What a relief it is to be authentic. Simply watching those who try to be something they are not is tiring. I am me, with all my faults, my quirks. Being real, having faults, is an asset, quite frankly. For if I have faults, I have room to grow, more to learn, it keeps me open and alive. Understanding my own imperfection enables me to be more accepting of others. If a first impression was poor, it makes me curious, rather than turns me away. Did I judge too soon, or was I misunderstood? Regardless of the conclusion, I find it a learning experience.

In building partnerships, I have discovered a new strength driven by my passion for building bridges. Truly believing that what we are building is a tool that is beneficial for all networks as a way to grow, build their community and their audience, raise their voice, and find alliances. I am driven. I can stumble because I am real. I stand to take the next step with caution at first to avoid the same fall. But my passion allows me the strength to stand tall even when rising. Not with pride of self, but confidence in doing the right thing.

That is not to say that it is easy, but it sure is gratifying.

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authenticity, building bridges, empowering women, partnerships, womens' networks

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