On Women’s Day, I have been bombarded with pretty messages crafted on a pink backdrop and articles on empowerment. I have been scrolling up and down my newsfeed and I have found much talk about how women are, and how they must continue to break those glass ceilings. It seems like Women’s Day is the only day when women actually remember themselves and the world remembers to thank and encourage them.
This Women’s Day, I would like to thank you for making it Women’s Day – everyday. There was not a day when you did not quietly and confidently teach me to luxuriate in being who I am. By way of example, you showed me to value my dreams and my passions. When you started that workshop from the garage of our home, you showed me how matter of factly you had taken on the mantle of entrepreneurship – even as 4 children in the backyard (with 2 dogs), and a husband busy with work overseas, jostled for your attention. When Papa left his work to join your now successful business and take care of the administrative side, you did not bat an eyelid or let us think that this was anything but normal and commonplace. For this, I will always be grateful. I never had to be told that men and women are equal – I just always knew that they are. Thanks to you!
You did not need Women’s Day to dress up and reach that garage dot on time for work everyday. You did not need an occasion to create a lip smacking menu and eat well every single day. You did not need an event like this one to throw your head back, laugh and watch your favourite movie. And for that, Mom – I am proud of you. And indebted! Thank you for teaching me to value myself every single day, and not just on one day of the year.
On Women’s Day, I would also like to thank you for teaching me that all those glass ceilings are in my head. Even as you showed me how much strength there is in my feminine side – strength that helped me birth my child with much excitement, strength that fuels the way I take care of my home even as I dive into my career, and strength that helps me wake up with hope and resolve everyday – you also showed me the value of hard work.
Thanks to you, I learnt a work ethic that has helped me making a living from a career not many would have adopted as a full time one. And I am doing it on my own terms – because that’s the only way I know! You steered me towards an education and a career in creative writing and you taught me key skills like high quality work, and timely delivery, among a host of other things. And through all this, you never told me what to do. You simply showed me how, and you let me choose. You have taught me to look ahead, and move with the times – values that are helping me every single day as a parent, as a career woman, as a friend, as a woman! You have taught me to do things that you could not fathom doing in your own time – from living on my own to backpacking with my child – you actually released me from my own demons and fears in this. You have been my greatest cheerleader, my biggest champion. And I never thanked you enough.
Above all else – thank you for teaching me to be generous. Whether it is money or forgiving someone; whether it is as a parent putting the child first, or cutting myself some slack when guilt inevitably takes over; whether it is saying no to short cuts leading me to meaningless challenges, and yes to the steep climb towards opportunities – you have shown me how to open my heart and accommodate the world. And the world is giving me the gift of a wonderful life.
So, on Women’s Day – thank you for not just being my Mom; thank you for being my greatest role model!