Our View | An open letter to the women of our lives

Published by The Rocket, Date: March 18, 2024
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Our View is a staff editorial produced collaboratively by the entire Rocket Staff. Any views expressed in the editorial are the opinions of the entire staff. 

To review our editorial policy, which includes our blotter policy, click here.


March is the month for us to empower and lift women’s voices for Women’s History Month. We could have utilized this staff editorial to talk about the many injustices that women face on the daily, but we decided to focus on the positive: our gratitude for the women in our lives. We simply would not be the people we are without them.

This is a collection of The Rocket staff’s thoughts, an open letter to the women of our lives.

Thank you for all you do.

There are so many women in my life who deserve to be celebrated. So many women who have been key in shaping me into who I am. So many women who support and uplift me.

To the woman who took me under her wing, made me realize what my passion in life was, gave me my first camera, and taught me how cameras worked. I would not be the photographer I am today without her guidance and knowledge.

To my sisters who are always my first call, I would not be the person I am if I grew up without them. My mom has instilled values of kindness into how she raised me. She is the biggest role model in my life. I aspire to have the care she has for people. Thank you for always being my biggest supporter, my best friend and my biggest fan.  

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Growing up around successful women who were never afraid to express their thoughts on a given situation while also teaching me how to act has helped me at every level of my life, socially, academically and professionally. Being around women has made me a much better person and there is no way I could repay what they have done for me out of nothing but their care for others. 

To all women: I cannot speak well on the hardships you experience that men do not, but even when it seems like all you do is invisible labor, I promise there are always those who appreciate you, even if you cannot see them or they do not show it. 

There is so much more to say and so many more women to thank, but I hope this short “letter” is able to come across as a thank you to all of them, even if not directly addressed.

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Women have been the ultimate role models in my life. I am the person I am today because of the amazing women who have taught me my morals. The women in my life have always led by example and showed me what it means to be strong, courageous and unapologetically proud of who I am. 

It is impossible to accredit every woman who has shaped me into who I am today, so I am going to thank a few that first come to mind. 

My grandma is the most reliable and selfless woman in my life. Even when the world has not been kind to her, she remains the most gentle and loving soul. Though quiet, her strength never ceases to amaze me.

Dani, a mentor and friend from my internship, has shown me what it means to lead with passion in my work. Watching her self-advocacy and confidence showed me what a strong and successful woman looks like. You are going to raise a badass daughter! 

Lastly, it is a privilege to watch my sister grow into a grounded young woman. Her emotional intelligence and care for others blows me away. Although her bluntness can come with consequences, I am inspired by her ability to stand her ground at the age of 17. 

The most beautiful thing is that all of these people have told me how I inspired them too. The support system all women have for each other is something I will never take for granted.

I have always felt more connected to the women around me than I have to the men because we all understand what those before us had to do just to be respected as people. We will live in that world forever, and that structural disadvantage will probably not go away.

I think beyond it, what really encourages us to keep trying anyway are the connections we build with each other, along with our perseverance and determination to get through life.

~

Women hold each other together, even in a room full of men, knowing that we are one and the same, that we are in this together. With that said, my friends are what hold me together, are what remind me that even in this mess of a world, we are always going to be in this together. 

Also, I thank my mom, because she is the only one who truly supported me at every turn. I would not have been able to persevere and keep trying if she did not do it first.

Because of them, I see a future for myself. So I thank myself, too, because to me, Women’s History Month is about each and every one of us, our connections to each other and the relationships we have with ourselves.

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Women will always impact me in a far more profound way than men. This is because we all experience the same weight of oppression. While some bear much more than others, we all feel the constraint that we will never be as successful as them in our lifetime. Even if we reach the same financial level, it is objectively impossible for us to achieve the same level of worldwide respect. To exist as a woman is pain.

It is hard for me to uplift the women in my life for being women because I know that is what truly holds all of us from reaching our full potential and dreams. We should congratulate ourselves for functioning and trying in this world built against us. 

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It is impossible to choose one woman who has impacted me and changed my life. There are many wonderful women who I have crossed paths with who have made my life a million times better.

There are a few I would like to shout out. To the women in my family, thank you for the opportunity of this life I continue to live. To my professors, thank you for your never-ending guidance and love. Finally, to myself, I am so proud of the woman you have become and continue to grow into.

~

Women play a massive role in shaping the people we are today, from our mothers (hi mom), to teachers or friends. There simply are not enough words in the English language for me to properly thank all of the women in my life who have helped me become the person I am today. So I want to say thank you, not only to the women in my life. But the women in everyone’s lives. Thank you for being you.

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I owe a lot to the women in my life and those who came before me. The women close to me have always had such a significant voice, whether that is through their words or actions. They are keepers of stories, knowledge and inspiration. There is something powerful about seeing yourself reflected in successful women from a young age, especially knowing the societal constraints they have faced and overcome.

Here is to women all over the globe. Know that you are appreciated for your wins big and small and for persisting in a world that was not built to foster your success.

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Two hundred words could never fulfill the gratitude I have for all the women in my life. From my courageous single mother to my now pregnant older sister, I have learned so much from them all. Values such as independence, strength, compassion and love have been instilled in me through the years. Without women, our lives quite literally would not be possible. I am so proud of the man I am today and without the women in my life, that man would have never been a possibility. 

~

There is not enough space allotted for me to write an appropriate “letter” to the women in my life. I will address my thoughts to the women who I have lost.

At times, it is hard to determine if I am being serious or saying something in jest. This is because I’ve found it easier to express myself through humor, something that is relatable within my family.

There are moments in life when the use of humor is almost impossible. Death is one of those moments.

I can remember my aunt in her final hours in 2019 and finding it difficult to accept the situation for what it was. I can almost feel the feeling of locking up eternally, unable to verbally acknowledge to her everything that needed to be said. All the courage and openness humor allows me is completely gone.

I never gave her a proper goodbye. What she should have heard was how much she impacted my life and my appreciation for her raising me even though she was not my mother. That I loved her very much and will never forget any of the sacrifices she made. Everything she ever did was for her family and she deserved to know how much she truly was appreciated. We must always remind those around us how much they mean to us.

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I am so grateful for every woman in my life, and words could never describe the impact that the women I know have on me. My beautiful mom has taught me everything I know, while always being by my side and supporting me through anything.

She has made me the person I am today and has inspired me to be a better person.  I am so thankful to be surrounded by women I could always look up to and learn so much from, whether that is family, co-workers, friends or teachers. It is so beautiful to see the confidence and knowledge they have. Though I could go on forever talking about every individual woman who has impacted me, I want to truly say thank you to all the inspiring women who I have in my life.

~

I want to thank every influential woman in my life, spanning from coaches to doctors, who have shaped the world or set examples for me. But I specifically want to thank one woman who has performed both acts in a profound way.

Dear Grandma Nola: You led your family and community while displaying an unwavering commitment to God and humanity for nine decades. You made me smile, laugh and most recently, cry. You could not have been a better grandma, great-grandma, mom, sister, nurse or human being.

I always admired your authenticity. You were never afraid to speak and believed in your actions. I am so happy you raised six amazing children, who take after you and continue to inspire me.

I do not know how you raised such wonderful children while working overtime, eventually stuck on the outskirts of an ex-murder capital. I will not let the undeniable light you brought into this world diminish. Just as you walked across the bridge in Selma six decades ago, I have full faith you walked across the gates of Heaven some weeks ago. These weeks have felt like an eternity for us, us who are still bound to Earth. I am so lucky you were a part of my life. You are always my inspiration. I love you. 

Happy Women’s History Month.

With love,

The Rocket

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