These past two days have left me more inspired than I have ever been in my life. It might seem like I'm exaggerating and gushing but it was nothing short of incredible. I met so many interesting girls and listened to these people who have done so much with their lives and the whole energy was so positive and empowered and happy. We're a community of smart, successful, driven and ambitious women and I finally feel like I fit. Here, I felt at home and like these girls get me."
"There are so many things I'm thinking about right now. I just want to sit here and look up all of the speakers from today and learn about them and what they're doing and get involved because I get that inspired feeling I talk about in my blog. There's so much out there that I can do and I want to do it all. This really interesting woman was on one of the panels today and she works for Acumen which is a business approach to poverty. They raise money and invest it in organizations that are trying to alleviate poverty and global issues. The woman is passionate about international development and I got a chance to talk to her which was amazing! That one really struck me, along with Arthur Woods's talk about finding your purpose and passion. He created a new version of LinkedIn (or at least that's how I think of it) that helps you curate what you're passionate about and use it to develop a career path. We live in a purpose-driven economy- these tech startups and freelancing and social enterprises and bloggers and now that I have that term, it finally makes sense. I want to pinpoint a purpose and run and run and run with it. I wish I didn't have to sleep because I would just keep working on Smart Girls Group and reading and blogging and learning and writing. I get so excited and it is one of the best feelings in the world. I have so many notes in my planner and lists upon lists of things that I need and want to do and I just want to do them all. "
"It's amazing how the choices we make can lead to so much. Dad convinced me to apply to Fordham and then he was the one who took me here for the first time, and then I chose Manresa, and then I met Emily, and then I finally decided to stop wishing I could be in SGG and I emailed her on July 17th, 2013 and then it was the Loop, and then Operations Intern, and Social Media Intern and I'm in love with this. This whole year has been so transformative. I feel like everything has clicked into place internally. I get myself and I feel so much more secure in who I am. Freshman year was so difficult and even junior and senior years of high school. I don't know what it was but I wasn't sure of who I was. Now, though I don't have myself entirely figured out, I like myself and I'm happy and I know what at least some of my passions are and I know that everything's going to be okay. I have better relationships with people and myself and I have somewhat of a direction. I am grateful every single day that I get to go here"
ometimes I feel like I sound a little crazed in my emails to my mom at night but I get going and I can't stop thinking, and writing, and feeling, and it's this buzz that runs through me that is an incredible feeling. Smart Girls Group, and being here, and London, and my passions, all drive me to do more and be more. It goes back to my theme of "inspired" because that's the theme of my life right now and my aura. I am finding what inspires me and I am inspired to be me.
I can't thank the SGG staff and my Smart Girl Sisters enough because those two days remain with me, even though it's been almost a week. I have sisters and I love them all.
Inspired to be,
Note: The SGG Conference image (with the notebook and pen) is courtesy of the Smart Girls Group Instagram. Thank you!