On Monday I graduated from an all-girls university. I had the honor of standing on stage with some 200 women all of whom were filled with anticipation, excitement, and joy as we celebrated our hard work and accomplishments. We were surrounded by our support systems, family and friends, who helped us reach this moment. This was the culmination of everything we had been working towards, and we had every reason to celebrate.
As I watched each woman walk across the stage, I noticed that many, myself included, graciously accepted our degrees with a shy smile and walked back to our seats cautiously (god forbid someone trip on stage on the way back to their seats). A few of the women, however, were handed their degree and then preceded to dance across the stage. Like, diploma-up-in-the-air, hands waving, gliding across the stage kind of dancing. And why shouldn’t they? They were excited, they were proud and they had every right to dance, skip or hop across the stage if they so pleased.
Don’t get me wrong I was ecstatic about graduating. I spent five years in college and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little burned out towards the end. But something in me felt the need to be humble about my accomplishments, to accept my degree coyly and save the real celebration for when I was alone or only with close friends. And it got me thinking, why was I feeling this way, and why did so many other women seem to be feeling this way as well?
Today, more than ever, we need to celebrate our accomplishments especially as successful, inspiring women. We are all unstoppable whether we are students, mothers, or professionals. We bring something to the table and it’s time we start dancing for our accomplishments. It’s time we celebrate ourselves, and others. I knew only a handful of the other women I graduated with, but I was proud of them. I felt empowered being around them. These were smart, driven, accomplished women and they were worth celebrating.
Whatever you’re doing, big or small, be proud. You deserve to dance across the stage, or in your bedroom, or outside on the street. What you’re doing is important, so be inspiring, be dedicated and be unstoppable.