I recalled the day, that 1st day as I became a member of the Emerge VT Sisterhood, not only the Emerge VT Sisterhood, but the Emerge America Sisterhood. The empowerment and fear it brought to my mind. The idea being that we as women compare ourselves to the women we surround ourselves with. I focused in and listened to the stories these women brought to the table. I was at The Table of Women. We build one of these every time we surround ourselves with other women. My gut reaction was to stand up and leave. There was no way I could ever match up. I could never do nearly as much as what these women before me have done. Their knowledge was way beyond mine when it came to government and politics. They were or had been on boards, committees, campaigns, had degrees from all types of institutions of higher educations, and so much more.
Well I stayed. We each had the opportunity to stand up and share a glimpse of who we were. What our lives were like, where we came from, what was important to us, why we were there, and more. We are so multifaceted like prisms hanging in the sunlight. When the sun shines on the prism the light is spread around the room. I felt that. We all have so much to share with one another if we simply remember we all have a common goal, and that is to share our experience as women with each other. We are where we are to bolster each other to share those experiences where they can make a difference in our communities, local, state, and across the nation. To be the voice of those we feel are unheard.
On that day while telling my story a glimpse of who I am, I shared many of my struggles, my accomplishments, my victories, the events that brought me to want to be a part of this Sisterhood. I left a piece of me out of my story that day. I left out the piece of me that had kept me from leaving this Table of Women, the part of me that brought me to this Table of Women. The part that brings me to places I never thought I would be. Sitting in on a House committee meeting, hearing Madeleine Kunin answer my personal question and sign a copy of her book, to sit on a balcony and watch Phil Scott and Chap Smith in action. To walk the halls of our beautiful Golden Dome comfortable in my own skin the whole time. While doing this knowing I am right where I am meant to be in that moment in time. Where I am meant to share my light.
This part of me is my Spiritual Faith. I want to bring more of this part of me. I believe we are all here for a larger purpose, unbeknownst to us at this time and place. My question is this day why did I hold it in my hands, and not let it shine?
Michelle Laperle, Emerge Vermont Class of 2014