8th March 2019- Today it is a special day for me, for 3 reasons: Firstly, it is International Women’s day, secondly it is Friday (and Friday always calls for a celebration) and finally it is my birthday! As a kid I used to excitedly wait for this day for weeks, counting down the hours from January! I have the loveliest memory of waking up on my birth day with my mum and sisters fussing around me, spoiling me with attention and presenting me with my gift and a branch mimosa, Women’s day symbolic flower. My day was tinted of yellow and scented with the strong smell of this very special bright flower; at school all girls would get a little mimosa, on the bus we were wished happy Women’s day; neighbours, friends would not come and visit on that day without a mimosa.
When I moved to England, many moons ago, my birthday was still celebrated, sometimes for weeks (I have always arranged as many dinners and parties as possible , after all you only get old once a year) but the Women’s day part didn’t have the same weight. It was just not a date people over here celebrated much. And of course, I lost sight of the mimosa.
It was great to see in the recent years that Women’s Day assumed more and more importance over here, and today it is very much as celebrated as it is in Italy. I am not sure what drove the renewed attention to this special day, but I am grateful for it. As I grew older I started appreciating the meaning of this day, reminder of the many achievements that women have made over the years and a commemoration of the many courageous women that have fought for equal opportunities and rights.
Today we are free to be what we want to be and how we want to be it, at least in this corner of the world. And it is easy to take what we have for granted, but it is good to stop and remember that life as a woman has not always been like this.
I am grateful to be able to be a mum, while having a career, dancing and maintaining a bit of social life (when kids allow).
Tonight I will celebrate with a cake, my lovely family and potentially a salsa dance. I might dance as a follower or be the leader. Tonight I will decide.