My Best Feminist

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 1:32pm

Halimat Olaniyan and friends

Halimat Olaniyan and friends Buy this photo
Courtesy of Halimat Olaniyan

My best feminist. I really like that saying. Thanks @seekrefugeco for coming up with that and reminding me of what I have to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. On this 14th of February, I want to highlight 14 of the women that without, I don’t know what, where, or who I’d be. To all the women in my life, you are brilliant, talented, incredible, and I am beyond grateful to know you.

 

Ayo- You have become my stubborn, pushy and well meaning little sister. You push me to get out of my comfort zone as I push you to do the same. You listen to my countless tales and your very nature reminds me of home. You keep me grounded. Thank you for the laughs, conversations, and adventures. And even though I am graduating I will still push you to write more, share you work, and live a little.

 

Carly- I was horrified that I would hate my first college roommate but I never imagined she would become a constant support in my life. I don’t know anyone as involved in activism or as well versed in human rights as you are. You inspire me to do more. Because of you I am not afraid to speak up and I will never let anyone silence my voice.

 

Cassandra- I am so grateful you transferred to Michigan sophomore year because I could never have survived, more like thrived, through my first fashion show without you. When God invented the word “model,” I know He had you in mind. You are so beautiful inside and out. There’s no one that makes me laugh so hard it hurts or nearly fall to the floor as often as you do. Thank you for teaching me how to put myself first and truly love me time.

 

Efe- From the first day we met, I saw myself in you and though we have a lot in common we are not the same. It has been incredible to watch you become the fierce actor, writer, and advocate you are. I am grateful to have someone who so deeply and truly relates to me but that I can still learn from. I cannot wait to watch you take the entertainment industry by storm.

 

Hannah- Over the summer you were my keeper. I could not have predicted how much I needed you or how much you would mean to me. Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to take breaks, that I was more than deserving of success, and that it would all work out. Thank you for allowing me to join you on your long walks and hiking adventures. You helped me believe in myself and now I cannot wait to celebrate all my accomplishments with you.

 

Ivy- From the outside our relationship does not make sense to most. We raid each other’s closests and are brutally honest with each other, but we also emotional support each other. Whether I need outfit advice, helping getting rid of stuff, or someone to make sure I eat, you got me. When I first saw you at orientation, I never imagined I’d spend the next four years with you. From planning last minute trips to NYC, our random photoshoots, and love of Indian food, I wouldn’t have our relationship any other way.

 

Keilah- Simply put, you are my best friend. I cannot believe four years have gone by and I don’t know how I’ll make it through the next four without you by my side. I started this college journey with you and I get to end it with you. I am so proud of all that you are, have done, and that I know you will do and be. You are the best procrastinator I have ever met. Even when you wait until the very last minute to submit that paper or apply for that scholarship you still ace it or get it because your talent, grace, and brilliance are undeniable. I am so beyond lucky to call you my best friend.

 

Maddie- Working for MESA would not be the same without you. For the first semester you were my partner in grants and outreach. I am so grateful I had your shoulder to lean on and your thoughts to learn from. I am inspired by you because everything you do, you do with love.

 

Miriam- You have re-defined what a glow up is for me. Your glow up wasn’t about beauty, you’ve always been beautiful. Yours was about self love. You have grown into a force to be reckoned with, a triple threat who knows what she has to offer and what she deserves. Watching you grow has helped me grow.

 

Mom- What else can I say but thank you for bringing me to this world. I am sorry for not always showing my appreciation. You were my first best friend. You are my biggest supporter. You’re not afraid to tell me the hard truth and you always push me to do better. I would not be the woman I am or as successful as I am without you. You are the best mother anyone could ever ask for and I am beyond blessed because you believe in me enough to put my dreams before your own.

 

Princess- I wish I would’ve gotten closer to you sooner. I cannot reflect on senior year without thinking of you. Seeing you, nearly everyday, was the highlight of my days last semester. You are the best study buddy anyone could ever ask for. Whether it’s something to eat, someone to rant to, help picking out an outfit, or a new hairdo I know I can count on you. I am so proud of you and to know you. Whatever you decide to be I know you will be the BEST at it because you’re the best at everything you do.

 

Quin- You have been my bestie since high school. I remember when we took our high school graduation pictures saying that in four years I could post them with our new ones. After some persuading to get you to go to Michigan and four years, here we are about to graduate together. Through the ups and the downs, whatever happens, even if the world ends, you will always be my best friend. You are the strongest, most talented, funniest, and most beautiful –inside and out- person I know.

 

Steffi- You have redefined what a leader looks like for me. I don’t know anyone that roots for, uplifts, or creates more opportunities for women of color than you do. Your drive, pure talent, and love for what you do, how you do it, and the people you do it with, amazes me. I cannot wait to see you reinvent the entertainment industry and I know you will take women of color all the way up and straight through that glass ceiling with you.

 

Taylor- At first I loved you for being my best friend’s best friend but now you’ve become mine too. You have been through so much, more than most, and yet you are still unapologetic about who you are. Your work ethic and talent is undeniable. You’re the only person I know doing a TRIPLE major. Instead of boasting or complaining, you find time to put your family first and support your friends. When I think of a strong, unrelenting woman, I think of you.