I've been racking my brain with ways of how I could do justice to explain the weekend that I just had. Every time I do, though, it's nothing but an overwhelming sense of gratitude expressed through an expanded chest and tears in my eyes. I literally cannot contain myself.
That quickly became my general theme for the weekend. I felt like I was continually saying, "Sorry Guys" while wiping tears from my eyes yet again. Upon reflection, I realize that saying "Sorry" is something I do a lot of - for no other reason than that is what I have always done.
A weekend away with some strong, intelligent, fiercely funny women will have you feeling all sorts of ways. Trust and believe when I say that I have written both the book and the screenplay in my mind, and there is plenty of content to go around. Women together are magical. They change lives, they shape the world, and they make life better.
The parallels in my life that I have with these women are invaluable. We all go through things, and to be able to come together in a safe, non-judgmental way, and encourage one another is a rare gift. I know a lot of women crave friendships like these. I know I do. I also know that this wouldn't have been able to happen until I loved who I was. I couldn't attract the type of people in my life that would show up, support, surprise, encourage, and love me even when it was uncomfortable for them.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would be planning a "Girls Trip," I would have laughed in your face and said to you there "wasn't a chance in hell" that it could happen. But like she always does, the Universe, smugly laughed and said, "hold my drink." while providing lesson after lesson to trust her. Not only did I plan the trip, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was only one time I felt overwhelmed, and that was when it came time to talk about me. Other than that, there wasn't a second I didn't feel like I could be myself. And at the moment when I felt like I had failed, a stronger woman was by my side to help navigate me home.
Melinda Gates wrote: "Love is the most powerful and underused force for change in the world. ... For me, love is the effort to help others flourish — and it often begins with lifting up a person's self-image."
My friends do that for me. They elevate me. They make me feel that I, Calla, am capable of anything - and that apologizing for that is ridiculous. They show me that they believe in me - and I can say that is the best compliment that I could ever receive from a group of women. They make me want to work harder, stay educated, and stay focused. They show me where I need to grow and what I need to stop apologizing for.
I am so thankful for Leanne, Jenna, Jenna, and Jen. (That is not a joke! There are so many "Jens".) What they bring to my life can't be put into words. Luckily, lack of words isn't a problem for this group, and we recorded an episode together for Have The Conversation podcast.
I want to say I had "no idea" about how last weekend was going to go, but that would be a lie. I knew it would be amazing. I trusted that what I was doing mattered, that just by showing up and bringing good people together, that this weekend wouldn't be able to be anything other than life-changing.
I cannot wait to share this side of my life with the world and to introduce the women that make me feel unapologetically bold.
Look for a new episode of Have The Conversation coming soon. And join us on Facebook and Instagram to see how you can be a part of the HTC Community, where we talk about mental health, wellness, and everything in between all with a healthy dose of perspective.