Below is a list of some incredible women who I follow on blogs/social media or who I know personally. These women have rocked my world and shown me a greater love for being a woman, being strong, creative, and overall just loving myself. Thank you for everything you bring to this world. Continue to inspire. This is by no means a complete list.
You may remember CeCe from our interview with her last September. Here, she explained to us how she fights with multiple chronic illnesses every day and how she has learned so much about herself, medicine, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, and whatever else you tend to learn along the way when you are super sick all the time/spend most of your time in hospitals. She doesn’t sit around and feel sorry for herself. Instead, CeCe gets out of the house, travels, takes gorgeous photos, shaves her head, and tells us all about it. She advocates for other “spoonies (other people who are perpetually sick with a lot of serious things)” and educates the public about getting her sick together, which is actually not as rare as you would think. CeCe was there for me when I got sick and walked me through the process of seeing a bajillion doctors who don’t know what’s wrong with you. She is a positive light in this world and she’s not afraid to show others who she truly is – even if that means some days she becomes irritable or yeah, isn’t super positive all the time. Who is? Follow CeCe on Instagram at @cece_getyoursicktogether.
I have known Julie for a handful of years and like a lot of good people I know, I met her skiing. She had these crazy pink cat rainboots that she would wear to the ski resort. She never made any comments about them – just rocked them like no one else. I didn’t really get to know Julie until later, when we had both left the ski resort and were bored one random summer day, so we went on a hike together. This was the beginning of our awesome friendship that I am grateful for every day. Julie is a wanderer. She has hitchhiked around the USA and Australia alone. She makes friends like it’s the easiest thing in the world and she has a particular addiction to trains. Julie knows so much about trains that she could probably write a book on it. If you’re cool enough to get access to her instagram, she also takes gorgeous photos and videos from her rides on trains.
Julie is such a rare, extraordinary person who laughs FEAR in the face. Fear is nothing to someone who is so independent and such a free spirit that she could live anywhere off nothing but whatever she could fit in a backpack and the change in her pockets. She inspires me to get out and do anything I’ve ever wanted to do. If she can brave a world on her own in the harshest of conditions, I can too. Also, she’s a better hiker than I’ll ever be.
She’s been one of my best friends for eight years and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop loving her. Ariana is a pleasant rarity of a human. She knows…. I don’t even know how many languages, but she probably knows bits and pieces of every language ever invented. Ariana is a traveler and enjoys spending her time off helping people in third world countries. With her Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies, she is currently working to help establish sustainability in small Moroccan towns with the Peace Corps. She expects to continue doing work like this in the future and she’s always learning. Lately, she has been perfecting her French language skills and working towards an emergency medical certificate of some sort. She’s also an incredible cook and befriends everyone.
I met this sassy Puerto Rican bombshell at a Boston forum for medicine back in 2009. I already wrote on my Instagram about how much she inspires me, but I want to get into it a bit more. Jani is a lot of a woman. By that, I mean she was correcting people left and right and was easily the loudest voice in the room during our study sessions for those 10 days or so we lived in a Framingham hotel. As far as I can tell, she hasn’t stopped shamelessly spreading truth. Jani is determined to become the best healthcare provider ever. Her dream has always been to become an OB/GYN and she recently matched with a great residency. Not only that, but Jani seeks to go above and beyond to learn as much as she can in order to be the best healthcare provider she can be for women. Although she’s interning now, she also wants to become certified as a doula/midwife so that she can put all hands on deck when it comes to women’s health. I am so happy she is pursuing and accomplishing her many, many goals. I am so lucky to know her and you best believe that if I ever become pregnant (cross your fingers this never happens), I will move to wherever she is so that I can breathe a sigh of relief that I am in the best hands I could possibly be in. Good healthcare professionals are sadly not so easy to find. Oh, and by the way, she also manages a blog (?!?!?!?!) about medicine and fashion even though she’s always busy with her real career… so awesome.
