International Women's Day: The Women Who Inspire Me

By Char Shields - March 08, 2019

Happy International Women's Day to all of the strong, smart and powerful women out there. We've come so far in the last century but we still have a long way to go. So let's keeping kicking butt and fighting for our rights, for the most vulnerable and for the ignored.


This day means a lot to me as I'm surrounded by amazing women who have shaped my life. These women continuously fight the patriarchy and anything else life throws their way and they inspire me to do the same. They don't always get the attention and praise they deserve, so this post is paying a tribute to them. These are the women who continue to inspire me everyday.

My Family...

Mum.

My mum is one of the strongest people I know. She has raised me and my two siblings alone, kept food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. The world has given her a lot of shit: abuse, mental health issues, poverty... but she continues to fight back. How she continues to go on amazes me, I could never do it. Or maybe I can, and that's exactly where I get it from.

Every day she goes above and beyond for her children, putting our needs before her own. She also does the same for everyone else, being a terrific carer for the elderly. I used to work in a nursing home and I've seen some pretty terrible carers who clearly didn't care. That's not my mum. She's an amazing carer and everyone she works with love her just as much as her kids do. I just hope she can learn to put herself first sometimes too.

Her upbeat personality brings a smile to everyone's faces. All of my friends and my siblings friends adore her. You just can't not love my mum! Back in school she was the "cool mum" that everyone liked... even if they didn't like me. She's welcoming to everyone and makes friends easily.  

When I came out as Bisexual, she made it so easy for me. She helped me realise that it wasn't a big deal: I like both men and women. That's okay. And guess what? So does she. I'm so proud of her for coming out as Bisexual and embracing the hell out of it.

She's proven countless times that you do not need a man in your life. You do not need a relationship to make you happy. She is strong all on her own. I hope I can become even half the woman she is. 

Sister.

Your bond with your sister is special and important. And you should always look out for them.

My little sister, Rebecca, is someone else who inspires me. Having a six year age gap, I've always felt very protective of her. But I've watched her blossom into this wonderful, strong and hilarious young woman and I couldn't be more proud of her.

With all of the struggles she's facing, she still carries on, just like our mum. She did what I was never brave enough to do when I was in school: she put her mental health first. Instead of continuing to carry on with school, she had the guts to push aside what was making her mental health worse. Now she's in college where she does what she loves daily. 

She studies rock music and plays drums in a band with her friend. She's so damn talented: she plays the drums, guitar and ukulele. I hope she reads this and realises how much I admire her and her talent. One day I know she'll be big and I'm rooting for her every step of the way.

This girl doesn't always realise her worth. Becca, if you're reading this, know you're so loved and so valued. You bring light into so many people's lives with your wicked sense of humour and your open mind. Never stop being you because you're perfect. And one day you're going to have everything you've ever wanted, you're going to be so happy that everything that's happening now just won't seem important. I promise you.

Nan.

My Nan is one of the most loving and precious people I know... but my God, don't you dare mess with her.

I've always looked up to how strong willed she is. She loves nothing more than her family and she would do anything in the world to protect them. If any of us are sad or going through a tough time, she's there for us. Similarly, if anyone messes with us... they're screwed. That woman can be fiery which I love so much. 

There's been many times she has tried to teach me "self defence", such as giving a good kick to the balls... and then proceeded to demonstrate these skills on my Grandad. But, hey, at least you can't mess with me. 

She makes me laugh so much... I can see where my sister gets it from. Even if she can be clueless sometimes such as when we were watching the news years ago about hate crimes against goths and emos. We were all sat quietly until she said: "I thought an emo was a bird." My Grandad looked at her as if she was crazy before informing her that she was thinking of an emu. That's a memory I could never ever forget.

Man, I love that woman. It's such a shame she lives so far away but I can't wait to see her again.

My Best Friend...

Beth.

All of my friends inspire me but I wanted to talk about my best friend, Beth. 

We have been close since college and even though we've had our ups and downs, I'm so happy to have her in my life. Currently, she is living in Portugal and I miss her so damn much. I cannot wait until she's back in the UK for her exams and then for university.

By the age of 19, she was a supervisor in retail. Her work ethic is incredible and she is a freaking badass. She's so talented in many different ways.

Through her life she's always had people try and dictate what she does. May this be with work or education. I admire her so much for breaking through these boundaries and choosing her own way through life. She's so strong and independent and I don't think she realises just how great she is.

Best of all, she's always so supportive and is always there for me with the constant drama that seems to go on in my life. I have no idea how she does it, but I'm so thankful she does. I hope she knows how much I look up to her and how much she makes me laugh.

I love that we can talk about anything and we can just be ourselves around each other. She's like a sister to me. As an introvert, it's very rare that I find people I can be around 24/7. She is on of the exceptions. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll be friends for life.

And the rest...

Every single woman in my life deserves to be on this list. My aunties, my cousins, my friends, everyone. Each and every one of them is unique, brave and strong in their own ways. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing women.

Who runs the world? Girls. Damn right we do.


Until the next time,

Char.

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3 comments

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