My mom is not one to verbally express emotion or over-compliment. Still, she instilled confidence and self-worth in me through setting a daily example. To this day, I consider her the strongest, most capable woman I know. A top student throughout her academic career, a college graduate, successful in the workplace, well-traveled and cultured with the most interesting stories of the cities and people of the world. St. Petersburg is on my bucket list thanks to her. At home, she's organized, always has an eye for design. Unconditionally loving of my father as their relationship sets my own standards high. Though we can clash, she is quick to forgive and no matter how high I drive her blood pressure, she always provides for me. She's never failed and I know she never will.
But the qualities I admire most about her are her strength and tough exterior, yet her ability to laugh for hours on end. Her thirst for knowledge and especially the way she gives all of herself to everything she does. When I was younger, she would tell me "never do anything half-assed" because then it's not worth doing. I hope to show her that her unconditional love is worth it, that her support never goes unappreciated, that her impact is immeasurable.
I drew this piece following the Women’s March because I was inspired by the women of the world, by the compassion we have for people we have never met. I wrote these words of affirmation because I knew, with the political climate and with the setbacks women are constantly facing, I would have to remind myself of my worth, hoping to remind other women of their power. I thought that, as most issues do, the fight for women’s rights would fade as the media and the public stopped engaging in conversation, forgetting that the battle isn’t over, nationally or internationally.
Reading it over recently, while in a particularly reflective mood, I realized the movement would never disappear. Though she doesn’t tell me outright, my mother is the one who taught me to believe in the innate power of a confident woman. Though it is wonderful that we can form such community internationally, we as individuals don’t have to look much farther than our own homes. Because that’s what mothers and mother figures do. Raise strong women who they know can change the world. And that will persist, endure. So mom, though I wrote this about women of the world, it was inspired by you, Grandma, and all the beautiful mother figures of our family. I love you.