This is a post dedicated to the women who made me who I am today, in whatever way big or small.
1. My mum
Obvious choice, but arguably the most important. To me my mum is the world.
My mum is the one person who I know I could call any time, any place and she would be there for me. She’s proven that to me time and time again, from guiding me through a messy breakup to listening to my career woes to helping me sort out friendship dilemmas. When I was attacked when I was younger, my mum held me and made me feel like one day I could be complete again and I can honestly say that every day on my journey to getting ‘better’ she helped rebuild me to become an even better version of myself.
She is everything I aspire to be in a person. She’s strong and brave, holding everyone together even when she might want to fall apart herself. She is an incredible, loyal friend. She’s honest, sometimes in a way that’s hard to hear but always in a way that is needed. She has a vitality and an energy about her that is infectious. No one has a bad word to say about her. If I could be one tenth of the strong, inspiring woman she is then I would hold my head up high every day for the rest of my life.
2. My grandma
My grandma and I had a strange relationship. Due to a family dispute we didn’t see each other much towards the end of her life, but whilst I knew her we were close. Like me, she had always wanted to be a writer. I’d probably say she was the person who made me want to become a writer myself. She used to create vivid, wild stories for me to read. I was her critic, her inspiration. She gave me my dream and showed me that great stories were within me, and I’ll never forget that.
3. My ex best friend
An unconventional choice I know, but nonetheless a necessary one. This toxic friendship taught me so much about my value and how I should look at myself. I could express my opinion without being a bad person. In fact, I was allowed an opinion. I wasn’t someone’s punching bag or spineless puppy – I had my own mind, my own spirit and I deserved to express myself.
When our friendship ended, I initially felt lost. We had been friends for years, where did it all go wrong? Was I a terrible person for falling out with my best friend?
But then it hit me – you are allowed to outgrow someone that doesn’t help you become the person you are working towards becoming. If something is toxic and hurts you, you’re allowed to leave it behind. If someone tells you that you can’t be yourself then that’s not a person you want to spend time with.
Once I learned this (and learned this the hard way) my life became better, simpler. I’m no longer afraid to ‘cut people off’ if I have to. I have stronger, more meaningful relationships that are built on a mutual respect and adoration.
4. My best friend who moved away
When she told me she was leaving, I was heartbroken. I cried and cried about how my life would never be the same, and truthfully it wasn’t. Things changed a lot, but not always in a bad way and I learnt a lot from it.
The most important thing I learnt was that you don’t have to have sleepovers every weekend or shopping trips or meals out all the time to be close to someone. I visit my friend in London once a year and we talk every month, and honestly it’s like nothing between us has changed. I still feel comfortable expressing my hopes and fears and I still glow with pride for all of her achievements. She might not live around the corner anymore, but she still means the world to me.
5. My best friend
Where would a girl be without her best friend? My answer is quite simple – lost, crying and alone.
She understands me like no one else. I only have to look at her and it’s like we read each other’s mind. She makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. She picks me up, dusts me off… she’s everything a best friend should be. With everything that has happened in my life recently she has been there to go for walks or talk or simply just help pick up the pieces. Every day I count myself lucky to know her, even luckier to call her my best friend.
There are many, many more women who have shaped me, but these are my top 5. I might send them this blog post and let them see the depth of their impact, or maybe now I’ve written this I’ll make changes in my everyday life to show them that sentiment. Perhaps we all should show everyone in our lives how much they mean to us. After all, you never know when you that chance might be taken away from you.
Who are the important women in your life?