We luckily live in a time where we have plenty of role models to look up to. Be they in the media, politics, STEM (Scence Technology, Engineering and Maths) or people from the past. Anyone but a Kardashian!!! Sometimes it can be hard to relate to some role models as they appear to have been dealt a different hand in life, live in different countries, come from money, have endless resources available. Simply put we will look for anything that might differentiate us to justify not being able to reach their heights.
Roles models can be anybody, male, female, European, Asian, American, anybody. I will admit that I’m drawn to woman as role models, being a woman I feel at times is a major contributor to obstacles in life. Be they obstacles society puts in place or worse, ones I build up myself. There are plenty of times though where I will pull on knowledge and leadership from anyone I admire or work with. But rather than looking too far afield I think looking closer to home is much more valuable.
Hence the following three people stand out to me for different reasons. Granted they are all related to me and all female…but I guess I feel I can relate to them best.
My Granny O’Brien is a legend. It’s the first word that always comes to mind when I think of my paternal grandmother. Still alive and kicking (literally I reckon) she has never sat back and waited for things to happen. We celebrated her 90th birthday a few years ago, I’m not allowed to say exactly how long ago as she’d kill me!!!
My Granny didn’t get her first passport until her husband died when she was in her 70’s. Since then she hasn’t stopped taking to the skies. Travelling to her daughter and family in Canada, taking cruises in the Caribbean and, one of her favourites, heading to Disney World. Honest the only reason I went down Splash Mountain was because she did and warned me not to come home until I did.
My earliest memories of my Granny O’Brien always involved her car. She would pick up my other Granny and Grandaunt and go gamble our inheritance away at 45 card games!!!! 😉 On Christmas Day she would drive around to all of her children’s’ houses and be like a second Santa delivering all of our presents.
One of the hardest times for her was when it was time to stop driving. That hit her really hard, it was like removing a limb, a connection to the outside world. Most days however she gets the bus into town for an ‘ol pray and a bit of shopping.
The stories of inspiration are endless. But I hope it’s a sign of my life ahead. Full of adventure and risk taking.
My Granny Madigan is unfortunately no longer with us. I remember the day she passed away, when I was 13, like it was yesterday. I think sometimes there is a special bond with your maternal grandparents or it could just have been my first real encounter with death.
I wise I knew more about my granny while I was younger so I could have quizzed her. More than likely I wasn’t interested when I was so young. She was just Granny to me, someone who’d give me fizzy drinks and loads of hugs 🙂
But I’ve learnt so much about her in later years. The thing that stands out the most was that she ran a dress making business in Limerick for years. She had the top floor or two buildings on O’Connell street and employed 6 dress makers. Just think, this was in the 30’s & 40’s. My Granny was an business owner, an employer and entrepreneur.
There’s probably a book to be written about how much my Mum has influenced me. Although she tells me to never put anyone on a pedastel , it’s hard not to with her. I hope everyone has someone as special in their life. I even want my mum’s career, I really think I should have inherited her job when she retired 🙂
Mum lectured in LIT in Business Computing. She built her career to this point over years, all while my sister and I were very young. There were trips to Dublin for her exams where all of us joined her for a day out. Imagine trying to stay calm for exam with your family in tow.
I tried everything to not like computers, I really, really wanted to be a P.E teacher but didn’t get the points in my Leaving Cert. Here I am, 15 years later still working in software and now trying to embrack on setting up a CoderDojo in my community to encourage more people.
So you see this is the line of strong, intelligent, adventurous and confident woman I come from. I don’t think being a shrinking violet is an option for me!!!!!