Often when I create a project, particularly those focused on professional development in housing and residence life, it’s because I recognize a void that exists for others and I assume responsibility for filling that void.
But this project is different. This time my motivation is selfish.
When I sent a message into the ether of social media two months ago inquiring whether women would be interested in participating in a month-long blog series about women in housing and residence life, I did it as much for myself as I did for professional community. My heart was recently broken by a longtime mentor, and I wanted a productive way of healing and moving forward. I needed to gather the voices of women in the field and weave their words together into something I could wrap myself in, a cloak of connectedness. I needed to surround myself with women who are courageous in their vulnerability. I needed to honor women with experiences vastly different than my own and those who reflect back to me where I am in this season.
I was overwhelmed by the number of women who answered my initial call. More than sixty volunteered to share some part of their story, to break open their hearts publicly and let them heal in solidarity with one another. I pored over every word sent to me, combing through them as I edited, mining from them what I needed for my own heart to heal. It has been my privilege to care for these words, to thread them together, to curate them. There were moments of, “Aha! It isn’t just me!” and moments of, “I never considered that someone may be challenged by that.” There were moments of laughter – this is caucus of smart, funny women – and there were moments of awe at what others have overcome.
There were moments.
And I hope that during the month of March – women’s history month – you will find a few moments each day to read the stories shared on my website. Every Thursday during March, there will be a post featured on the ACUHO-I website as well. As you follow along throughout March, if you want to discuss and share your thoughts or comments, please join me and many other women in the ACUHO-I Women in Housing online community, an incredible resource for connecting women in our field.