I’m beautiful, bright, curvy, emotional, full of love; I’m all woman. I have birthed two children and learnt some of my biggest lessons from being a mother. I can make a house, a caravan, even a tent, a home. I’m sure I talk more than the said 20,000 words, of your average woman, spoken per day – what else can I say, it’s one of my gifts. I get hormonal, have saggy boobs, and stretch marks, but this privelege comes from having grown and fed two humans. I am grateful. I am a woman who acknowledges her fears, and does it anyway (well most of the time). A woman with depth, strength and heart. I’m a wife, a daughter, an Aunty, a friend; a fellow female human.
Today is International Women’s Day and I’ve been reflecting on the women who have shaped me into the woman I stand as today. I think the best place to start is with my Mum. I was born to a mother who showed great strength through adversity, and as a teenager I was lucky to be aware enough, to witness her massive growth as she stepped into a different type of life. I have often found myself thinking, ‘well if Mum could do it, so can I’, she has taught me many things.
Two of my teachers from school made an impact on me; the first being a very maternal, early primary teacher, who always made me feel safe. And the second, my chemisty teacher in my last year of high school, who listened to me when I was broken hearted and she offered guidance. I wish both of these amazing women could know how much of a difference they made to me and how much justice they did for their profession.
I managed a salon in London for a lady owner for almost 5 years, she taught me a HUGE lesson about treating your staff well, and the staff will treat you well in return. The first time I experience this was one busy Saturday, I arrived at work 20mins late (I’d slept through my alarm, and I cannot STAND being late, I was freaking out!), I felt like I’d hardly slept, woken up with no boyfriend beside me (I had no idea where he was!) and with the WORST hangover ever. I had really messed up. I was excusing myself from clients to quietly be sick out the back (as quietly as one can do), then return to finish their hair (the situation was not good). My previous boss’ aim wouldv’e been to make our day hell, she would’ve booked in extra clients, halved our lunch breaks and tried to punish us. This boss, took almost every second client off me that day to alleviate my workload, in turn making HER day hectic. I had never experienced leadership like it. I never did that again, and I have tried to be as generous as her in my leadership since then. Over those 5 years she became more than just a boss, she became a friend also.
Then there was my therapist. She was a mature woman, with hearing aids in both ears, who had trouble hearing what I was saying if I was talking and crying at the same time; but we managed. What a woman. She changed my life. She was the person who guided me through my Bipolar diagnosis, quitting alcohol and feeling miserable – to a woman who had skills for regulating her emotions, dealing with life’s shit in a healthy way and discovering who she was. I saw her on and off for years, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for her and all of the wonderful change she helped me achieve.
My last and most important woman would be my best friend, my sister from another mister, my friend who feels like home. We have been friends since we were 13yrs old. We have experienced a lot of lifes “firsts” together, boyfriends, drinking, smoking, wagging school, and sneaking out at night. We’ve shared so much fun, we’ve travelled together, we’ve eaten delicious food together, danced both on bedroom and nightclub dancefloors, we’ve talked endless hours about our relationships, we’ve supported each other through the tough times, we’ve laughed uncontrollably for untoll hours and of course we have had our disagreements. It wouldn’t be as deep a sisterhood if we hadn’t. What makes us special, is we talk and make it right. We communicate similarly and understand deeply what the other person needs which is something that makes this friendship so very special. We have seen each other utterly broken, and we’ve gathered the other up into a warm non-judgemental hug. We’ve seen each other through heart break, family problems, crap jobs, and just listened to each others general woes. We’ve witnessed each other fall madly in love, marry, become mothers and follow passions – how incredibly special. I get to wander this earth knowing this beautiful woman, my beautiful sister, is right beside me no matter how far apart we are physically.
These are just some of the women who have had a large impact on me in my life. I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful women in my life, whether they’re girlfriends, family, mentors or professionals, I’m grateful every single one.
Today is a day we honour our fellow women, in all of our forms. Think over the women who have shaped you into who you are today and feel the gratitude for the impact they have had on you, whether it has been large or small.