After the passing of International Women's Day, I had some time to reflect on the positive female role models in my life. Thank you to the strong women that are present in my life, to this day. Without my grandma and mother, I would be nothing. They are some of the strongest, in-your-face women I've ever met, and I'm so glad that I have the privilege of calling them my family. They played a big part in shaping who I am today, and I will always be thankful for the things they have done for me.
My grandmother is a stubborn woman.
She never lets anyone tell her what to do. She tells it like it is, and especially doesn't give a shit about what others have to say. I've always admired that about her, and tried to adopt that in my own life- although it is harder than it looks. I would say one of the best things about her is that she is hysterically funny, and even makes jokes about herself. You've got to admire someone who is able to criticize and joke about themselves all at once. Don't let her fool you though, because she is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. She cares so deeply about her family, especially her children and grandchildren, and she makes it known. She makes an effort to text us grandkids weekly, sends us care packages to our apartments and dorm rooms on holidays, and always says I love you at the end of every conversation. Even when I made mistakes, came out as queer, and did other stupid shit, she was always on my side. Obviously she would make fun of me or lecture me, but it shows how much she really cares about the people in her life. She cares enough to put aside her personal values and opinions, to always be a supporting, loving grandmother. She is the person I have always looked up to, even when I was young. Thank you, grandma. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and being my biggest fan.
My mother is equally as important in my life.
She is my biggest fan- through mental illness, traversing my sexuality, and my difficulties with college. She has always been my biggest supporter. When I was young, I thought that she was an overprotective, crazy "tiger mom." I rebelled every chance I got, and that evidently ruined my relationship with her during my middle school and some of my high school years. Looking back, I feel like such a fool. Now I know that she used to lecture me and be overprotective because she wanted the best for me. She wanted me to succeed. She wanted me to be happy. I know that I don't say it enough, but I love you and I am grateful for every sacrifice you have had to make in order to keep me happy.
My mother is another force to be reckoned with. She, much like my grandmother, has a stubborn, feisty attitude and never takes no for an answer. She protects her children much like a lioness protects her cubs- she will jump at anyone's throat that tries to attack her loved ones. No matter what, she always puts her kids first. She will willingly embarrass herself publicly, ruin relationships with our relatives, and put her reputation on the line if it benefits me or my brother. I can only hope to be as good as a mother as she was to my brother and I.
I've always looked up to her because of her can-do attitude. She was able to do graduate school while she was raising two kids and working at Drexel. Even when she was exhausted after work, she made an effort to make sure that dinner was on the table, that she proofread our essays for school, and that we were all caught up on our homework and extracurriculars every single night.
My mother is one of my strongest role models. She overcame the odds and made it out on the top (well at least the upper middle class.) My mother grew up quite poor, moving around constantly, and was bullied in grade school. However, she never let any of these things bring her down. She worked hard throughout school and kept up her scholarships to put herself through her undergraduate degree. Now, she works for Drexel University and is an integral part to their team. This shows that with her strength of character, work ethic and intelligence, she could do anything she set her mind to.
I am fortunate to have such positive female role models in my life. Without them, I would be nothing. Happy International Women's Day, everybody.