In my relationships workshops with teens and college students, I always ask about their first love.

What was the person like? What did you like about them?

After smiles and talk of childhood sweethearts, I kindly burst their bubbles (sorry ladies).

Like most women, my first love is mom dukes. It is the original relationship and the first person’s acceptance and love we crave.
And last week I got to spend some time with my first love. I got to be surrounded by the first arms I ran to feel around me, and curl up in the first shoulder nook I claimed ownership to.

The older I get the younger my mother gets to me. I am increasingly able to see her as a woman complete with her own desires and dreams, and not just my shield and comforter. I flipped through old pictures and along with wishing they had saved me some of the fab clothes, I felt closer to the women in my family seeing pictures of them through the years.

These ladies did a lot for me to have the freedoms I enjoy, including living out my dreams in New York and heading to a book party tonight to celebrate the release of “Daring to Be Ourselves” by Marianne Schnall.
The book features quotes from inspiring women including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Cameron Diaz, Eve Ensler, Kerry Washington, many other phenomenal women . . .  and Charreah Jackson.

After the shock (read intimidation) and excitement of being included, I wondered what I said that was being published alongside game changers and poet laureates.  When I got my copy in the mail, I could only smile.
Under the section of what inspires you, there I was quoted about how seeing my grandmother and the powerful women before me do so much with so little kept me moving, along with wanting to do the same for my own granddaughters. I had shared that with Marianne more than a year before, a few months after losing my grandmother.

So I am celebrating my first love, her first love, and the power that comes from standing on fabulous shoulders.

Check out “Daring to Be Ourselves” now on sale: http://www.daringtobeourselves.com/

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