We all know women rule the world. It is a fact. Women are stronger than men, women provide for the world with their love, kindness, sass and empowerment, and of course with their abilities to bring new generations into the world. If it weren't for women, starting with Eve, the world we know would be doomed as we know it .
I can go on and on about girl power, but for this article, I'd like to give a shoutout to all the special men who have helped along the way. In particular, the special men in my life who have helped me grow into the empowered woman I am today.
Let's start with two coaches who empowered and affected me more than they know. In elementary/middle school we had two coaches, one who perfectly depicts a cooler version of Leigh Anne Tuohy, and the other a perfect description of an old school gym coach.
Coach Laboy was old school--always talking about hard work, and always talking about pushing for more. He taught me that. He taught me to push, never settle, and he helped me discover my love for sports. Then coming into high school, I was timid to what my potential as an athlete could be. But Coach Jorge quickly shut my timidness and nervousness down. He was stern, loud--a bit crazy--but beyond passionate. He threw me into situations I wasn't ready for, he reminded me to be humble, and he taught me that no matter who you are, no matter the circumstance, your passion can get you to where you want to go. Passion will give you the win, and passion will give you the life you wish to have.
Next we have my cousins. Man do I have a lot of them, but each one of them have had an influence on my life. They are all so fun and funny, and each one is basically like another version of a brother to me, especially a certain two.
These two have been in my life since the second I was born, never being any further than a few houses down. Just like my brothers, they protect me from any harm and remind me that I cannot date until I am married. They remind every other guy out there that I am not to be messed with. Some of them are blood, and some are just friends that have turned into family. No matter the connection, I have learned from them that family is strongest when it is together.
Now lets turn to my uncles. One has ridden a motorcycle and knows everything about the sea. I've always looked at him as the "cool" uncle because of all that he has done, and also because he is pretty badass looking. He has taught me to live for the adventure. The other uncle has taught me how to tell the story of the adventure. This uncle has so many stories, and each one has you either sitting on the edge of your chair or cracking up on the floor. I swear every story he tells he can't get through without laughing at least three times in between. With these two, I have learned to adventure and live to tell the amazing story.
My other uncle has been like a second father to me. He has taught me countless lessons. He pushes me to be more than what the world wants me to be. He tells it how it is and puts my thoughts in check to remind me of realities and explain the ins and outs. He shares my enthusiasm, and he's always in my corner. He has taught me that life is a real journey, and systems are complex, but everything can be cured and fixed with a nice drink by a pool with some solid tunes playing in the background.
Turning to my Grandpa and Lelo. Wow. Two extraordinary men. The greatest lesson my Lelo taught me was that no matter how low the low gets, the up is always worth the fight. He experienced so many lows, but he was always fighting for more--more joy, more peace, and more life. He never gave up on anyone and never gave up on life. My Grandpa had many experiences as well. He has endless stories, from his time in war to how he grew up to what my dad and his siblings did when they were little. My Grandpa loves to talk, because he loves to share. This is all because he loves people. He has the greatest heart with only the best intentions. He has taught me many things, and thanks to him, I know how to never stop loving others, and to always be willing to share with others.
The next man to brag about is my godfather. First of all, shoutout to my parents for picking my godparents, because they did a fantastic job. My godfather is also like another father to me, and he's exceeded an expectations a godfather could have. People joke that it is his gifts that I like about him, but it is really just the gift of his presence that makes me grateful for him. He has always been there. He never disappoints, he never misses out, he's the first one there, and he's the last one to leave. Whether it is a funeral or a birthday, having my godfather there brings so much comfort to me. That is what he has taught me. He has taught me the gift of presence, and I will forever be grateful of that over everything else.
I'll give a huge shoutout to my brothers now. These two are extraordinary, and I can go on and on about them. They are both headaches to deal with in their own unique ways, but they are also the perfect medicine.
Jeffrey is the epitome of the favorite child. He loves life, and he knows how to make the best out of any situation. He is smart, he is kind, he is hilarious, and he is joyful. He always knows the answer, he's always down to snuggle, he's a goofball meant to entertain, and he's been the joy of my life.
Justin, the epitome of the middle child, is a character of his own. He has done a lot on his own--playing baseball, being with his friends, and going away to college, He's been on a mission, and I admire him for that. He is always working towards a goal; always on route to something. Over time, and as we both have tried to figure out life, he and I have definitely become closer the more mature we have become, and it turns out we are pretty similar. Even though I went further in athletics, he does have some knowledge to drop, along with some extreme dance moves. From both of them I will actually say I have learned how to dance, how to make a fool of myself, how to handle many situations, and how to be joyful as I embark on many missions.
And last but least, my father.
I have always been a daddy's girl, and I will forever be one. I always knew my father was special, but I didn't realize just how special he was until later on in my life. As a kid, I didn't pay much attention to all he was doing, mostly because he was gone a lot at work. But as life went on, and the more I grew up, the more I began to realize that I had a superman of a dad. That is what I have learned from him--to always be willing to help others and to strive to make everyone and everything better with a helping hand. My dad has saved lives. From being a fire fighter to being the go-to guy at our church, he's been a life-saver. If he wasn't at the fire station or church, he's doing something else and working hard to make things better for others and for us. Everyone calls him for help, and I always look to him for help. That is just what he does. He helps without question, and he's willing to put his life up to save another. He is the real-life superman, and I am beyond proud that he is my father.
So, even though most women say they are good and can hold our own, I personally would like to say I am glad I have so many great men in my life, because without them, I honestly don't think I could hold my own. These men are some special people, and I am who I am because of them.
To them I say: Thank you, and keep up the great work.