I have been incredibly fortunate to have many strong women who I have looked up to throughout my life thus far. Since Mother's Day was last week, I thought I would do something to honor some of these amazing ladies. I have put together a list of some of the things I have learned from my grandmothers over the years. I would love to hear in the comments if you have learned some of these same things from your grandmother (or other female figure)!
1. Always be a lady.
Calm down. This isn't going to be some gender-stereotyping rant about how a woman should solely worry about meeting societal norms for women—though if you have made this choice for yourself, kudos to you as well. Being a lady means being ready to take on the world and make a difference. Sometimes this means helping someone when they're down, and sometimes this means knowing when it's the right time to scream, shout and get angry. This world is being shaped by ladies everyday and has been forever, which means every moment is a chance to make an impact.
2. Stand up for what you believe in.
No matter where you go or what you do in life, there will be times when your beliefs are challenged. Of course, you should always try to be open-minded to hear other people's perspectives but you should also know when to stand firm in your beliefs. My grandmothers have many opinions, and while I may not agree with all of their opinions, I respect that fact that if it is something fundamental to their beliefs, they will stand by what they believe. Sometimes when you stand up for what you believe in, you may lose some people you considered friends, but my grandmas have been opinionated for decades and they seem to be doing alright.
3. Love with all your heart.
This one can be especially hard because sometimes in life—well, lots of times in life—people are going to break your heart. This is going to happen in any type of relationship whether it be romantic, platonic or familial. At the end of the day, people are imperfect beings and sometimes they will do things that hurt you, but that doesn't mean you should stop loving with all your heart. Being able to make meaningful and impactful connections is a large part of what makes us human. To be able to make these types of connections, you have to be willing to love someone. I've seen my grandmas be hurt and have their trust betrayed, yet whenever they love someone, they love with their whole heart. This means knowing when to forgive, but also knowing that sometimes you need to let people go who are preventing you from loving life with your whole heart.
4. Stay true to yourself, always.
One of my grandmas has a saying that has stuck with me lately: "If they don't like [what you're doing] tell them not to let the door hit 'em in the a** on the way out." This last tidbit of wisdom is by far the most important because if you can't be true to who you are as a person, you have no chance of successfully doing any of the aforementioned things. Sometimes being true to yourself means doing all the other things mentioned here, but sometimes it means knowing that you need to step away from a situation or cut people off who are dragging you down. No matter what you go through, no matter who may come and go, you will always need yourself so don't forget who you are.