Unto the ladies of my SCA household, my lady friends, my lady co-workers, my lady friends I have yet to meet, the young ladies that orbit in my life, and ladies everywhere, I send you greetings and many blessed wishes. I also wish to ask you a personal favor:
Stand up. Stand up straight.
Roll back your shoulders and raise your chin. Stop looking at the ground and raise your eyes to the world. You are beautiful and amazing and there are people out there who want to know you. Stop your hiding in plain sight. Each moment, fully inhabit and fill the place where you stand. It is yours.
Be you. Believe in yourself, and be certain that someone believes in you. I believe in you. You are loved. You are needed and you are necessary. More people care about you than you will ever know. When the chips are down, your friends will be there for you and they will help you.
If you cannot stand up, ask for help. I will stretch out my hand from next to you, from across the room, from across the miles and from far postmarks. I will help you. I will step beside you and hold your hand on the hard days. I will stand behind you and whisper affirmations in your ear. I will stand in front of you and clear the path. I will catch you when your knees wobble and fail. My strength is yours.
My hands are your hands. When they ache, when they need, when they are heavy with exhaustion: I feel that. Your heart is my heart. When it aches, when it weeps, when it is filled to brimming: I feel that. Your head is my head. When it swirls with doubt, when it knows the right path, when it is filled with trouble: I feel that.
You are amazing and you are flawed. Be willing to grow and evolve. Be ready to become a better you. Find those women and those people who make you a better person and embrace those improvements. You are strong and tough and capable. Your happiness is an option if you choose it.
All that we have in this world is each other: our friends and families and especially our lady friends. Be there for each other. You deserve a good life, rich with friends and love and success. Reach out a hand to help someone else and know that when you need it, a hand will reach out to you. Be a good friend and you will be rich with good friends.
Yes, I mean you. I am here for you and so many others are with me, ready to lend what is needed.
Now, stand up.
To my lady friends: Thank you, each of you for helping me to stand up and meet the world. You give me strength, you dry my tears, you whoop with my joys, you whisper the affirmations, you hold me close. I am better for knowing each of you and I could not do this without you.