I know that International Women’s Day was on the weekend and I am belatedly ‘celebrating’ by outlining a few of my female role models – some I know, and some I don’t, in conjunction with the belief that praise and advocacy for women should be every day, not just on March 8!
Yeah, as cliche as it is, of course my mom made this list. I was having a conversation with my boyfriend on the weekend about parenthood and he was of the belief that parenthood gives life meaning in a way you couldn’t imagine before. I feel good parents hold true to this. It’s not that they give up who they are and how to care for themselves in lieu of their children; rather, they foster their children’s success and happiness even if it sometimes comes a little before their own. And my mom always puts our happiness first. I would hope to be that kind of parent if I was to ever be one. On top of that though, my mom is funny and smart and doles out really good advice to me and more or less understands most aspects of who I am. She knows when I’m bullshitting and she knows when I am being authentic. In the same way I know these things about her. I am very, very grateful to not just have a parent in my mom, but a very close friend. Whatever I learned about being a woman, adult, girlfriend, sister and friend, I learned from her and I’m lucky she was never self-serving or advantage-seeking.
My Best Friend
I have had a best friend since 2004 and we tell each other everything. We have gone through periods where we drifted apart, found other friend groups, lived in different cities and had different views on how to live our lives but ultimately, we have since come together again and I couldn’t be happier to have her in my life as a confidante. I think in real friendships there is no competition, gossip or judgment. Open and honest discussions, involvement in one another’s lives, and being genuinely happy and encouraging for one another makes a friendship thrive, even after treading some rough waters. My best friend is successful but her success has been hard-won. I admire her commitment to all avenues of success she has tried, and her self-restraint and discipline in achieving her goals.
I think people have a vision of what ‘Canadian literature’ looks like and I think Carol Shields, while she writes in, and often about Canada and the Canadian experience, she doesn’t do so in the stereotypical way of describing hardships of the north, government satire, or that archaic ‘Lost in the Barrens’ ideals that are often affiliated with Canadian literature. What I admire about Shields’ writing is her uncanny ability to make the ordinary – ordinary occurrences, ordinary people, ordinary romances – magical and extraordinary. I also love the way she encapsulates, with both beauty and humour, the experience of being a woman in contemporary Canadian society and what it means to live, love, work and foster friendships under this umbrella. I strive to be this kind of writer and even reaching toward what Shields can accomplish even in a few short pages, makes me better and makes me more inspired and challenged and nourished.
The former White Stripes drummer was always kind of in the background until her haunting, untrained vocals rang through on later White Stripes albums (“In the Cold Cold Night” is a sparse stunner). Meg is out of the limelight when she easily could be in the limelight; she is a relatively simplistic musician whose technique is as untrained as her flat and wavering voice. And yet, there is a childlike exuberance in what she could achieve as the Stripes’ drummer. Her showwomanship and her weak fills were raw and punk and garage as anything from a bunch of dudes playing in someone’s suburban garage in the late 80s. Meg has more or less stepped away from what made her famous, but I hope we see her again someday.