Hey, Ladies. Thank You.

In lieu of International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month and our W&D March theme: Women Who #Werk – we are tooting our horns to honor and celebrate women everywhere. There’s so much to celebrate about womanhood, but this year I’m particularly thankful for the women who have helped reinspire and reinvigorate my love for Wit & Delight: our contributors. I’m in awe of their strength and vulnerability, softness and sensitivity, willingness to listen and understand. With this important month in mind, we asked several ladies to impart their most memorable words of wisdom from a favorite female mentor – today we share unforgettable quotes, advice, and words of encouragement from women that have influenced and inspired us along the way. We would love to hear your favorite quote or story from a female mentor that has significantly impacted you, please share your inspiration in our comments section below!

Nora McInerny, author of best-selling memoir It’s Okay to Laugh (crying is cool, too): “Go in there and be a woman.” Said by my mother, as she dropped me off at the ER to go see my boyfriend, who was on the way in an ambulance having had a seizure out of nowhere. I had no idea what she meant, but that’s what I did: I pretended like I was her or my grandmother, that whatever was happening was something I could handle. I think of that whenever I feel overwhelmed or small or insufficient or scared: go be a woman.

Colleen Eversman of 2ndTruth:  “Eliesa Johnson was my mentor when I first started and she told me, it’s okay to say no. You won’t feel comfortable with it at first, but over time you will get better at knowing what you will and won’t do, what you can and can’t do. You will grow into the confidence to control the type of work you want to put into the world, and surprisingly that starts with starting out saying yes a lot and then learning to say no.”

Stefani Ellenbecker, Editorial Director at W&D and Owner of Arden Trading Co.: “If it doesn’t matter in 6 weeks, don’t worry about it today.” – My mother teaching me not to sweat the small stuff and focus on what is important in life.

Allie Arends, W&D Contributor: I love this quote from Tiffany Dufu: “90% of the decisions that determine the trajectory of your career are made by people other than you, in conversations you’re not a part of. Spend time getting to know the people you work with and work for. Build real, human relationships so that when that promotion is up for grabs, your competence AND emotional IQ is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.”

Megan McCarty, W&D Contributor: “In the midst of an ugly breakup, when he cut and run – literally, unexpectedly flying across the country – and I was left alone with his dirty dishes and my shaky self-worth, my fairy godmother Elizabeth Dehn, Beauty Bets blogger and human being extraordinaire, gently persuaded me to get off the couch, dammit. Over a couple glasses of rosé and a few thousand French fries, she led me through a Love Thyself lesson, asking me to think about my childhood self. That little girl who volunteered to be partners with the unpopular kids and studied so hard for spelling tests and blushed easily at bowling parties. What does she deserve? So now, when I feel restless or taken advantage of or simply sad, I think of her, my little Meg. Immediately I become protective of her. Ultimately I become protective of myself.”

Bridgette Dutkowski, Brand Manager at W&D: “I was raised Catholic and we’d go to church just about every Sunday. We happened to go to Mass on Mother’s Day, more out of habit than faith-based, and the visiting priest made a remark in the homily about “forgiving women that have had abortions. They don’t realize the consequences of their actions.” I didn’t make note of this remark, I was probably 13 or 14 and paying attention in church wasn’t my thing back then, but my mother did. At the end of the service, both the resident priest and the visiting priest were shaking hands with the members of the congregation. We went through the line, as usual, shaking hands and making pleasantries, when my mom paused when in front of the visiting priest. She stood there, holding his hand with both of hers, held his gaze and said “How dare you. You have no idea what women have to go through and for you to stand up there and ask for forgiveness on their behalf is ridiculous.” She wasn’t rude or threatening, but she was firm in her resolve. She held his gaze for a few beats and let his hand go. This was the last time I remember going to church. I find this so incredibly inspiring that she believed so much in a cause that she wasn’t afraid to confront someone on it and to stick up for people that might’ve been affected by his words. She inspires me to stand up for what I believe and use my voice to raise awareness and fight for those that can’t.”

Tala Ciatti, Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Contributor at W&D: “I’m guilty of trying to give give give to show love, help others, be appreciated, and feel needed. A wise friend would tell me: “The depth of your love is how well you receive.”

Becky Lang, W&D Contributor: “My mom taught me to paint and value my creativity. My sister Jenny taught me to be brave and speak up for myself. My sister Krissy taught me to think critically and read a lot. My grandma Pat taught me to save money and be independent. My grandma Lil taught me to laugh, forgive and be generous.”

Kate Arends, W&D Founder: “One of the most powerful encounters I had was with my OB during a health scare. I was pretty shaken up after an abnormal test result and had put off coming in for the follow-up appointment for a whole mess of reasons: shame, embarrassment, fear, etc. She looked me straight in the eye, spoke to me like I was human, and told me she had just sat in my seat herself. Her bedside manner, directness, and ability to relate to my experience completely changed the way I approached my relationships to healthcare providers and gave me a whole new perspective for the role empathy can play in your career.”

Image from the #WeAreWomen campaign from MyDomaine.com