Sunday, 9 July 2017

My Female Role Models and How They Have Shaped Me Into Who I Am Today

Every where you look, you are surrounded by females in your life. Mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, girlfriends and besties. Some may say that you can't live with them, but you certainly wouldn't be alive without them.

Today for my personal story I want to talk about the strong female figures in my life. Every one of these ladies has overcome a struggle one way or another and it has made them an even better person today.

My mom
Before I start talking to you about my mom, let me make one thing very clear. I didn't make it easy on her while I was growing up. I challenged her every step of the way. Why? I was strong willed and stubborn. So was she. She had to be though. Having left home at a young age, she had to be tough in order to make it.Working 3 jobs at times, this woman was determined to push forward and to do things on her own. Yes she may have been in her mid 20s and had the support of the family when she had me, she still raised me on her own for the first 5-6 years of my life.  I certainly did not go without, but I also knew that we did not come from money. My mom had a knack for turning other people's junk into our treasure. She also taught me to appreciate the little things and to make the most out of life. She also decided to leave the factory life, to pursue a career in the hospital in her mid 40s. I watched this woman struggle, succeed and graduate from college. An accomplishment the entire family is proud of. My mom has shown me that no matter what stage of life you are in, you can go after what you want and succeed if you want it bad enough.

If you belonged to the legion in our community, or lived on the street at the cottage you probably knew my nana. She was a force to be reckoned with. My mom has always said that the woman I knew was very different from the woman she was before I born. As the oldest of 5, she had to help raise her siblings, since her parents were out most nights. Having my mom at the age of 16, made her grow up quickly. She tackled that responsibility head on, and even though she has made mistakes along the way she raised 3 great kids, and had a special bond with each of them that I have never seen before. She was an important part of the legion community. She raised money, took part in parades, and became the social chair for years. With her creativity and smart ass comments, you could easily see why she was loved by so many there. As a grandmother, her grandchildren meant everything to her. She never missed a dance competition, baseball game, birthday or holiday. She made everything bigger, better and brighter because she knew memories would last longer then material things. Family came first to her, and she taught me that a little creativity can go a long way to making the world a better place.

This is another woman who has been through it all. Really. Born in Poland, she had to flee during the second world war with her family. Since the tender age of three, this woman has travelled to more countries than I could ever dream to, and not for good reasons. Her and her family travelled to South Africa, America and finally to Canada. In the 40s you can just imagine how long that took. The youngest of 6, she was looked after by her brothers mostly, which helped form the tight relationships she's had with them over the years. Married to someone who was not the ideal husband and father, she left him, joined the factory, raised 3 kids and bought a house all on her own. Something that was unheard of in the 70s. This woman worked every day, saved every penny and provided for her family all on her own. Since I was the only granddaughter on that side of the family ( there are 7 boys), she showed me that hard work is not something to shy away from, and you do what you have to do in order to survive.

Auntie Laurie
The oldest of three, Laurie took on the majority of the responsibility growing up. She helped look after her brothers, as well as being dedicated to her studies, in order to get into a good college. She knew what she wanted and she went for it. She showed me since a very young age, that you can be both a career woman, and a mother. Laurie is embarking on a new adventure in her life now, but that has not slowed her down at all and I am proud to call her my aunt.

All of these women have shown me different values, but one thing is for sure. They are all strong women. If I am able to be even half as awesome as they are I might be able to a role model for future generations in my family. Here is to hoping!

Who are your female role models? Have you told them you loved them lately?