Personally I feel like every girl needs at least one role model that they can look up to, I was fortune enough to have more than one. Throughout my life, I have come in contact with multiple young women who have aided in my growth. These women were at least a year older than me and were all black. I am an only child, so I did not have an older sister to look up to as a role model, but these women were and still are role models for me. In some cases, I was their unofficial little sister. The fact that were black was even better because it was easier to identify with them. We understood the unique challenges that we faced because of race and gender and they were powering through them, which inspired me.
When I started my first job in high school, I was the youngest and the other girls were in college. At first, I felt intimidated because of the age difference but they took me under their wing. They would give me advice about everything, high school, college, guys, job, hair, etc. They would share stories about their past and current lives and I soaked up all of the information. I learned from their mistakes and what worked for them. They would explicitly tell me what to do and what not to do to stay out of trouble. I applied what I learned to my life and problems. They were funny, intelligent, honest, caring, and authentically themselves. I used to become inspired listening to their success stories, things that they were doing in college, and their goals. They would encourage me when I was talking about college and my goals. I never thought that my co-workers would have had such an influence on me, I thought that they would just be people who I saw at work for a few hours. They became more than that, we had group outings after work and one of them came with me to get my nose pierced.
As a freshman in college, I met some black female students who were older. Once again, I did not think that they would have an influence on me, I thought that they would be people who I saw on campus from time to time. They were always busy running around campus doing something productive while looking fashionable. I never knew that a woman could be productive and still look fashionable on a college campus. As I started to talk to them more and learn about them, I started wishing for some of their traits, such as being more peaceful and less reactive. I used to say to myself, “I want to have my life together like they do by the time I am a senior.” I loved to hear about what they were up to and their plans for the future. They were also encouraging, funny, intelligent, honest, caring, and genuinely themselves.
Even though I only talk to some of them once in a while they are still just as encouraging and just as inspiring. I am really grateful to have met these women and to have been around them during those stages in my life because they are really amazing. Whenever I see their posts on social media, I always feel proud of them.
Time to Focus on You:
Think about the impact you can make in someone’s life by just being you.