As we’re approaching the third birthday of the HeartStories Girls Night Out, I’ve been looking through old photographs of the 36 GNO’s we’ve hosted in the past. This pic is from our very first GNO Birthday celebration. In June of 2017, we celebrated 80’s style, at our “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” party down at Big D Party Rentals warehouse. There are SO many hilarious and fun pictures of that incredible night, thanks to Meggie Taylor Photography. (If you need a good laugh, you can see the rest of them right here) We played 80’s arcade games, made friendship pins, laughed, danced, and ate a giant birthday cake.
It was really quite the party!
But when I look back, one of my favorite things about that party was seeing all the women who showed up so courageously dressed in their 80’s get-ups. It turns out that once you hit a certain stage in life, going out in public dressed up in a way that stands out, isn’t as easy as it was when you were younger. We’d planned for a giant crowd, anticipating that this would be one of our biggest GNO’s to date, and it totally wasn’t. In fact, it turned out to be one of our lowest attended events of the year. There were several possible reasons, including the Dallas location, but the most obvious one, which was that I didn’t realize we’d planned the whole thing on the night before the last day of school! There was apparently much trepidation around the ladies dressing up, full-on 80’s style. When I look back at the pictures, I instantly remember some of the feelings I felt that night.
And they weren’t all happy.
In fact, this pic was taken shortly after my sister Kim had just given me a “big sister pep talk” in the bathroom. I wanted to celebrate the accomplishment of a full year of monthly girls night outs. I wanted to celebrate the women who’d chosen friendship, connection, and love, over competition for an entire year. Even though so many women showed up there ready to party, that giant room felt a little empty. My heart sunk a little, both for them and for me. But that night was an opportunity for me to show up as the woman I really am, and the woman I was already becoming through the journey of HeartStories.
It was a chance to show up 100% for the fun and the party, even in the face of a bit of disappointment.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~ EE Cummings
One of the best gifts of the first three years of creating HeartStories (before I started GNO) was discovering the power of showing up as my authentic self, in my business. It was finding out that being “me” is the best way I can serve our community. I’ve always loved bringing laughter and life to the party, so that night I totally went all out for it. I went out there and acted like that room was full of 250 people. The music was up loud and the DJ was spinning the tunes all night long. We did the kick-and-play, the grasshopper, and all the ridiculous dances we could remember. It was a riot of a time.
We celebrated like none other.
Every year when I look back at the pictures of that first birthday, it’s a reminder of the courage it took for me, and for all of those women, to show up to party that night.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
Where is your life calling you to a little more courage today?
Lean into that.
It’s worth it to become who you really are.
to more love,