In anticipation of my book release (Woman Enough- coming soon!), I decided to interview some women who I believe are some of the bravest, and who deserve to have their stories shared. I want to celebrate women. Nothing more, nothing less. Here they are in their own words. I am humbled and grateful to have a small snapshot into their worlds.
I’ve never actually met Amy in person. I’m friends with her brother. I think his introduction went something like this, “You should really follow my sister. She’s pretty badass and I think you guys would get along.” He was right. Amy never backs down from the haters, spreads awareness about reproductive justice (one of many social justice issues she is passionate about), and actually means it when she’s trying to spread some damn good in this world. She is a badass sister.
Name: Amy Withawhy
Please share whatever you would like us to know about yourself:
I’m an atheist, feminist, progressive activist and podcaster living in a conservative rural area in Minnesota. I’m a married mom of 2 wonderful boys, and a business owner. And I stretch myself WAY too thin.
Looking back on your life thus far, what has been your biggest accomplishment?
I can’t think of a single accomplishment to point to, but I am very proud that I’ve been able to spend much of my life speaking up for causes I care about. Many moms would say that their children are their biggest accomplishment, but I don’t see it that way. My kids are individuals, and I’m just here to guide them to adulthood in the best way I can. I fail, often, with that guidance, but I try everyday to make sure that they grow up to be people of integrity who will do something positive with the lives they have.
What inspires you?
Hearing other passionate people speak about the things that matter to them. I’m truly an extrovert, and I thrive on good conversation and socializing. I learn the most from the people I surround myself with. I know some pretty amazing people who inspire me daily.
That, and Broadway musicals. Listening to the Hamilton cast recording still gives me butterflies in my stomach. I’m in complete awe of people that can use their creativity to create something so emotionally provocative.
What’s something/a time you look back on & wish you would’ve done it differently, if any?
I try not to “what if” with my past, because I don’t think it’s helpful. But if I could change anything, I think I would have taken my education a little more seriously. I’m a college dropout, and I’ve always wanted to change that. Someday I might. But for now, I’m too busy with other things and I’ve come to peace with that.
Has there been any significant moment in your life that has altered your path/your being/your calling? Would you like to share it? If not, that’s okay. A yes or no answer is acceptable & beautiful in its own right.
Becoming a mom. Without a doubt. My life is no longer about me. Everything I do is contributing to the people my kids are becoming, and that’s a huge responsibility to shoulder. Honestly, I find it overwhelming a lot of the time.
What is one of your mom’s traits that you admire(d)?
My mom taught me that if you see a problem, you can and should try to fix it. Complaining about it, or wishing someone else would solve it isn’t helpful. If there’s a problem and you’re in a position to help, you need to help. Full stop. My mom is one of the most generous people I know. She gives a lot of her time to people who need her, without complaint or conditions. She’s a helper, and a problem-solver.
When you think of your grandmother(s), what comes to mind?
I was very close with my maternal grandmother. She was fearless, and is the person who taught me to stand up for what is right, regardless of what other people might think. She was a badass, and not everyone appreciated that. But she was also endlessly kind. She was a real force of nature who did not put up with cruelty. She’s the person I get my stubbornness from.
What time in your life do you feel was the most challenging?
When I was a teenager, I was in an abusive relationship. It was the hardest period in my life. And I hid it well from everyone, including my family, so nobody could really help me. I quite often want to go back and have a talk with that younger version of myself, and tell her to get out of that relationship. But going through it contributed to who I am now and my understanding of the world, and made me stronger in the long run. It’s probably the reason I’m so passionate about reproductive justice. If I had become pregnant during that time, my life would have been sent on a completely different trajectory. I often feel like having access to birth control at that age is the only thing that saved me.
Last but not least, how do you see yourself, & how do you want others to see you?
Tough question. I see myself as uncompromising, funny, stubborn, generous, and often obnoxious and awkward. I would hope that other people see me as a worthy friend. I want to be someone that people feel at ease talking with. I want to put more kindness into the world than I take out. I want to make change where I can and make the world a little more tolerable of a place to be.
Please post any links below to your work or causes you’re passionate about.
I’m the co-host of the Secular Soup podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/show/secular-soup
I sell horrible things on Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/delightfulbitchcraft