Inspired by Nico Tortorella’s article about the women who have influenced his life (and his amazing podcast The Lovebomb); I thought it fitting to write a blog about the amazing women who have helped shape me. In honesty, I wrote this a while ago and accidentally published it just before Christmas. I’ve had a tough ole time in the last few weeks; I already dislike Christmas, I’ve been ill and I lost my dad suddenly in a festive period that’s left me drained, heartbroken and almost begging to return to college.I think it fits the first blog of 2017 isn’t a rant, a tirade or a jest. I’m starting 2017 as I mean to go on, with positive sentiments. Who runs the world? Girls.
I am very luck to be surrounded by a whole host of incredibly strong and powerful women everyday (and the occasional cool male too). These ladies fill my world with awe, love, kindness, kookiness and adventure and I owe who and what I am today to their strength, care and guidance.
My mother is the strongest lady I know. She’s a fighter, a tremendous spirit, and an amazing being. She’s the epiphany of the strong and passionate single mother who has been my guiding light through all my ups and downs. She inspires me to be my best self every day and it’s only with her love, care and support that I am who I am today. I haven’t always been easy to live with; I mean I sometimes annoy myself but her unprecedented love and support shines through even the worst of times. She’s been through so much and comes out fighting and I take pride in being her daughter every day. I exist to make her proud; through my educational accolades, my work achievements and in my personal life. She is my rock and I hope that I’m half as good of a daughter as she regularly reminds me that I am. It’s me and you and Cú against the world now Mama.
I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my Nanny, she passed away when I was 7 but she shaped a lot of my growing up through stories and tales of her many words of wisdom. I spent a lot of my toddling days with her and I’d like to think that I hold some of her love and wisdom within me. My other Grandmother, I never met though I’ve learned a lot through stories which offer great inspiration.
They are both guiding lights of mine (even if she’s not physically here to see my growing up into the hopefully strong women I try and be)
I may have mentioned a few times before my love and admiration for my friends but I will do so again and again because they are that important and in the last few weeks their friendship has kept me going. I had a tough time in both primary and secondary school; dealing with some personal troubles, anxiety and being bullied quite intensely. I’m quite used to being alone and friendless. I started third level education a more alone and lost then ever. Following a shaky first week, I almost decided the college life wasn’t for me until I bumped into a group of girls from my class at lunch, asked could I sit with them and they haven’t been able to shake me off in the past 4 years. The 3 Musketeers and I are our own little crew of college warriors; all for one and one for all. There’s no stopping the 3 of us when we team up (and believe me, people have tried!) Hannah teaches me to inspire, shine and be myself; if in be in my writing, my life choices or my sometimes wacky fashion sense. The advertising world doesn’t yet understand what a force they have in her and she will rock where-ever are lucky enough to hire her. Laura has taught me not to hate so much and that individuality isn’t dead. She is a rock of sense, knowledge and always knows what to say to stop me going into a silly panic. She’s going to run the entire world someday with her brilliance and individual way of thinking.
Through all my madness, Aoife has been there; we have known each other since primary school and you’ll often find us off on madcapped adventures life running through London like madwomen or getting stranded in the middle of “no-English” land in Italy. Tara is the newest friend; the one who comes adventuring with me when I want to be outdoors and jumping up trees and getting lost in the middle of nowhere trying to find forests we’re kinda, maybe (definitely) sure exist. She shares my existential crises’ with me and my love of all things Twitter. She’s going to be amazing at whatever the world throws at her and I’m so proud every-time she beams about college.
In 5th year when I was down and restless and anxious and a little broken the words of two amazing women kept me from leaving school. Ms Brennan told me not to give away my change and helped me sort my head out. Ms Kavanagh taught me religion and showed me that there were hope and love and light out there. She recommended us amazing books and let us paint and laugh and talk crap in class. She’s influenced how I learn so much. Ms Hearne (who sadly passed away this year) inspired my love of writing and the English language, helping me with my spelling and sometimes dodgy pronunciation. Without her making me stand at the top of the room and read what I wrote aloud, I’d never be as confident as I am today with my presentation skills. Ms Fallon brought history alive for me and helped me find my learning style and Ms O Shea made me read books above my ability because she knew I could even when I didn’t (I owe my love of The Book Thief to her)
In college, I have been lucky enough to have met some amazingly strong female lecturers who inspire me in academia every day. Marie is the definitely one of the best lecturer/teachers I have ever had and it’s the only testament that her award case keeps growing because she deserves so much recognition for her hard work and efforts! She is passionate about what she teaches, her industry and her students. She goes above and beyond to help me and my friends and even though she no longer teaches us, she is still there to offer help and inspiration. I am so proud to be part of the mentoring scheme she heads up. Bernadette taught me to code, to use Photoshop and to believe in my abilities! Corrin taught me to write like an academic and Ethel to strategize like a professional. The ladies in the Placement office have been there to listen to my constant naggings (and sometimes tears) over placement and the women in the canteen are great for the gossip and chats when you need a little pick-me-up
The Big-League Types
These are the people I read about and follow online every day; the Caitlin Morans, Shailene Woodleys, Gina Rodriguez , Cailtlin Staseys and the Mariska Hargitays (to name but a few) of the world who use their fame and status for so much more then to sell a personal brand, a line of clothing or a cookbook. These ladies inspire women the world over in their lives, their works, and their philanthropy efforts and inspire me every day to live my life a litter better.
My Twitter Followers
There’s too many to name in person and even though I don’t know most in real life, I feel a certain familiarity in reading their daily ups and downs in 140 characters. I feel at ease knowing that I am not alone in my struggles, my difficulties and my mishaps and that there is an entire generation of girls and women just like me on this miss-matched adventure they call life. Please keep tweeting and giving me my daily dose of humanity, reality, and better still comedy. You women are my grounding force.
Strong women make the world go around.