Let’s be wonderful to each other
Why is it so hard to be a woman? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like there’s a party going on in my head—and the real, authentic me wasn’t invited. Who are all these other voices taking up residence in my brain? There’s the cowering child in the corner who feels she’s not good enough or smart enough. The drill sergeant telling me if I rest, I’m lazy. The mean beauty queen snickering every time I eat mashed potatoes, who whispers, “This is why you are chunky.”
And then there are the imagined voices of those I know. Surely, you do this, too? Made-up conversations of people judging you. You can hear them as if they are standing beside you. “Did you see what she is wearing?” “What kind of mom does that?” “Doesn’t she look like she’s put on weight?” “Who does she think she is?”
And all of that before 9 a.m.
Why do we do this? Do men? (Insert long sigh.) We think we aren’t pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, or just simply enough. We doubt ourselves. We compare ourselves to others, when, in fact, we are incomparable. Sometimes we even see other women who we think have it all together, and we roll our eyes, secretly wanting them to fail—maybe just a little—so they can join us in the insecure club.
And yet, we get up every day and build businesses that make the state a better place. We run organizations that change lives. We color our communities with creativity. We fight frightening foes. We make a million decisions that send ripples through the universe. We do the best we can with what we have and where we are. We are wonder women—wonderful just as we are. And more than ever, we need to be wonderful to each other and to ourselves.
I look forward to our annual West Virginia Wonder Woman issue every year because it is a much-needed dose of inspiration. As I enjoyed some of these stories, tears pooled in my eyes. Mackenzie New Walker’s quote about carrying on her family’s legacy while changing perceptions choked me up. This young lady is going to move mountains. Or Romelia Hodges’ determination to be an agent of change for her community. Or Sharon Anderson’s ascent from receptionist to bank CEO. I wish we could give more space for each of their stories, because I know we are barely scratching the surface. I’m so proud of this year’s class, and I’m looking forward to celebrating them at our annual Wonder Women Luncheon on November 30 at Holiday Inn and Suites in South Charleston. I hope you will join us by registering at wvliving.com/wwevent.
We are also introducing something new. We’ve created a handful of additional awards to honor a few women who continue to light a path, make a difference, and inspire us. Women like Morgan Morrison, who co-owns Rock City Cake Company and appears on this issue’s cover. Morgan’s energy and sense of humor are contagious. She embraces her power. If you’ve not visited Rock City in Charleston, then as soon as you are finished reading this magazine, do so. Just go hungry (and leave the low-carb diet at home). I remember the first time I met her in Logan, about eight years ago. I was so impressed that this little southern town had two amazing bakeries, plus a killer coffee shop, Hot Cup. Since then, she’s made the move to Charleston, and look at her—she’s a freakin’ rock star! But what I love most about Morgan is that, on the surface, one would think she’s got all the confident juju that one would ever need, but there’s a vulnerable and wide-eyed soft side to her that I adore. When we showed up to photograph her for the cover, she walked into the bakery sporting a septum piercing. She stopped the photo shoot and urgently pulled the ring out of her nose. “I can’t have that in my nose! My grandmother doesn’t know I got another piercing!”
I think we all can put on an armor of confidence and have an air about us that makes people think we’ve got it all figured out, but then on the inside be that insecure little girl stepping out on a stage fearing judgment from a harsh audience. And that’s why each year we honor 50 of you as West Virginia Wonder Women. We and your fellow Wonder Women want you to know, we see you. We embrace you. You are beautiful. You are strong. And your story matters.
Let’s be wonderful to each other.