This Wednesday is International Women’s Day and I always like to mark this occasion with a special post promoting women who are pushing the boundaries and chipping away at that stupid glass ceiling.
Last year I shared interviews with 6 fearless millennial women who were rocking it with their careers and chasing their passions. If you need some motivation from women who aren’t letting anything get in their way, definitely check out that post.
This year, I wanted to write something a bit more personal.
Thank You to the Women Who’ve Inspired Me
Over the course of my 30 years on Earth, there have been a string of amazing women who have taught me, inspired me and mentored me into the woman I am today. So for this year’s International Women’s Day post, I wanted to thank 3 of those women openly and share just how much of an impact they made on my life.
My 12th Grade English Teacher
Although I was a full-on film geek in high school, it wasn’t my Film & TV teacher who inspired me to go off to film school or pursue writing as more than a hobby. It was actually my 12th grade English literature teacher.
I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to try to sell the importance of English literature to a bunch of suburban teenagers, but she knew her stuff and it was obvious how passionate she was about her subject.
Before taking her class, I didn’t care much about poetry or creative writing to be honest. But she introduced me to so many amazing writers like the Bronte sisters, Oscar Wilde, Mary Wollstonecraft, T.S. Elliot and Geoffrey Chaucer, I quickly started looking at English in a whole new light.
It wasn’t just about grammar and punctuation, it was about different worlds, different voices and different points of view.
Besides that, she was the only teacher who got me excited to go to university.
It was a short, simple conversation we had, but I still remember it to this day. We were walking and talking, and I mentioned my fear about going to university. I was an A student in high school, and I’d heard horror stories about honour roll students flunking out in their first year.
She replied back that although I was right, university is definitely a challenge compared to high school, it was one she knew I could overcome. Then, she recounted some of her fondest memories from her university days. Slowly my fear was replaced with excitement to pursue academia and get on with the next phase of my life.
My First Real Boss
I say my first real boss because she was the first boss I had when I got my first real job after university. I’d worked at the company for 3 years (the longest job I’ve ever kept!), and I learned so much in that time. I learned about sales, marketing, being a woman in a male-dominated industry and never backing down.
She also served as a prime example of how to be a boss who’s kind and generous, but also firm. And at a time when I was trying to figure out how to work in an office, be myself, be friendly but not flirty, and be taken seriously and respected for my work, she was definitely the mentor I needed to kick off my career.
And if it wasn’t for her understanding and encouragement, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to leave Vancouver to try my luck in Toronto. And I’m sure glad I did leave, because there’s no way I would have been able to become a full-time blogger and podcaster if I’d stayed!
My mom has always been my biggest supporter and encourager, and made sure my sisters and I knew how important it was to get an education after high school. Growing up, she would always tell us “Once you’ve got your degree, no one can ever take it away from you.” Thanks mom!
Not only that, she was my first money mentor. I wouldn’t have developed the money habits and instincts I have now without her leading by example. I don’t know how she did it (because sometimes I find it difficult just managing my husband and I’s finances), but she was able to balance the family budget every month and keep us out of debt without us ever really noticing.
It’s crazy to see how much influence that had on me in my adult years. I could have never guessed that it would have helped me take the biggest leap of my life and pursue personal finance as my calling!
Shout Out to All You Other Amazing, Inspirational Women Out There!
So to all of you women, working hard, doing good and mentoring others, just in case you think your efforts go unnoticed or if you ever question whether what you’re doing is making a difference — it does. You may not even realize who you’re helping or how big the impact could be on their lives, but what’s important is you ever give up. Maybe someone will write about how you helped them in their lives one day!
What women have inspired you to never give up? Share in the comments!