When I think of the word, ‘rise,’ I think of a bird opening her wings for the first time, stretching across the sky in all her wonder. I think about a person standing and reaching towards the sun. I think about looking out and seeing the world around you, as if for the first time.
I think about how each and every one of us—no matter our journey, story, or path—is capable of becoming something more.
As a writer and emotionally-driven person, I’ve found myself and my work often centered on the idea of empowerment. I fully believe that each of us has something unique to offer the world. And that truth has woven its way into all the content I create.
From a young age, I was fascinated with teaching, with helping, with wanting people to see their inherent strengths and worthiness. From the playground bullies I was determined to ‘uplift’ to the underdogs on my sports teams, I always wanted people to know that they were doing okay.
And now, as I’ve grown into my identity and understand the empathetic parts of my soul, I’ve realized that some people are just born to nurture others.
And that’s something to celebrate, not be ashamed of.
I’ve read countless articles on female strength and feminism. As a feminist myself, I’m often inspired by the pieces that teach women to stand on their own, to challenge stereotypes, to be strong and unwilling to back down.
But sometimes I think there’s another side to ‘rising up’ that’s talked about less—the side that defines ‘rising’ as synonymous with empowering (both myself and others). And sometimes that’s a quieter form of strength.
If you were to ask me how I define myself, one of the things I would say defines me the most is my heart and its openness. I’m proud to be the woman with her heart on her sleeve, willing to open it for the world to see. I’m proud of the way I’ve let people in, even after brokenness. I’m proud of how I’ve gotten back up after falling.
I’ve risen in more ways than one—personally, professionally, emotionally, physically.
And when I think about the word ‘rise’ or the message behind it, I can’t help but think of the way I’ve lived my entire life following both my heart and my head. I can’t help but think about how strength, to me, is soft sometimes.
Strength, to me, is in a quiet selflessness just as much as it’s loud, and powerful, and bold.
I’ve been writing about strength and self-love for years, but to me, finding your true identity and purpose goes beyond that. It’s about finding where you fit in a world that’s constantly changing. It’s learning how to believe in yourself when no one else does. And it’s learning that finding you means finding what you can offer the world and doing that exact thing as much as you can.
Because, in my opinion, what it means to truly rise is to contribute to this beautiful world we live in.
To hone in on a purpose, to pour your energy and heart into others. To grow as you inspire the people around you to grow as well. To recognize that sometimes strength is loud, or quiet, or timid, or striking, or gentle. And yet, we all powerful in our own right.
Rising is not just loudness or fierceness as you pursue the dreams on your heart. Sometimes it’s quietly carrying the person next to you or supporting another on his or her journey. Sometimes it’s making change without a desire for recognition. And sometimes it’s learning the balance of leading and following, of speaking and listening, of fighting and trusting.
But wherever we are in our journeys, we all have the power to grow, to change, to rise.
And that, above all else, is the most beautiful and fundamental truth.