For this week’s Blogger of the Week, we feature Kate Portman, whose award-winning lifestyle and parenting blog “Pouting in Heels” aims to inspire women to be happier, to do better, and to reach higher. “In a nutshell, I want more women to feel better about themselves and each other,” she says. Well, that’s something we can totally get behind here at “SheRa Mag.”
The other day a friend asked me this belter of a question. And it stopped me in my tracks. It’s not often that I am lost for words (as those who know me will testify!), but it was such a brilliant question, that I couldn’t actually answer it.
I mean, can you?
Try now for a second and see if you can do it. Read the question again and see if you answer it, straight off the bat. It’s not so easy, is it? It’s not so easy to think about the woman we want / are hoping / are trying to be.
I couldn’t answer the question at the time, which made my friend chuckle. Because I needed some time. To sleep on it. To analyze. To ponder. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked such a question that has made me think about myself quite so much. Certainly not in recent years anyway. And I love it! Because not only does it really make me question myself, it’s also incredibly inspiring.
Well because it’s not about who I am right now, but about the woman I “want to be.” Or to put it a little better, the woman I “want to become.” We’re all learning as we go, juggling priorities, making mistakes, and figuring out what we can. We’re all doing our best to get by and tackle whatever curve balls life lobs in our direction. But what I love about this question is the potential within it. Both for you. And for me.
I’ve made some real humdingers of mistakes in my life and boy, oh boy, how I’ve paid for the consequences. But throughout all the dark, unpleasant times, I’ve always had a belief somewhere deep inside me, that I would be ok. That I’d get through it. That I would live. And that I would learn from whatever disastrous situation I’d put myself in at that time and become a better person as a result.
When I was at college and misbehaving a little by skipping classes and having too much fun, my tutor once said to my Mom: “You never have to worry about Katie. She is a born fighter and will always come out the other side.” And do you know something? She was spot on. I still take her words as one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received. And today am still amazed at how astute she was about my character.
Because I am a fighter. Not with anyone else. But with myself. I don’t know where that fire comes from or came from, but make no mistake, I’m thankful to have it. Some may call me feisty, spirited, or fearless—and perhaps they’re right. I just know I’m so incredibly grateful for that fire in my belly. Not just because it’s got me out of more scrapes than you can imagine, but because it’s also the fuel that motivates and spurs me on. To make more of myself. To create a fulfilling life. To become greater.
You might laugh, but I am on a mission to become a better woman. I write posts for women that I think women would like to read, but also because I need to read them too! I need to read that it’s ok to fail, that it’s normal to be envious, that it’s fine to feel like a rotten parent, just as much as you.
It might sound silly to some, but I want to be a great woman. I want to be a woman who is respected, loved, and remembered. I don’t want to be ordinary. And I never have. (Which is probably why I got myself in so many scrapes).
So you see, when I was asked that question and found myself unable to answer it, it made me do lots of soul searching. And it also gave me hope. Because we truly can become any woman we wish to be. And we are shaping her right this very second. Through the thoughts we have, the actions we take, the friends we make, and the work we do. We can become the kind of woman we look up to and admire. We can become the kind of woman that we dream about. We can become the kind of woman that we find ourselves being envious of. But we have to create her. We need a desire to change and a boldness to become her. Want to be a better woman? Then start today.
Do the very things that you are petrified of. Learn to stand on your own two feet. Look at what hasn’t worked for you in the past and figure out what will, moving forward. Embrace your faults and own them. Think about the influences you have in your life and be careful whom you spend time with. Look in the mirror and love what you see!
When we are children we have so many dreams. So many wishes we hope will come true. But along the way, we can lose our voices, we can become scared to be ourselves, we start to experience some of life’s hard knocks, and we start to live life in survival mode instead of thrive-al mode. (Yep, I totally made that word up.)
But you know, it’s never to late to be that woman you’ve always wanted to be. It’s never to late to become her. It’s never to late to start to create her by aiming to become the very best version of you.
And as for me? Did I ever figure out my answer to that question? Well yes I did. And my answer is very simple. I want to be a woman of VALUE. I want to give value to others. I want to hold myself in higher value. I want my life to have value. That is what I am aiming for.
I’m off now to try and make that woman a reality, but not before I ask you again: What kind of woman do YOU want to be?
This blog first appeared on Pouting in Heels on July 2, 2015.
Main image courtesy of Mathilde Brunelet.