We picked the theme of ‘growth’ for August on DD. It came out of our usual brainstorm, and only once we’d chosen it did we realise how perfect it would be. 

Not only because it felt like a good fit for summer – bringing to mind the school holidays we did most of our growing up in – but also because it would follow after July’s theme of DARE, and doesn’t growth always follow a moment of putting yourself out there? In daring to do something, anything, you risk failure. There’s safety in stasis.

Throughout July, we shared pieces about anything but stasis. They were stories of leaps and dives and running up hills. In our final piece of the month, Jennifer Canaveral told the story of how she plunged from the bow of a ship into waters where sharks were being kept at bay by other crew members. She was nervous at the time, and didn’t feel ready, but it is only in looking back she realised the act of jumping before she was ready would become a pattern for other moments in life; her ‘gateway to bolder – often questionable – decisions’.

We’re taking our very own leap into the unknown soon, by launching our first crowdfunder (get involved and find out more about Let Me Know When You’re Home here) – and that’s another reason why ‘growth’ is the perfect theme for this particular moment in the lifespan of DD. Much like Jennifer’s leap, we couldn’t really look you in the eye and say we’re absolutely ready: it is our biggest (and toe-curlingly measurable) challenge yet and there’s a chance we might not pull it off. This is our dare, then – and whatever the outcome, we can’t wait to see the growth.

Here is one more reason why ‘growth’ feels so apt right now, and it’s a bit of a DD exclusive. You’re probably aware that Team DD comprises two people (#AbsandBri) who regularly meet to discuss all things Dear Damsels. Well, I’m writing this as one of those two people (hi) and I’m moving to Australia.

What does this mean for DD? Well, for Team DD, it means quite a lot. It means Skype calls instead of breakfast meetings, and an even more intense use of Google Drive. But for DD’s loyal followers (hi again) we hope it doesn’t really mean anything at all – besides the fact we’ll be taking September off from our monthly themes, and your Sunday Roundups are going monthly. There might also be more beach on our Instagram feed.

‘I don’t want DD to hold you back,’ Bridie had said when I first brought up my potential move down under. It was a fair question: when you’re as invested in a project as we are with DD, it’s wise to keep checking in about how much you’re putting in vs getting out. But though DD has on occasion taken up a disproportionate amount of my out-of-work hours, it has never held me back. It has only helped me dare to do more things, and helped me grow.

We picked ‘growth’ for the August theme on DD, and I suppose we could have picked ‘grown’. But as we prepare to take this platform to another hemisphere, and to take our biggest leap yet, it feels right to be sharing a month of writing that’s all about the process. It’s ongoing, and so are we. 

Abs x

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