"Empowerment is forgetting the traditional definition of beauty and discovering that every individual, every moment, every interaction is or can be beautiful. I think of women who have and are paving the way for women's equality.  Madonna, Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson---women who are powerful for different reasons, but are paving the way for change; someone filled with passion who is not afraid to take a risk and who builds up the people around her. "

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"I was 29 years old, in a job I didn't love, in a relationship that didn't fit and in a home I wasn't proud of.  I had aspirations beyond the situation I was tolerating.  So I made the decision that I wanted to be deliriously happy and that meant facing the truth about my circumstances and having some difficult conversations. The unknown is always scary, but walking away from my past- which was binding me to this "half" life is the best decision I ever made.  I got a new job, moved from the 'burbs to Dallas into my own place for the first time and started to get to know me! I was afraid I would step out into the world and I would fail (that I wouldn't be able to support myself, that I wouldn't be able to find love, that I wouldn't excel in my career).  I am living a life that I am proud of, filled with blessings I dared never to ask for, with an amazing husband and son. Now, I am beyond proud of the life I have created. I love being a wife, mom, volunteering and inspiring others. I want to change people's lives for the better."

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"Five years ago, I was getting ready to marry my best friend.  We had just bought our first home together and we were taking our families to Mexico to celebrate our union. I feel like I am still 30.  I am rapidly approaching 40, but I still feel like I have so much more to give.  I understand myself and the world so much more now and I feel I still have a lot to contribute. You should never be afraid to hope for an enriching future, and to go for it. In Emma Watson's gender equality speech to the UN she concludes by saying '...And to ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?' I love the power in its simplicity. "