Hear me []

A friend of mine, the amazing @SalesforceAmy, gathered a group of us women in the Salesforce #Ohana with a great idea that she and another amazing woman, Rachel Rogers, had for celebrating International Women’s Day (which is today, by the way). I’ve been thinking about how I could contribute – video? Picture? Retweet machine? And then I remembered that I have this thing called a blog and generally speaking, I write about things…

I’m not the most vocal person, unless I really know someone. So the hashtag #hearmeroar seemed disingenuous to me. You won’t hear me roar because that’s not really my style. But you might read my words.

I carry a small notebook with me wherever I go. I have 4 small black notebooks all filled, cover to cover, and dated. Their pages contain my triumphs and, more often than not, my defeats. They are my roar.

My roar is the long line of strong women in my life. My maternal grandmother who moved herself and her two children from the tiny island nation of Malta to New York City. My paternal grandmother, who has lived up to every challenge that the world has thrown at her and continues to learn and do amazing things. My mom – holy shit, my mother…smart, funny, driven, thoughtful, kind, brave…the list goes on. I am in awe of her every single day.

My roar is the list of things I have done that surprised even myself. Finished 3rd in my class at the fire academy. Moved across the country and somehow turned my life around. Taught myself math, so I could teach math in a struggling school district. Became a Salesforce consultant. (What is my life?)

Sometimes my roar is just getting through the tough times.

Sometimes it’s leaving a company because they show a pattern of disrespect to the women who work there.

Other times it’s supporting another woman who is going through something I’ve experienced.

For all of us, though, our roar is the collective will to continue pushing forward, the defiance in the face of systems that tell us that we are at fault for being born as women, our ability to keep standing when we’ve been pushed down. Our roar is in our strength – a strength that does not need to boast or strut, a strength that persists, that permeates everything that we do. Our roar is collective, and it shakes foundations, and if that scares some people, then it’s only because they thought that we were kittens, when in fact we are titans.

So you will not hear me roar today. You may never hear me roar.

But you will hear me.

You will hear all of us. Because we will not be silent, and we will not be silenced.

Today is International Women’s Day. Here’s to our voices.