March is International Women's History Month. This should be a month of remembrance, honor, and celebration for the amazing women who have come before us. When you hear the words 'amazing women', who do you think of? Does your mind automatically think of influential women in American history, such as Susan B. Anthony? Or do you consider current women, such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? No matter who comes to mind when you hear the words 'amazing women', take this time to appreciate the legendary words of women that have made you the woman you are today.
Always remember that 'amazing women' do not need to be in your history textbooks. They can be the women who have known you for your entire life, the teachers that have empowered you in the classroom, or the leaders that have inspired you to become an activist. Write a letter, call, text, communicate with these women once this month. Show your appreciation for them, and express that their example has had a meaningful impact on you.
An 'amazing woman' that I have known all of my life is my mother. Her example of humility, kindness, and independence has empowered me since I was a little girl. My mom's most empowering statement that she taught me was, "No one defines you but you." Of course, it took some time for me to realize the magnitude of this statement. Back in 2008, all this meant was that it does not matter if you walk into school wearing the latest Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt because labels, especially clothing designs, do not define who you are. As I got older, I began to realize more to this statement than a clothing fad like Abercrombie & Fitch.
Knowing that I was the only person who could define myself empowered me to search for myself. With the guidance of my mother's advice, I knew that temporary things, including clothes, friendships, relationships, etc. could never tell me who I was. Instead of searching for myself through these inadequate means, I began turning towards more permanent means, such as writing. Writing is an empowering process for me because it allows me to project my voice towards a large audience. And it is not about the attention that empowers me to write. Sure, I love having an Odyssey article to get hundreds of views, but that is not why I write. With each article I write, I present my hopes, passions, and thoughts to a crowd regardless of how people react to it. Because I write for myself, not others. In the same way, other's opinions of me or my writing do not define me since I am the only person who can do that.
Through her example, I have grown into the woman I am today. The way she carries herself with true humility, grace, and passion has inspired me to pursue my passions just like she does. She speaks up for what she believes in, and she aims to be a representative for others. She constantly strives to do the right thing at the right time regardless of who's watching. And most importantly, she puts her family before herself. Through the years, she constantly makes sacrifices on behalf of her family, demonstrating her unconditional love for her family.
As much as I like to think women like Eleanor Roosevelt have taught me what it means to be an inspirational woman, I could not be any more off. Although she's not in a history textbook, she does not need to be. My mom's grace has blessed me every day of my life, transforming me into the strong, confident woman that I am today. And I would like to dedicate this March, International Women's History Month, to her loving example. Without her, I do not know who I would be. So thank you today and every day.