“Well behaved women rarely make history.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Everyone has a different beginning to the path their on in life. Some start with a few bumps in the road, some get dragged through the woods for a bit and then there are some people who have a seemingly perfect path, but nobody that is successful today had a flawless beginning. We’ve all had to work hard to get where we are today and it’s never easy, but I have to admit that I look back on the crappy moments with a big smile because they all had a lesson worth learning from them. However the biggest lessons you’ll ever learn are from the people that you surround yourself with, whether it’s what they believe, what they say to you or simply how they live their life. As today is a pretty significant day, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and get on board with it.
International Womens Day is something that I never really took much notice of until recent years, well to be honest I never fully understood it until last year. Women have been fighting for centuries to get themselves noticed and to be acknolwedged for their success, so to think that it’s still happening in this day and age is mad. When I think about the past 22 years (well of those years that I can recall) a lot of the people that have had an impact on my life have been women, but I haven’t ever genuinely sat and thanked them for what they taught me along the way.
To my Junior Infants teacher, Mrs McCann, thank you for teaching me that an egg container was not what your parents stored your eggs in, but actually the egg carton that they lived in on in the shelves. I was never a big fan of school, but in that teenie box of a classroom, you managed to make every day exciting. I’ve had dozens of teachers over the years, but to this day you were always one of my favourites.
To Amelia Earhart, thank you for being such an inspiration to women today, even though it’s been eighty years since you flew away and never came home. I remember watching the Amelia Earhart biopic one Christmas when I was a kid as my parents were putting up the tree, and I was just enthralled by the story. One of a girl who had loved planes ever since she was a child, refused to let anyone tell her she couldn’t fly her own plane and one day took off a never-ending adventure. I will always love the name Amelia, all because of the adventurer who never let anyone stop her from following her dream.
To the Stella Girls, thank you for making Secondary School bearable even though it was extremely difficult at times. I don’t think any of us would’ve been able to get through fifth year without each other, and as a class year we truly had the strongest bond that any year previous had ever had. To the girls in art class, thanks for putting up with my never ending array of Fashion sketches. To the girls in Business, thank you for backing up for me when Ms Kelly was giving out to me for highlighting too much. Finally, to my closest school friends (you know exactly who you are) thanks, to this day, always being only a single message away.
To Amenah, thank you for being the one person that always stood up for me when I was getting shouted at everyday at lunch for being a redhead and for being the one that made the guys stop throwing chips at me, that one lunch time. We may have broken away from each other the year you sadly passed away, but thank you for being my best friend through the early days of secondary school. I don’t think I’d be as proud to be weird as I am, if it wasn’t for you, and for christening me with the name “Mad Hannie”. Unforgettable, is an understatement.
To the iconic Stefani Germanotta, thank you for introducing the world to Lady Gaga. As soon as I saw the Poker Face video for the first time when I was just thirteen, I was instantly obsessed. You showed me that it’s ok to be different, to embrace your weirdness and that the bolder your clothes, the better. I have seen you twice in concert, in two different continents, and I would still give anything to see you again. Thank you for showing me that be being different, is the best trait anyone could have.
To Kat, thank you always being there. You give the best advice as you’re never afraid to be completely honest, whether I need an opinion on an impulse purchase, my latest blog post or even a guy, and I couldn’t thank you enough for it. You have always worried about not being good enough, so this is my way of saying that you are amazing just as you are. I promise.
To Florence Welch, thank you for bursting onto the scenes when I needed it most. I had spent years hating my red hair, wanting to dye it a completely different colour and getting shouted at for being “ginger”, but when I saw your flaming red hair everywhere all of a sudden, it changed everything. You’re a natural brunette, but chose to dye your hair a vibrant colour to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd, the colour I was born with. The colour I always hated, you made me finally love, something my mom wanted to me to do for years, but couldn’t (she sends her thanks too).
To Mrs Cashman, I don’t think the two words “thank you” is enough for what you did for me over two years ago. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have a smile that I am so proud of today. Many people tried to scare me away from getting the surgery done, but I don’t regret it a single bit. It wasn’t easy, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, so thank you for making me finally happy with my smile.
To Marie O’Dwyer, thank you for being the one to introduce me to the world of advertising. When I started the course I enjoyed it but I didn’t know where it would take me but after a few classes with you I began to fall in love with the idea of a career in Advertising. Even though I don’t have you as a lecturer anymore it’s nice to know that your door is always open. Lets just say if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I would’ve got the dream placement or have a future that I’m crazy excited for. No matter how where I end up in the world or how far I get in my career, you will always be the one I’ll thank for starting it.
To Gabrielle Chanel, thank you for being bold enough to step out in a crowd full of pretentious, rich folk by wearing pants rather than an elaborate gown. Even though you wear mourning, thank you for wanting to create a wardrobe of black as because of you, the LBD mightn’t ever have been as iconic as it is. Thank you for being one of my biggest influences today.
To the fierce Girl Boss that is Roisín Field, thank you for being such an inspiring leader throughout my work placement. You were always there no matter what I needed to know, what I wanted to ask or simply just to be someone I could approach for advice. I entered the agency seeing you as simply a boss, but I left the agency seeing you as an inspiration and someone I one day aspire to be just like.
To my best friend Colleen, for always being there for me no matter what. Even though we could go weeks without talking and that we’re both on opposite ends of the country, we always find a way back to each other. You really are like a sister to me. Who knew that we’d be so close now, when you strolled into the Boat Club one Tuesday night, all those years ago?
To my two Musketeers, thank you for being just incredible over the past four years. It’s weird to think it’s only been four years, as it feels like decades. Orla, your advice is priceless, your geekiness never fails to make me smile and I know that it won’t be long until I’ll be calling an office asking for CEO Ms Hayes. Laura, thank you for always giving me an honest opinion on absolutely everything, for putting up with me through our many projects and for never turning down a quick trip to the shop for chocolate. If it wasn’t for you too, I don’t think I’d have as much drive as I do because you’re both always there pushing me and motivating me, even when you can barely push yourselves.
To my sisters Rachel & Laura, well honestly I think I need more than few lines to thank you. No matter where we are in the world, what timezone it is or who you’re with, you always found time to help me when I needed it. Even though you both are happily married, you’ve never once made me feel like a third wheel. Most importantly, thank you for always being their for the honest fashion advice throughout the years, and of course for all the clothes you let me “borrow”. I simply couldn’t thank you enough for being the best friends a girl could ever ask for.
To Mam, well thank you for being my Mam, and for all those times you allowed me to “pay you back with love”.
Obviously there’s been many other women that have had a huge input into the woman I am today, but these are the ones I simply cannot think enough.