I hear of and read a lot of inspiring women stories. Indeedy, I also have my very own story which I’m happy to share with anyone who will listen, and I have been told it is inspiring.
We hear stories of women who have overcome great, traumatic life experiences, whom have triumphed over adversity and done amazingly great things; whether it’s conquering mountains, beating debilitating illnesses or physical injury, or changing the world.
They are all beautiful, amazing, uplifting and most definitely inspiring.
I have an Inspiring Woman story that is not about me. In fact, the person it is about does not realise she is so amazing and most definitely inspiring. She maybe pissed with me for writing this and I do not care, because I think it is stories like hers – the quiet achievers who may have done what society things is “great” – that most of us can relate to and be inspired by.
I will also not use names as I haven’t asked her – in case she said “No”. And if she’s not pissed with me, then that’s a bonus. A bigger bonus would be her realising how awesome she is.
I have only known her for a few years, and I don’t really know a great deal about her life before, say, 5 years ago? I know she battled with depression. I have an idea of how severe it was, but I really don’t know a great deal about her experience with it, nor other … stuff in her life.
I do know that in the last five years she has been the kind of friend anyone would want to have. Supportive, empathetic and one who will allow me to wallow, but just a bit before she kicks my arse and won’t let anything stop me. I would be lost without her.
In this time I have watched her raise two kids; she’s an awesome mum.
I watched her topple as the life she knew fell apart around her, her husband announcing he no longer loved her, on a Mother’s Day, after presenting her with a gift she’d wanted for a while.
And I saw her pick herself up, and get on with life, continue to raise her kids as best she could with what she had.
I witnessed her rise above her fears and get back on the dating scene, and her self esteem plummet with some of the nutcases she experienced. She got back up Every. Single. Time. Battered and bruised (emotionally, not physically) she always got back up. Not always straight away, but she did.
She stumbled when she discovered that, during her marriage, her husband had not one or two, but possibly three affairs in that time, and again when he remarried.
She also remained composed, when most of us would have succumbed to the urge to turn into bunny boiling, clothes shredding lunatics.
She nearly died – and yes, quite literally nearly died, that’s not a metaphor for anything – but she didn’t (and I am so grateful for that) and she returned home after a week in hospital, now having to manage two kids, low finances, depression and now physical health issues.
Not only did she juggle all these, but she sucked it all up; all the bruising and battering, her self talk, the voices in her head (you know the ones?) and her low sense of self worth and enrolled in a TAFE course.
She completed it, and she did well. She overcame even more and applied for a job – sure she wasn’t going to get it, that she’s flunked the interview, and wasn’t good enough.
She got it – she got the first job she had applied for in almost a decade.
She may not see how incredible she is, or how much she is loved by so many others. She may only see that these achievements are “little in the grand scheme of things”.
They may only be little things in the “grand scheme of things”, or compared to others, but they have been massive achievements. For anyone. I know others who haven’t had the guts or strength to do anything about anything, because it is “too hard” and always, always someone else’s fault.
Not this Inspiring Woman.
I hope she does see that she is an inspiration to others, and most definitely to me.
I want her to realise just how amazing she is.
Mostly, I want to let her know I’m so proud of her and all she has achieved, and thank her for being a part of my life.
She may not have achieved “great” things, as far as what society and the media consider “great”, but she has achieved and is a great example of an ability to overcome the shit that life throws you. It’s the little things that make all the difference – and she has shown me all these little things.
You can be totally amazing without climbing mountains or featuring on the nightly news for some crazy, way out stunt.
Are you? Because I think you are (for what that’s worth :))