Who are Your Role Models and Why?

7 Dec

In one glance I sized her up.  She’s beautiful inside and out.  She gives me a warm hug as if she’s known me for years when I meet her.  As I watch her, I think she must have the perfect life.  As I get to know her I find out she has two grown kids.  I’m quit convinced that if they were raised by her they must be fabulous and successful.  By the third time we’ve met I decide she has this amazing sense of fashion.  I’m sure she rolls out of bed every day and effortlessly pulls things together.  She’s married and smiles when she talks about her husband.  I begin to feel like maybe this girl was put in my life to teach me something.  She has it completely together. I ought to start taking notes! She asks a lot of questions as we become friends.  I find myself going on and on talking to her and suddenly I realize I am monopolizing the conversation. Being that my goal is not to monopolize conversations, to listen more and talk less, I decide I better start asking her some questions.

I listen.  I watch.  She trusts me easily, something she seems good at.  She begins to tell me how hard it was to raise her children.  She struggled, which surprises me.  I listen to her stories and think to myself what an amazing mom she was, and still is, for overcoming some of the things she has.  I see her as AUTHENTIC.

I’m beginning to really like her.  She says to me, “I get it” as I share my stories, talks to me about the medical challenges she’s had, battling breast cancer, a failed marriage, a child she struggled to raise.  She becomes more REAL to me. 

She talks about working as a single parent and tells me a story of being so exhausted some days she could barely get off the couch to cook dinner when her kids were little.  She says that she learned through that experience that somehow you do whatever you need to do to make it through, and that’s okay.  She says, “looking back, some people are put on this earth to be a mom.  They do effortlessly.  I am not one of them.  I worked really hard at it.  I love my children more than anything in the world, but mothering never came easy to me”.  I sit there doing everything I can to keep the tears from rolling down my face.   She EMPOWERS me by saying those words.   

Over time, she has taught me so much about myself and who I want to be.  Not because she’s perfect, but because she’s perfectly real.  Take a step back for a moment and consider this.  It’s okay to show the world your vulnerable side.  That’s what people connect to.  It makes the difference.  I don’t want role-models in my life who do it right all the time.  I want role-models who make a mess of things at times, but pick up the pieces the next day and say I’m going to do it better.  I don’t want constant negativity but I want honesty.  I want to look up to the people who are not afraid to say it’s hard sometimes.  I want the person who falls short some of the time and admits it.  I’m charmed by the people I look at who I assume have it all together and quickly find out they have their crazy moments just like the rest of us.  They laugh, they cry, they celebrate and struggle, they feel invincible and then at times they feel like they can’t do anything right.  They are completely motivated some days and others it’s all they can do to get through the day.  Most of all, they share themselves with others; the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Who are your role models and why?  What value do they add to your life?  What are some of the life lessons you have learned from them? Pease share your thoughts with me.

2 Responses to “Who are Your Role Models and Why?”

  1. James patrick December 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I’ve always found it fascinating that when you open yourself up to the possibility of personal growth, things seem to change around you. One of the things I noticed when I opened myself up is that people came into my life to help me along that journey. I can think of a lot of people who all played significant roles in helping to guide and mentor me; but there are two who fundamentally shifted my path. The first was a college professor who helped guide me to be a photographer. He taught me the value of earning respect versus demanding it. He was one of the first people to give me the opportunity to succeed or fail based upon my decisions. He encouraged growth. The other is still a fantastic mentor who encouraged me to think bigger with my photography. He pushed me to take chances, to aim higher and to achieve more than I originally had seen. He encouraged a view beyond the horizon.

  2. Gretchen Goodell December 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Totally your best article yet!! I have so many role models and you are one of them!! Thanks for sharing!

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