So, I’ve already slacked on the effort to blog daily in response to the #reverbbroads starter questions. So, today, I’ll attempt to negotiate my way through integrating the two posts, “Who are your role models?” and “What did people tease you about growing up?”
Honestly, this isn’t as big of a challenge as it may seem. The only thing I really got teased about as a kid was that I was brainy. I was the stereotypical brainy girl — glasses, braces, and a need to raise my hand in class when a question was asked and no one else was volunteering. I wasn’t an outcast — I always had a pretty big group of friends at school — but I didn’t quite fit in either. I never thought that I was smarter than my friends, but I knew from an early age that I was more cerebral. Smart or intelligent might be viewed as inherent. I just thought a lot. I read a lot. I asked a lot of questions. I was political and argumentative at an early age. The only real problem with this (beyond the teasing of my sister and family and occasionally someone at school) was that I always assumed that no one would understand me. I was in my own head too much to share much of myself with others, and I therefore saw myself as being outside of the way that kids were supposed to act. If I had been teased mercilessly, other than by my family, I probably wouldn’t have noticed — I was too busy thinking.
So, when I think about role models, I’ve always looked to strong women who weren’t afraid to think. My great-grandmother, who came to this country alone and as a child, and always seemed to have the right answer for everything. My Aunt Irene, who despite being traditional in many ways, never cowered to anyone and always knew that her brain was her most valuable asset. And others — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who looked to her friends for help with her children so that she could rewrite the Bible in a way that didn’t degrade women, Alice Paul, who was willing to push outside of even the more progressive women of her time, Margaret Atwood and S.E. Hinton, authors who certainly wrote as strong women but who also understood the world around them. I could say that I admire so many others — certainly those who advocate peace and truth, justice and integrity. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi certainly come to mind. But more often than not, I look to those who women who have the strong moral compass, are unafraid to use their minds, and who are willing to push the boundaries.