One thing I’ve always heard growing up is that I came from a family of strong women.
At the time, I never truly understood what it meant. I knew that my family tree largely consisted of women—ask any of the men in my family and they’ll quickly confirm the women outweigh the men in my family tree.
Yet I hadn’t fully realized just how strong the women in my family truly were until I got older. Until I learned of the embedded patriarchal ways of society, the struggles the women of my family endured and of the ways the women in my family defied those odds and overcame those struggles.
Because of this, I have an endless list of women to look up to in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful.
The women in my family are the women that inspire me to put myself out there, to take a risk and defy the odds. They inspire me to do the best I possibly can each and every day, both for myself and those around me. They all help me learn to stand up for myself and to use my voice — because they’ve taught me just how powerful a voice can be.
Through activism, both for our furry animal friends, civil rights, and even our own well being, they’ve all inspired me in some way, shape, or form.
To being the first female Rotarian in my hometown (Thanks, Nananas!), I’ve learned that anything is possible. I’ve learned to stand up for what I believe in and make a difference in this world (Thanks, Great Aunt Linda and Great Aunt Trish!). To balancing work and fostering animals (Thanks, Aunt Kim!), I’ve learned I can follow my passions and have the best of both worlds. To always maintaining a smile on her face even when things get tough (Thanks, Mom!), I’ve learned that I am stronger than I think. Not only that, but I’ve learned to follow my dreams and never stop pursuing them (Thanks, Ashley, Tiffany, and Aimee!).
So, to all of the powerful women in my life—thank you so incredibly much. You’ve truly influenced me more than you could possibly ever know.