When this day hits every single year, I find myself thinking of all the new ways to discover what it means to be a woman and how I have defined myself as a woman. Through the many phases of my life in 2021, I, Julia Fuchs, define myself as a religious, loving, creative, slightly athletic, curious, and sensitive strong independent woman who loves to laugh, learn, and explore.
Getting to this point in my life has taken a lot of different trials and errors. Nothing stands out more to me than when I was in 10th grade and was trying dress gothic (this did not last as in the end I am a fan of bright colors and floral prints). My journey has been defined by these different phases; some I am not embarrassed about and some I cringe when I think about. On this very special day when there is not much more to do than reflect, I would like to show gratitude.
I am grateful for the women in my family who have never failed to call me out when I was not being my authentic self. For always being there when I needed to laugh, ramble on about my passions, or cry. Especially for my mom who is always there for me no matter what and has never let me down. She teaches me how much happiness and love will come into my life with hard work and devotion for the people in my life. My Grandma B who is always a phone call away and cheers me up with the hours upon hours we spend talking on the phone every week; whenever I am feeling down I know one of our lengthy discussions will cheer me up. For my Grandma V, who is always up to date on the latest celebrity gossip, and loves reading and history as much as I do. I attribute some of the best parts of my day (i.e. morning tea) to the introduction you have given me. For my Aunt Kim, who I love spending beach days with and talking about television with. For my Aunt Annie, who helps me to remember to do what I am passionate about no matter how hard it can be to stick with it. For my Aunt Celia, who teaches me what it means to be a strong working mother, with a devotion to family. For Sara Grace, who even as a young child helps me to bring out my inner toddler every now and then. And last but not least, for Natalie, who teaches me to be kind. I am so happy to have gotten to know her this past year. Thank you all for being not only part of my amazing family, but for helping me to learn my place in the family.
I am grateful for my friends, some older and some newer. For Emily, who I am convinced is my soulmate. I love how I can always count on you, and that in you, I have someone outside of my family who I can completely be myself around (no matter how weird that can be). For Maria, who has become like another sister to me and who is always there to help me make rational decisions and think things through. For Sam, who is honestly one of the funniest and most generous people I have ever met. For Sanaa, who always cheers me up with her bright personality and devotion for her friends. For all of the amazing women who were in my Old Navy family and are now in my Starbucks family- thank you for making work a fun and wholesome place despite how stressful things can get while on the job! For my new friends who I have met at Rutgers through Her Campus, the French Living Learning Community, The Rutgers Geology Museum, and Douglass Arts Advisory Board, Catholic Student Alliance- thank you for welcoming me into your community at Rutgers!
I am grateful for the women in my boyfriend’s family who welcomed me into many family gatherings and made me feel comfortable.
I am grateful for my physician who helps me to be the best possible version of myself, and learn to live a healthier lifestyle. I am grateful for my hairstylist, who makes me feel beautiful every time I sit in her chair. I am grateful for my amazing female teachers and professors who have helped give my life meaning and direction. For Madame B who introduced me to studying French which has become such an important part of my life and who still continues to support me and help me learn even after being out of high school for so long. For my many archaeology and history professors who have helped me to refine my interests and set me on a path.
I am even grateful for those women in the past who have challenged me, and made things difficult for me. Peers, coworkers, and teachers alike thank you for making me a stronger person and keeping me humble.
Last but not least, I want to thank all of the women who have lived before me and made their mark on history. This past year, one of my favorite women in history: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, passed on. I extend my thanks to strong women like her who have paved the way for me and my peers. Thank you for giving me a reason to study, and make change. Thank you for helping to make the world a better place.
It is important to be grateful, especially in times like these for all that we have and all of the important women in our lives.