Yay, I’m here today! Honestly you guys life has just been whooshing by and I have hardly had time to stop and smell the blog posts. Back to school is going to happen sooner than I’m ready for which means I’m knee deep into the two weeks pre-school-return that is all about the “momcanIhave” and “momIneed” conversations. It’s exhausting. I’m also deep into the job hunt and have been recently put into a position of making a choice between job A and job B that I’ve never had before. I’m both flattered and freaking out. It’s a whole thing, but it’s not a story for today.
Today I’m jumping on one of the prompts put forth by Brittany Gibbons and talking about the women who have shaped my life and influenced me.
Off we go!!
This was crazy hard to narrow down. I had to think hard about criteria and shit, who would make the long list, the short list, etc. I decided to leave my Mom off the list NOT because I didn’t feel she was a huge influence…HELLO, my Mom is still to this day an amazing inspiration to me, but, I feel like most of us who have been raised by strong mothers feel this way and dudes, I think I just posted on how awesome she was a short while ago.
With that in mind, here are my top five:
The incredible story teller from Ireland who made me fall in love with storytelling and pushed my already well established love of reading into a hardcore obsession. I literally own every book she has ever written, have written her a fan letter (before she died) and have had my name as a character in more than one of her books. I love her, pure and simple. I think she has the strongest influence on my own writing style and to this day, her books to me are the literary equivalent of comfort food. No surprise, my first Binchy book was a gift from my mother. If you haven’t read any of her work, you need to put down whatever you are doing and go out right now and read Light a Penny Candle. I named one of my daughters after a character in that book. Then read The Glass Lake. I promise you will NOT be let down. They read everything else of hers. I’m not kidding. You’re welcome.
I saw her on the Muppet Show as a kid, before I was really old enough to watch the brilliance that was Gilda on SNL. I loved her from the first moment I saw her. So strong, so funny. And then I read her book “It’s Always Something”. The fragility of her self esteem spoke to me on a seriously real level and her strength through her battle with cancer is inspirational. There is nothing about Gilda that doesn’t speak to me. I feel like we would have been such great and epic friends.
Ah Deb. You took a gawky, if somewhat forward, 12 year old girl and gave her a job. Then you welcomed me into your family and it was as if I got a second home. I have written about Deb on several occasions here. Her passing was one of the saddest days for me. Deb always encouraged my creativity, my high energy, my loudness, my ‘crazy’. She was also deeply spiritual and nurtured the spiritual side of me that was rooted in myself, not in a particular religion. She truly made me feel like a beautiful person. It is a gift I never took for granted from her. She is very missed.
I didn’t want to single any one out because there are several that inspire me on a regular basis. These women who take to the keyboard and pound out humour, humility, emotions, desires, fragility. Inspiration to me on a daily basis and a big part of the reason that I started to blog as well. Brittany, Shauna, Nikki, Erica, Carly, Meredith,Ali, I could go on and on. I have so many blogs in my reader now that I don’t always have time to read them all, but I always hit my favourites. These bold women are changing the face not only of writing, but of how we as women have a dialogue about ourselves, our families and our bodies. They inspire me all the time and I am proud to count myself as one of the many.
Okay, so I kind of “cheated” in my top five, because it’s really more like top twenty, but this is my truth and these are the women who really stand out. It’s only fitting that my girls be on this list because they continue to make me a better woman every single day. Having daughters is a tremendous thing. (Yes, I also love my sons, stay on track with me here though)
I get to watch these truly remarkable beings go from tiny babies, to shiny-eyed five year olds, to budding beauties, to grown women. What a blessing! I get to be a part of the shaping of these lovely souls, these devine creatures, these shining lights of my life. I get to talk to them about what it means to be a girl, a woman. I get to have deep conversations about finding self worth in the reflection of the mirror, not in the eyes of everyone else. I get to tell them, with true conviction, daily, how beautiful and rare they are. How worthy they are of love and how treasured they are. I laugh with them everyday. Sometimes I cry with them. I hug them, all three of them, at least once a day and show them all the affection I can. I dance with them. I sing with them. I shout out loud with them.
My girls are my daily reminder that I can always be and do better. That I am the example that they will see and hear every day until they leave the nest and it is up to me to show them that self worth is so much more than a number on a scale or a label in an item of clothing. That true friends are worth their weight in gold and that love between two people is worth fighting every single battle for and we are worthy of someone who will fight for us.
So there you have it. My five women (or twenty, whatever). Shout out again to my Mum, my AMAZING Aunts (Bev, Sharon, Therese, Eileen), my sisters Niamh, Roisin, Bridget, Amber and Angela, my best friend Sarah and my Nana and Grandmother. I love you all.