We wanted to strip away the pretension that accompanies the gathering of a group of women. That meant at our event, there would be no business cards, no shamefully shameless plugs, no flaunting of followers, and no introducing yourself as a dot com.
Exhuming and Exalting started as a “what if.” Gabby of The Reign XY and I wanted to host something centered around sisterhood authenticity. We wanted to breathe life into Viola Davis’ Oscars speech. We would exhume those stories, we would exalt ordinary women. We would prove that the greatest beauty and power and potential didn’t lie within the glorified artist, but in (extra)ordinary women like you and me. We’d help someone see that you don’t need a podcast or any platform for your voice to matter. And we would start in DC.
So we drove our stakes into ordinary ground and declared room 107 a safe zone. There, a woman was safe to exhume her own broken bones and build her structure how she saw fit. That meant one woman could openly speak about her sexuality and spirituality out loud for the first time.
That meant another woman could breastfeed with one arm and gesture through the definition of sisterhood with the other. That meant one woman could talk about self-mutilation, and another about her relationship with her father, and another about needing more from her partner, and we could all talk about the most hurtful thing anyone had ever said.
There in room 107 a woman could trust that she would be exalted. I hadn’t finished describing i memorable rejection before Erica-With-a-C winked at me saying, “You the shit, Roco.” Erika-With-a-K couldn’t get a word in sideways without me saying that I so needed her in my life.
We rushed to Trina’s side when she cried. We snapped our approval when our sisters’ thoughts sang our soul songs. And half the room admitted that they were Grannies at heart, Just searching for that special geriatric group to sit blankets to ankles with on a Friday night. (#GrandmaAndChill #TurnDownForThis)
Per usual, I was in absolute awe of the group of women around me. These ladies held rubies, opals, jade, between their teeth, dropping gems whenever they opened their mouths. These are a few of my faves:
- “Everyone’s been touching me all day, but no one’s been TOUCHING me all day.” (On being a giver who doesn’t get enough back.)
- “Holding preliminary hearings on myself.” (On feeling the need to measure up, to make yourself into a certain someone, before presenting yourself to the world.)
- “Authenticity means confronting your present truths.” (On how your definition of you changes over time. Accept it.)
- “Time doesn’t heal, it’s what you do with that time.” (Pretty self-explanatory.)
- “Sisterhood is bonding outside the blood.”
We ranged in age from 4 months to 40+ on Saturday night, and still I think it’s safe to say that we all got each other. We understood Kairie’s cries for her mother’s milk. We collectively leaned in as Tiffany learned us somethin’ about the candid clapback. We dropped our jaws in awe of the 45-year-old who aged like wine, and the 23-year-olds who weren’t 29. We got to just be without the pressure of measuring up or shrinking down.
As always I’ll say Moredinary’s event was amazing. But in truth, it’s impossible even for me to put into words. The Reign XY and Moredinary plan to bring Exhuming and Exalting to a safe space near you. You should probably come.
Shouts and thank you to Jusnah for all of the photos. You’re amazing!