I had the pleasure of attending the Rural Women in Business Conference yesterday in Crossfield, Alberta. (https://www.ruralwomeninbusiness.ca/)
I went to the conference as a fledging blogger and a new mom, who doesn’t really have a clue what she’s doing with her blog, but wants to be a mompreneur and is loving the process.
I didn’t go in with any expectations, and I gave my 6-week-old baby to my very trusty and amazing mom-friend for the day.
I just moved to Crossfield at the end of February and haven’t met anyone besides my neighbours, as I arrived here 34 weeks pregnant and had a house to unpack, and am now 6 weeks into my cozy life with my newborn- which translates to- I basically never leave the house.
So I went to the conference, a little afraid, a little unsure, knowing no one, and trusting that something good might come of it.
Well- holy crap- something good is an understatement. I wanted to mention every amazing woman that made an impression on me in this post- but figured that would sound more like an awards ceremony acceptance speech, and those are usually boring, so I’ll say this instead.
I moved to Crossfield from Canmore this year for real estate. In Canmore, I loved the community and the small town feel, but I couldn’t afford a door knob there, let alone a house. People said to me ‘Why Crossfield??’ And I said ‘we got an amazing house for under $400,000.’
But since then, Crossfield has Blown me away, and the Rural Women in Business Conference is just the icing on the cake for me that I’ve chosen the right town for me and my daughter to grow up in.
That conference location was Packed with amazing women doing amazing things. I learned yesterday that of all the provinces in Canada, Alberta is in the lead by far with the development of small business- and that the majority of those small business owners and developers are female.
I learned that Crossfield’s Mayor, Jo Tennant, is female. Hell Yeah!!
I learned that Crossfield’s Deputy Mayor and Councillor Beth Gabriel, is also female, and a kick ass taekwondo instructor to boot. Councillor Liz Grace joined them on stage too, and seeing them all up there, I thought ‘imagine if the world were ruled by women- what an amazing place it would be?!’.
So many things about the conference blew me away, but the talk by Angie Payne and Amy Monea of www.equineenrichment.com is what made the most lasting impression on me.
One- because Angie was So visibly terrified when she took to the stage to present, and was so visibly empowered and confident by the end of her presentation- and two, because what they had to say ties in so much to what I’m trying to do with my blog these days.
They had this lovely quote in their presentation:
“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you’ve been avoiding your whole life.”
- Shannon L. Alder
And that quote right there is the reason for this entire blog that I’ve started. That quote perfectly embodies the idea behind this blog- that what I have to say might matter- and more importantly, that what I have to say might Help Other Women.
I had tried to start a blog much like this back in April 2013. My creativity always flows the most during April and May.
April 2011 is when I had my first bipolar episode and every year since then, April shows up in some wild form. Some years it’s mania. Some years it’s depression. Some years it’s creativity. But it’s always April.
And April 13th, 2019 is when my daughter came along and made alllllllll the Aprils I’ve ever gone through make sense.
She is the reason for everything I do now.
She makes all the pain and struggle I’ve been through worth it.
She makes all the dark places I’ve ever been and all the suicides I’ve ever contemplated worth it.
She has made me a mother and shown me a strength in myself I never believed in before.
She has shown me that despite having a difficult childhood and a mental illness, I AM capable of being a mother, and better than that- I am excelling at it.
She is a female- and it’s my job to protect her and raise her up strong and brave so that she can empower other women along her path, as I hope to do in mine.
So I’m going to keep going with whatever it is that I’ve started here on this blog and this instagram and this Facebook page.
I’m going to keep going with this marathon-thought-spilling.
I’m going to keep going with this gigantic act of courage.
Because “courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you’ve been avoiding your whole life.”
You’ve heard about my abortion. You’ll hear more about my miscarriage. You’ll hear about my fractious childhood, incidents of domestic violence, and my bipolar hospitalizations too.
I’m going to keep airing it all, and I hope you start to find your own courage to respond to my posts publicly on my page or my website as well, so that other women can hear your truth.
Because at first, it feels scary.
And then it feels really, really good.