Ladies’ Night (and day, and week, and year…)

It’s been a difficult few weeks.  I’ll leave it that– for once it’s something that belongs as far away from public eyes as possible.  As I’m someone who shares much of my life publicly, it’s been different to be working on projects and taking time to myself– different but necessary.  I’m working on a series of portraits again, thanks to my friend Tim’s generosity, and I’m trying to get into a stronger climbing schedule. I’m doing things, and things, and things.  I’m just doing them a little more cautiously, a little more quietly.

Part of the shift in my life has involved a real re-allocation of time and a re-focus on many of my friendships, both new and old.  Tonight I sat to think about it and realized how many women have been part of this.  It’s incredible.  The past few nights I’ve sprawled on a friends’ couch to help her make Halloween props, I’ve sat in the sauna until my head was nearly swimming, I’ve climbed and climbed, I’ve tried on clothing and I’ve sat with a pile of guidebooks at the Noble Fir plotting more adventure.  I’ve laughed, I’ve cried a little, I’ve fallen, I’ve walked in the rain, I’ve even gotten a little stoked on ski season.

I’m sitting on my couch right now after watching Pretty Faces with one of the most amazing women I have the good fortune to call my friend.  The theater was full of families– troops of girls out to see women ski and talk about skiing.  Hearing their excitement it’s hard not to want to get excited myself.  I’m not just talking about skiing (though that’s part of it) but about inspiration.  The ability to inspire someone is truly amazing.  It’s one of the reasons I love being part of She Rocks.  There’s something incredibly powerful about a bunch of women, and just women, doing something together.  Sure– I bet some of the videographers and folks who helped out were guys– we’re not on an island of women here.  When we go to Smith to climb this Thanksgiving, we’re not blocking off the park to men.  But it’ll be mostly just us, ladies, climbing together.  We’ll be rope gunning for each other, we’ll be pushing ourselves and shivering in the cold and warming our own hands.

When I moved out here I felt like I had a very difficult time befriending other women.  I have a tattoo on my ankle, a girl with her arm outstretched, done by one of my best friends, the night before she got married, with her sister and her mom in the chairs next to us, and I felt like it was only in ink that I would have my women with me.  I was without a team, without a tribe.  I still love the men I knew then, they are still important to me and I don’t pretend like the life I have now could exist without their support and love.  It couldn’t.  I have the life now because of where I was then.  But it feels damn good to have women in my life in such a great way.

So here’s to my girls, my women, my friends. You inspire me more than you can really know.

From the beginning of the summer, with Dyan and Sarah.

From the beginning of the summer, with Dyan and Sarah.

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