On Burning Your Village then Building it Back Up

A few years ago I lost several dear friends.  Not to death, or illness, or accident. Just…lost them.  I did some things, they did some things, we did some things. And then before I knew it we simply weren’t talking anymore.  Many of them didn’t even tell me to go screw myself.  The whole thing would have been easier if they had. It devastated me.  I cried about it for months.  I wanted to die in agony wishing for closure.  Wishing for anything but how it felt to be alone with no village.

Fast forward to 2015.  My theme for this year is PEACE.  BIG GLITTERY PEACE.

Big Glittery Peace

Big Glittery Peace

I have been thinking about all of the friends that have come in and out of my life.  All of the people that have stuck around for the long haul.  All of the ones that are gone.  All the ones who have just started to play with me.

I realized something in a SISS, BOOM, BANG, KAPOW, BLAMO kind of a moment.

It is OK to burn down your village.

Say it with me, “IT IS OK TO BURN DOWN MY VILLAGE”.  With gusto. SCREAM IT if you have to.  “IT IS OK TO BURN DOWN MY VILLAGE”.

You know why?  Because then you get to rebuild it.  When I was rebuilding my village I was reaching out to mommies and all sorts of other women that I thought I wanted to be my friends and guess what?  I didn’t. More importantly THEY didn’t.  So why force it and listen I WAS FORCING IT.  Was I lonely? Yes.  Did I miss my gaggle of girls at my house all the time? Yes.


I have build a new village.  It is a village of women that I have met online, in person, at school.  It is my family members who I really, genuinely love spending time with.  It is my newly remodeled relationship with my sister that isn’t based on the past but built on the future.

It is the luscious old stand by’s who carry my history mixed in with the delicious new champions of my gorgeous bold world.

For just a moment, think of what you want 2015 to look like.

If there are people in your village that don’t speak truth to that vision, then burn down your village.  Clear the way for the Universe to welcome fierce newcomers into your world.  And then sit and wait because SISS, BOOM, BANG, KAPOW, BLAMO what you get from your new village will be a bazillion times more BADASS than the old one.

I promise.


About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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