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Clare Durkin

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#ShareYourStory - A Reflection on the 2016 Women's Leadership Forum

“I’m a mess.” Reshma Saujina, founder of Girls Who Code informed the audience. Preach, Reshma, I thought to myself. “Be a mess,” she continues, “be authentic”. The 2016 Women’s Leadership Forum was an inspirational and special day filled with wise words, sage advice and incredible stories. And it were the stories that most resonated with me. Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, shared moments of her days spent visiting classrooms and reading stories to young children. The McBride sisters, creators of exquisite and delicious wine, have scaled the steep hill of California Street in San Francisco carrying cases of wine – while wearing stilettos. Reshma Saujina perhaps one of the most poised and eloquent speakers I have had the privilege of listening to, is a mess. Kelly Carlin, writer, actress, and performer, encouraged the 1,100 female dominated audience to share their stories’. Carlin challenged the audience to listen to the voice inside of us and to find our own story - for it is within our story that we discover self-awareness and our own inner truth. Stories shared at the Forum were filled with humor, sentiment and, of course, failure. “Just because I failed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try too,” Saujina expressed. Failing is an integral part of the journey – it reflects an effort made or a risk taken. Every time I fail I grow in another capacity. This growth is what brings me closer to attaining goals and to deepening my own story. Our stories continue to evolve. As I was swept in awe and inspiration at the Women’s Leadership Forum, I also felt a great deal of reassurance and comfort in knowing that being a mess is just fine.

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