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  • Lily Lawson

Happy International Women's Day

Updated: Mar 10

As this is the all-female creative writing and poetry blog we have to celebrate today. There is a temptation to list all the women in my life who have made a difference. However, I am not sure how interesting that would be and I could leave someone out and then there would be trouble! I will however thank all my contributors; this would have been a much harder task without them. I will also thank the women who read my newsletter and my Pdf before it went out, the women who gave me interview questions to pick from and the very patient women who read my poetry book and gave me feedback. I am grateful for those who have given me feedback and support with my writing and everything else over the years and continue to do so. Thank you very much all of you, I really appreciate it, you have all made such a difference to my life. I am aware of those who are no longer with us, those who have gone before leading the way and I have been lucky there too.

Life has its moments; we find ourselves in situations we would never have imagined. When things are difficult, we learn the value of what is important and we see the true colours of the people in our lives. Sometimes a word, a hug (real or virtual), a gif or just something that says "hello I am here" is all you need. Some people have made me feel better without them ever knowing. Music, books and blogs can lift us up, it's finding out what works for you because we are all individuals and we are all unique. Being different is ok, that took me a very long time to learn. Some of the women in my life taught me that, by accepting me for who I am and I am very grateful.

I know that people think asking for help is weak but it isn't. Being strong for me is about being there, and doing what you can but it's also knowing when you need help and accepting it. It's knowing yourself, challenging yourself, learning, growing, but not losing sight of you in the process. You can't look after anyone unless you look after you. A lot of women seem to forget that.

We often cast women in the role of carer and nurturer. We can devalue those who do not work outside the home or who do not get paid for all the work they do. I know this happens to men too, but today is all about Women.

I wish things were different, I wish we had real equality. I wish we accepted one another as who we are. I wish that every child had access to an education, that everyone had a safe place to live, enough food to eat, and access to free or at least affordable healthcare. That individuals were paid properly and worked in safe conditions, that they could pay their bills and have some left over for treats. I wish we had the right help and support for those that need it, when they need it. The situation with mental health support is a very mixed bag it seems.

I wish for a world without prejudice and discrimination. that everyone had a voice and they were free to use it, that no-one was forced into anything they didn't want to do. That the vulnerable were protected and people were free to make their own choices. That everyone had a right over their own bodies no law could take away. That individuals were able to freely love whoever they choose and celebrate that however they choose to do so. That everyone knew what it is to love and be loved.

In case no-one ever told you, you are great just as you are. You are a unique combination of the sum of your parts. That is very special and valuable.

So on this International Women's Day, celebrate you, however you want.