Thursday, June 6, 2024

Of female influence & the guiding light

I know I am a gazillion days late for this, and I promise I meant to post this much earlier, but life gets in the way, so I procrastinated until today. But well, every day is Women's Day, is it not? Therefore, Happy International Women's Day! (Literally three months overdue.) You know you are progressing to a more 'woke' generation when more and more people in the world celebrate and acknowledge the importance of International Women's Day. I love that for us.

Every year, I can't stop thinking about how proud I am to be born a woman and how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many, in fact, too many wonderful, strong women. I have a mother who has eight sisters, I myself have three sisters, and I have all of my best girlfriends. You have no idea how much their presence has influenced how I see myself, how I work, talk, walk, present myself, how I think, and the way I love.

Of course, I have to start with my mom, the best woman I have the privilege to call my mom. I am lucky to be able to say that my mom is my best friend. I know a lot of people don't have the privilege of feeling that way about their mothers. The bond I have with my mom is something I thank Allah for every day. She gave me a sense of safety and security, making sure I feel comfortable talking to her about anything without her judging me. I have been yapping at her about my silly crushes since I was 10! What mom would hear that without yelling at you for being so gedik? But never her, though. She never made me feel unsafe telling her the most trivial things. She would always enjoy listening to them.

I think that has also shaped me into the person I am now. It taught me how to listen intently to people and to listen without judgment. To be there when someone else just needs an outlet to vent over the silliest thing. I will be there just like how my mom has always been there for me.

I know my mom did not just magically become like that without the women she grew up with. My aunts are the most supportive people I know. They foster strong family relationships, and they are one of the main reasons why I have a tight relationship with my extended family. From them, I know the importance of putting the right people first and how strong familial relationships can shape you into the most loving, considerate, caring people. While the lack of it will be very jarring. You can see right through.

From the relationship my mom and her sisters have, I learned to have the same with my own sisters. I am blessed to be born into an all-girls sibling group. Every time someone asks me how it's like to have all sisters, I always tell them I love every bit of it. All the clothes we get to share, the debriefs we have, the nights we gather around on a queen-sized bed and gossip the night away. I love all of it. There's no way for me to precisely list what they have taught me. What haven't they taught me, really? I learned everything I could from my three sisters. I knew jealousy, healthy competition, empathy, early friendship, and puppy love too. All through watching them live their own lives and together.

I may never know how it's like to grow up with a brother, but I know too well how to grow up with sisters, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I didn't watch the cartoons you watch when you have a brother. Power Rangers? Nope. Ultraman? Hell nah. Even all the iconic movies people tell me I'm missing out on because I never cared about them growing up. It's funny to compare how different it is, even down to the media you consume if you have only little girls in the household. But it was so lovely. I have built-in best friends for life that I know, no matter what, will always have my back.

This entry has gone on way too long, but I can talk about this on and on because that's how impactful these women are. Of course, it would not be complete without mentioning the ladies who have been in my life for over a decade now. Influencing my girlhood, adolescence, and womanhood. As if my life didn't have enough females, these ladies became the most meaningful addition to my life. Enriching it in ways I can't even begin to explain other than saying that I am absolutely grateful for it. The friendship, trust, reliance, support, and assurance have enriched my life and provided a sense of belonging and empowerment. 

Have I said how lucky I am yet? I just wish I also play a role in someone's life the way the females in my life did for me. And the list of them goes beyond the people mentioned in here. I couldn't possibly fit them all in. All of them have collectively shaped my journey and contributed to my personal growth in more ways than one. They really are the reason I am who I am today. Would not have it any other way.

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