Besides Christmas and National Donut Day, there are few holidays I love more than Thanksgiving. And as much as my body and mind are in a tailspin about that fact it is actually tomorrow (!!) I thought it was important to 1) accept that, and 2) take a look back at some of the things I’m most thankful for this year.
If you’ll recall, I recently started a bi-monthly “Favorites” post (the first three editions of which you can find here, here, and here) so in many ways I’ve already discussed the things I’m grateful to 2016 for bringing me. However, even though Nature Valley Granola Bars are a very important part of my life, they’re not exactly what I’m most thankful for this year. No, that top spot would definitely belong to my family and friends, closely followed by the women I’m about to tell you about.
2016 has been a big year for me in terms of character growth. It’s provided a glorious number of days where I’ve looked in the mirror and actually known who I was and was proud of that person, which is something new and incredible for me. And while yes, I definitely could (and should and do) give some credit to those sitting in the top spot as well, these 8 women inspired and encouraged me in ways my friends and family couldn’t. Because you see, sometimes the best thing we can ever do for someone, be it a best friend or a distant stranger, is be ourselves, fearlessly and proudly, and that’s what these women did this year, and I’d like to let them know how grateful I am.
1) Gina Rodriguez
It’s no secret I have a giant girl crush on Gina Rodriguez. But when I wrote this post last December to proclaim that fact, I was still only scratching the surface of what a beautiful, kickass woman she is! Over the last year I’ve kept up with all that she’s been accomplishing (which I would totally list if I had time and space because the list stretches far and wide) and I’ve constantly been left in awe. Honestly, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve said, “that’s my girl, Gina Rodriguez!” over the past year, I could pile them up and swim around Scrooge McDuck style.
2) Millie Bobby Brown
In case you lived under a rock for the entirety of 2016 and/or did not live your life to its fullest potential, Millie Bobby Brown played 011 in Netflix’s Stranger Things a.k.a the inspiration for my Halloween costume a.k.a my instant, ultimate girl crush of 2016. The best part about 011 however, is that she is played by Millie Bobby Brown. To be brief and mushy: I’m just so glad she exists. To be a little less brief and little more mushy: In both her on and off-screen persona, Millie Bobby Brown reminds girls that they too can be superheroes, and in all honesty, I want to be like her when I grow up.
3) Lilly Singh
I’m not one to use a lot of slang. Not because I have anything against it, really, mostly because I’m too busy making up my own slang for no reason other than to make myself laugh. That being said however, Lilly Singh gives me no other choice but to constantly say, “Girl YAAASSSSS” whenever I see her doing her thing. She’s just a fountain of endless talent and wonder and admirable AF. She also started the girl positivity movement #GirlLove which, GIRL, I LOVE. YAASSSS.
4-8) The Final Five
It was almost 4 months ago now that I was screaming in the middle of my parents’ living room as the Final Five won the gold medal. As they were standing up there on the podium, I was applauding and throwing my fist in the air. They were crying and I was crying and it was just a really great day. And while I could easily throw out a “congratulations” to the team and be done with it, I think it’s important to note that the team is made up of five individual women who all worked their asses off to make their dreams come true. They are each a testament to hard work and perseverance and I feel so lucky that they competed for my country. That being said, Aly, Simone, Laurie, Madison and Gabby, thanks for the inspiration, congratulations (again) on the victory, and I wish you all the best in your next adventures, whether they include future Olympics or not. Also, buy yourselves an ice cream, on me. Well, not on me because I can’t actually pay for them via blog post. So buy yourselves an ice cream from me, you earned/deserve/should eat as many as you want because you were incredible.
Thanks again, ladies. You are all wonders. I hope you know how lucky the world is to have you!
Have any badass ladies that have inspired you this year? Let me know!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!