She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”
― Ariana Dancu
Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.
‘I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.’
– Nora Ephron
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
It is international woman’s day today and I love seeing all the posts and quotes celebrating strong women and what that’s stands for everyone…
It got me thinking about what being strong actually is? How do we become strong? How is one person seen as ‘stronger. than the next? How do you learn how to be strong??
I was thinking this as I was driving into work today, listening to a few power ballads as my normal 35 min journey took nearly 2 hours (cheers snow) and I was sat there with a damp bum (cheers again…don’t ever open a snow covered window) looking out at the chaos around me and Realising that I don’t think I ever stood a chance to be anything but strong. I was brought up and surrounded by the strongest most amazing women I know, I’ve never seen any other way of dealing with life, so how could I act any differently? So instead of this post being about me, only fair I tell you about them…
Take my amazing mum….literally the woman who pushed my sisters and I to believe that we could be whatever we wanted to be. To dust ourselves off when life gets hard, stand back up, hold your head high and solider on. Who showed us every single day that you have to keep going, no matter what. There was never any time for moping or feeling sorry for yourself in our house… we were instilled with a confidence to make sure we never became short sighted or confined to a box. Everyone in the past few years has jumped on “The Secret” bandwagon, but good ol Suzie brought us up on her own version…being positive was on parr with being as staple in our house as having a loaf of bread. Anyone who has the pleasure to know our Suzie will know she is zainey, cute beyond words with her little special ways and hilariously unique. Take my first every long car journey once I passed my test, there I am in the street, East 17 cassette ready to go, feeling uber cool with over straightened hair and a pink fluffy dice and out she runs with a bunch of twigs on fire, yes…on fire, as in smoke everywhere, running around the car “Reiki-Fying” me. (She is a Reiki master) And when it comes to boy trouble….pah….get over him & move on. If he doesn’t make the cut, walk away, simple as. Dignity intact. Then she will ask the angels to send me a really hunky guy in replacement (yes this has worked on occasion!), so you see she has many talents.
So, with a mum like this, it may come as no surprise that my two big sisters are a chip off the ol’ block too.
Being the youngest of 3 girls was never going to be easy, they will tell you the opposite but take no notice. I did get a lot of pleasure watching them as teenagers throw shoes at each other (true story) fighting over who was wearing “The Dress” on a Saturday night and the constant undercover missions to lend each other’s clothes without the other one knowing…theres something really cool about having big sisters, it meant as I got older I also inherited two extra mums. Jeez, I didn’t get away with a thing. Ever.
When my oldest sister Deb went off to uni in London, I went on the train with her and my mum to “drop her off” and it was honestly like the biggest adventure I had ever been on. We were carrying more bags (probably full of shoes, bross records and clothes) than you could imagine and as a little 7 year old, I felt like I was going to another world. You see, since I was little that’s what my big sis has always done, without even realising. Off she went to uni, looking super cool with her customised outfits and Madonna blonde hair and she worked her ass off to create an amazing little life for herself. She would come home now and again, and take me to all these posh restaurants, tell me stories about uni life and this continued as I was growing up. She opened my eyes to a world I wanted to be a part of and helped instill in me a drive that no teacher or text book could have ever given me. She showed me how being ambitious (and feisty) really paid off. When I got to senior school, there was never ever any other option in my mind…I was going to uni, I was dying my hair bright blonde, I was going to get a kick ass job and I was going to become as amazing as my big sis. Not sure I am even close, but how lucky was I eh.
Then we have my middle sister, our lovely Hayley. I’m writing this one and feel like I’m getting all teary eyed because at the moment my beautiful niece is very ill in hospital and has been for nearly 2 months now. There’s only 7 years between me and my middle sis. She was the one who always got lumbered babysitting me on a Sunday night when my mum and dad went out. I’d get dragged round to her friend’s house with her and ordered not to listen (I did) as they were gossiping (mainly about boys). Whilst Deb and I may have the degrees, I think we would both be in agreement that Hayley has achieved way more than a piece of paper and a mortar board and hat. As a mum to a little girl with complex health needs, Hayl has showed me how when life couldn’t really get any worse, being strong, positive and a true fighter is possible. I am still yet to meet anyone who constantly has a smile on her face and literally in the toughest situations keeps her head up and her eye on the end game. Not only has she been the most amazing mum, she has also took what most could only see as a negative with my niece being terminally ill, and used this experience to create a life for Hol that is so full of love and adventures. She has constantly challenged anyone who has said “Holly cant or wont” (god help the person) and has worked her socks off to (and still does) to improve the rights of children with complex health needs and their families. When I got diagnosed with MS, I found myself truly understanding how strong and amazing she was. What she had been dealing with for so many years and how she still managed to be the most positive, contagiously happy all round amazing human – I honestly didn’t know how she did it. But all I know, is that if I followed her lead, I had a good chance of coming out the other side.
So, there we go, the 3 strong women who have shaped me into the person I am today (as cheesy as that sounds).
Strong women, may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.
I don’t think there is much more to say.
Happy International Women’s Day
Love Rach xxx