Happy International Women’s Day!

I’m dedicating today to my Mom. She taught me that I could do anything I wanted to and encouraged me in every interest and path I followed.

She didn’t want me watching sexist shows on TV and taught me to speak with confidence.

She broke the rules and pushed through ceilings she didn’t even know were there until she confronted them in her extraordinary career as a biological anthropologist. She was so well known and respected in our field that people in my old department used to do a double take when they found out I was her daughter!

She gave me a love of flowers and the living world. I see gardens as cathedrals because of her.

She is a keeper of family history and an incredible cook and artist. She’s always loved and welcomed Stacy into the family.

She has travelled the world, published and mentored countless students (including me). She asked me the hardest question at my Ph.D. defence—she gave me an article to read to answer it!—all so I had a chance to highlight how art and anthropology can meet through writing.

When I’ve reached major goals she’s asked me, ‘what’s next?’ Not be because there’s pressure to always do better or work harder but because working hard and seeing the bigger picture is part of being empowered and building the life you truly want.

She taught me to grow and heal and to not push things under the rug.

Basically, I learned what it means to live a whole life, a compassionate life, a beautiful life, a strong life from my Mom! I’m forever grateful