Influential Women #19: My Mom

Today’s influential woman is my mother, because she sure as hell deserves a spot on this list. Yes, she’s a normal woman just like (you, maybe,) and me. But that doesn’t take away the fact that she’s been very influential – at the very least, for the past 20 years, to me. We always have been very close, and today I will share three things my mom has taught me.

1. Be kind, even when you don’t want to be

This probably one of the most important things my mother has ever taught me. I have always been a very emotional person. My friends can probably agree. When I’m happy, I am EXTREMELY happy. When I’m sad, I’m heartbroken. When I’m angry – you better run. My mom has always told me that it’s okay to feel the way I feel, but that it’s not always okay to behave like the way I feel. She has taught me from a very young age that the way you feel and the way you behave are and should always be two very different things, because feelings are never an excuse to hurt others. Even when you are upset, try to be kind. It is honestly the truest struggle to live by this, but I try my best.

2. Being kind does not equal not standing up for yourself

Some of my newer friends might be surprised by this, but I used to be an extreme introvert throughout most of secondary school. I was known as the “quiet” girl, who only had a few good friends and relatively good grades. Teachers loved me, but my peers did not. Especially during the first few years of secondary school I had to deal with bullying, and I just let everyone run over me. My mom told me (REPEATEDLY) that there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. She told me she knew it took a lot of courage, but that I had to do it. I owed it to myself. No one else was going to do it for me. And eventually, about four years later, I did. I raised my voice, and I haven’t stopped raising it since. It is one of the most valuable lessons my mom has taught me, and it has gotten me far.

3. Your only limit is you

Many tend to perceive me as ambitious. I used to be part of the student council at secondary school the final two years, I did some tutoring at uni, I’ve led a creative writing group, I was a student’s representative at school this year, I’ll be in the board of the student’s council next year and I’m about to enter my third year as PR of the coolest student club ever. I’m a busy girl. This, however, should come as no surprise to anyone who knows how supportive my mom is. From the time I started primary school she has lovingly pushed me to always do the best I can and take every opportunity that was handed to me. She taught me to always reach for the stars, even when it seems impossible at first. I would not be where I am today were it not for that advice.

These are honestly only a tip of the iceberg of the wisdom and knowledge my mom has passed on to me. However, they are definitely the three pieces of advice that have made me who I am today. Without probably properly realising it, my mom taught me to be a person I am proud to be, and I could not be more grateful.

  • L. Parole

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