Chelsea grows more than anyone I have ever known and she grows quickly. She is constantly growing and changing. I would be surprised if she even resembled the same person within a year. She’s open about her struggle to find herself and to love herself in all aspects of her life – what she’s doing, what she looks like, her history in finding all of it. On the quest to finding herself, Chelsea is an inspiration to us all. She regularly volunteers at Children’s Hospitals and after becoming a public figure in the Upstate New York country music scene, Chelsea dropped her band and started combining her passions for music and helping others full-time. She just got her Bachelor’s in Music Therapy and she will be interning in Denver in the Spring. Chelsea is a huge loyal supporter of her friends. You could avoid speaking for 2 years and meeting with her would be like nothing had ever changed – even though she has… a lot. She’ll love you just the same. Chelsea is also the best person to ask for a book recommendation about self help, self love, and anything in-between. I love you, Chelsea. Thank you.
As my closest friend most likely to call me “hon,” Mary is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She is also hella responsible. We met working in television and someone introduced me to her as “Texas.” “That’s an interesting name,” I told her, questioning whether it was real or not (it was Los Angeles – anything is possible, but ya no her name is Mary). Despite only being a few years older than me, Mary is years older in maturity. I can always go to her for a fresh mind on anything that has been bugging me. She is always the “mom” friend, but she can hang, too. I would easily trust this girl with my whole life. Mary is also incredibly strong. She recently lost her mother, her best friend, to complications from a terrible accident. I’ve never met Mary’s mother, but I feel like I know her through Mary’s stories about her, about her wild Mexican folk remedies (some of which totally worked!), and her overall badassery. I am so sorry I will never meet this glorious soul in person, but she lives in my heart, our memories, and the spirit that Mary definitely carries within her.
We met on Instagram through our mutual beekeeping hobby last year. There aren’t too many beekeepers and there are even fewer female beekeepers (although the head of my beekeeping club is a woman, hey-oh!). Lena is an awesome beekeeper from Germany (I think?) who posts about sustainable and biodegradable products she loves as well as anything bee-related. Her love for her bees is so pure and wholesome. Plus, she has an awesome sense of humor. Quote: “They see me pollen, they hatin, patrolling they try to catch me flying dirty.” I am so excited for our Instagram relationship to grow. Thank you, Lena, for teaching me the work slowly, like you’re underwater trick… unless you didn’t teach me that. Whatever, it was great advice. Follow her on Instagram!
I’ve known Alex since high school. We met through mutual friends and she always came to me for advice probably because I hated spouting bullshit, so she knew I would give her the truth. According to her, I was the first person who gave her the confidence to pursue Nursing as a career. 🙂 Now she is a great nurse… and a roller derby referee (Nurse Casket)… and she’s covered in tattoos… and she dyes her hair wild colors… and now she’s a weightlifter, too? This girl never stops! I am so proud to see her not only come out of her shell at full force, but spread some wings, too. Show me a more confident woman. I dare you.
This is not even close to all of the women I would love to feature in this (I actually had 3 more and I totally cut them off from this article because it was already a lot). Thank you, ladies, for rocking your life and world and all of the things, for being yourself, for fighting society’s weird stereotypes against us.
Follow The Barefoot Aya on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Some of the links in this post are affiliated links and The Barefoot Aya may receive a percentage of the item purchased. This does not mean that any company supports The Barefoot Aya nor does it mean that I do not fully recommend these products. I would never link to a product unless I fully recommend it.
How I Became a Feminist | The Barefoot Aya
An Open Letter to Those Who Can’t Handle Me At My Worst | The Barefoot Aya
My Winter Sport – Biathalon | Colobreeze_Hunts
Braking for the Male Ego | Pretty Good For a Girl
How to Do More of What You Want and Less of What Everyone Else Wants | The Barefoot Aya
Feature Gif Credit: Libby VanderPloeg