Posted 29 March 2018 in 10 Million Words
Although somewhat cliché to name a family member as my biggest inspiration, I would be lying if I said anyone other than my sister. My best friend and confidant since I could first speak, Bec truly epitomises what is means to be a modern day woman – she is highly independent, forward thinking, career driven, and compassionate. Through her I have learnt the power of intelligence, the value of education and how to be a critical thinker; focusing on the importance of forming my own opinions based on research and intuition rather than popular belief. I am inspired by her selflessness and chosen career path as a doctor, which she decided on not because she wanted to earn a substantial figure, but because of her strong desire to help others and challenge her intelligence. I find her open-mindedness, non-judgemental attitude, and genuine interest in other people inspiring because it encourages me to be a more tolerant person. She has shown me what it means to be a true altruist and how to be empathetic towards others, whilst also finding ways to create my own happiness and sense of self. She is a “woman’s woman” who has taught me the importance of standing up for myself and other women by voicing my opinion on gender stereotypes. She has taught me that success is not defined by status level or wealth, but by how you positively impact other people’s lives, your personal growth and happiness, and your ability to make solid, meaningful relationship. Bec has taught me how to think for myself, which is the most powerful tool a woman can possess.
Anonymous from Bauer Media
Externally my Nan was a conservative country woman widowed young living a simple life. However if you took the time to listen she was an incredible pioneer who at the time of her
death had travelled to almost every country in the world at a time when it took a boat or multiple airplane stops to travel the globe. Until I was 18 I used to spend every Monday at her
house and my greatest joy was to get into her double bed with a cup of tea and listen to her talk about her wonderful adventures. If I was lucky she’d bring in a box of slides to explore through the viewfinder. Though I too was a conservative country girl through those conversations I learned about difference in its many forms. I learned to understanding the privileged life I led. I learned about race and religion and gender difference. All of those wonderful gifts I carry with me in who I am today. My Nan had the courage to take on the world on her own. That courage gave her granddaughter the gift of acceptance and tolerance. A wonderful woman and a wonderful role model.
Our boss took a mental health day. Everyone on the team knows that was why they were out of office. How brave to say that is what was needed, how inspiring to hear that from our leader.
Our boss wears a tie, a tux, an androgynous branded shirt on casual Fridays. Whoever we are is good enough for them.
I know what it was like before we were led by this female, I know I kept my mouth shut when I wished I didn’t, I know what it feels like to be the only woman at the table and I know that is not good enough.
I look around our team and I see a group of young females who are becoming more empowered every single day that they work here. Their voices growing louder, their indignation to the imbalance growing stronger, their confidence to stand-up growing bolder, I know what it is like to be a woman in a place where that is the greatest strength you can have.
We walk in these doors and we know we will be heard.
We walk in these doors and we know we will be protected by fellow women and like-minded men.
We walk in these doors and we know that gender means nothing, that the only thing that counts is your intention and your attitude.
I know I can walk in here and say that I feel bad and I will have support from every person in this team, we are 12 people who stand together because our leader stands with us and not in front of us.
I have seen what a difference a strong, brave and powerful female leader makes to fellow professional women.
I have seen what it means to instil a culture where empathy and care have become, not a bonus, but a requirement from every single member on this team.
There is this woman whose name I know not. I watch her everyday struggle to get on the bus with her twin pram with two very tired 3 year old children slouched inside. Following close a boy approximately six who dutifully stands behind his mum as though he will catch her if she falls. And fall she may. Her fatigue and heaviness is palpable.. I fill in the gaps, she is a hard working mum, had her first child and then fell pregnant with twins. From a very young age they go to childcare as she, like so many mums, cannot afford to give up work as she may not be able to get back in to a job once they are school age. She looks dazed and pale.. every .single .day. The twins cough and seem to be fighting off a virus constantly. She remains loving and kind to them all and often 10 hours later, I see the foursome clamour back on the bus and head home as late as 7 pm. All I can think of is the work in front of her when she gets home. The dinner, the bathing, the night-time stories and then – maybe about 11 pm she has 10 minutes to herself. I have never spoken to this woman yet I admire her so much. She is inspiring, she is resilient and she is loving. She is a woman to love. For me, it’s not the women who have had a lucky break where shit worked out. It’s the women who keep fronting up every day when shit doesn’t work out.
I know a lot of people will say that their mother is their greatest inspiration and rightly so; in most cases they do more than anyone to ensure we grow up to be decent people.
It’s funny, but if you had asked me 10 Years ago I never would have nominated my mother as my greatest inspiration. We had a turbulent relationship to say the least and we butt heads at every angle. We have polar opposite personalities and after all, I was going through puberty while she was going through menopause, so the chemistry between us wasn’t working in our favour!
It has taken me years to see her point of view and the reasons she acts the way she does and not to sound cliché but in her own way, everything she’s done, she’s done for me.
My mum raised me as a single mother and worked her hardest to ensure I had the best life possible, despite living in a Government housing development for most of my childhood.
My dad left when I was about 5 years old, they were never married and she never had never had a great history of relationships with men.
I have 3 half-brothers and 1 half-sister – all older than me and their father used to beat her, even broke her nose on one occasion.
Eventually they split, however this was only the beginning of her fight.
In the 70’s, women didn’t have a lot of rights in the courts and as a result, despite his violent behaviour, he managed to take the kids off her.
During this time, he would constantly tell the kids horrible lies about her, that she didn’t love them and that she had deserted them and eventually, turning some of them against her.
She was heartbroken and as a result, the relationships between my siblings and my mum are still only just repairing to this day.
She’s been through a lot more in her life throughout her childhood and throughout mine which I won’t get into here.
But, despite everything she has been through, she has always remained true to herself and her values.
It’s only as I’ve grown up that I’ve been able to appreciate the fact that she’s incredibly opinionated (sometimes even straight up stubborn) and she’s not afraid to offend, but only because she knows what she’s worth.
She knows what she deserves, how she should be treated and she doesn’t settle for anything less.
My mother is a fighter.
Despite this she remains the calm to my storm and I am always surprised when she doesn’t fight me!
She has taught me so many lessons, even when I didn’t realise I was being taught. She has taught me to be patient, to stick to my values, to have respect for myself, when to fight battles and when to back down. But most importantly ,my relationship with her has taught me that sometimes you’re not always going to mesh with someone, but despite this you can still learn to respect, work with and even love them. My mum is now way past the age of retirement but still working every day.
She is re-married and living a better life now than she ever has, but she’s still fighting hard and I hope that one day I can provide for her what she has for me, so that she doesn’t have to fight anymore.
Anonymous from Bauer Media
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