Hashtag Kelly

I am not making good on the promise I made to myself to take a break from this site during my girl’s spring break, but today is a very important day and it deserves the attention here. Today is the day that Kelly Wickham entered the world (lo, those few years ago) only to eventually change it and the lives of so many others, mine included. Someone took this photo of us in the summer of 2006 at the BlogHer conference in San Jose, CA. Nine years younger, the both of us, although it’s obvious I haven’t matured very much in that time.

We were a little bit more than casual acquaintances up until last year when she very specifically taught me what it means to find your tribe, something I talk about here. She is among the group of women who have helped me find myself and in one specific aspect, my true voice. She is the fiercest person I know and yet possesses the most generous and delicate heart, one she gives away so freely and openly even when you think there can’t be any of it left. She pushes me to be the best version of myself, not like some coach screaming angry commands from the sidelines, no. But through how she lives, through the sense of humor she sometimes uses to process moments of blatant injustice, how she has dedicated herself to the education and well-being of countless children, how she continually rips out her heart, holds it, waves it above her head and shows those of us who are her colleagues in this space that getting shit for this kind of passion is just part of parcel of creating change. And we had all better create change, so help her god.

Thank you, Kelly, for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Happy birthday.