|(Photo Credit Danio_16 on stock.xchng)|
For starters, my adoptive mother is one of the best people I've ever met. She is one of the most kind, caring, and compassionate people I know. She consistently puts her family first, never complains when things don't go her way, and has always been there for me. We differ a lot when it comes to personality. She's serene and gentle where I'm all over the place like the energizer bunny. I could see how some people would have a problem with that, but she's always loved me for who I am. She has her faults for sure, but she's always been my biggest fan and without her in my life, I don't think I'd be the strong and independent woman I am today. She taught me so much about how to stand up for myself with grace and dignity. There's still a lot left for her to teach me. I feel lucky to have her as my mom. I could have ended up with anyone, and I got her.
My grandmothers are two very different people. One is like my mother, quiet and steady, while the other is more like me (aka all over the place). Both have taught me a thing or two. From my maternal grandmother, I've learned that sometimes it's best to sit back and listen. I've learned the value of listening from her and taking the time to really hear what the other person is saying. My grandmother knows everything that's going on because she pays attention to detail and reads between the lines. It's a good skill to have. My other grandmother is always happy. She's always baking something yummy and would talk your ear off if you'd let her. Because she's more like me, I always valued time I spent with her. I learned the value of surrounding yourself with good people from her. I learned that sometimes you need to speak up for yourself and advocate for yourself. And I learned that the best way to win a person over is to give them a homemade cookie. It works like a charm!
My dance teacher has always been a mentor to me. She took me under her wing and taught me a lot. She's very outspoken and taught me to be proud of my thoughts and opinions. Listen to the other side of things, take it into consideration, and be educated. But don't let people change your mind with one argument. She taught me to stand my ground. And she gave me an outlet for my pent up energy. I sometimes struggle with how to express myself in the heat of the moment and she taught me how to dance it out. For this I will always be thankful.
Finally, my first mother has been a huge influence on my life. I knew next to nothing about her. All I knew was that she got pregnant at 21 and gave her baby up for adoption. You'd be amazed at how much that has affected my life. I've made choices that I'm not sure I would have made had I not been adopted. "Good" choices. I was never the kind of person who thought "It'll never happen to me!" because it had happened to her. I learned from her that sometimes things aren't black and white. After getting to know her a little bit, I've learned to appreciate the gray. I may not like it, but there's a lot to be said at looking at the world for various shades.
All of these women have shaped who I am today. I wouldn't be here writing on this blog or my own had they not been in my life. So thank you to all those who have shaped me, and to the other woman (some of whom also blog here) who are continuing to show me how to be a strong and independent woman. I appreciate it more than you know!