All my life, I have been surrounded by amazing women.
I’ll cherish for the rest of my life the brilliance and knowledge they have shared with me. They have helped me become the person I am today.
My mother’s side of the family is full of women. The only men are my grandfather and stepfather. There are seven females — my mom (to whom I sang praises and expressed my love in my last column, which she hasn’t read); my grandmother, who, at her age, binges on K-dramas until dawn and is the first to scream whenever our Internet is cut off; my aunt, who has been working for the longest time overseas in a cruise ship, but is always spoiling us; and another aunt, who is younger than me and is always out of the house. (I’ve been trying to get her interested in Korean and Japanese pop culture.)
Then there’s my younger sister, who I know will grow up an accomplished woman. Last but not the least is my youngest sister for whom my love grows day by day.
On my father’s side is another aunt, a mother-like figure who knows me more than I know myself — from how I like my food cooked to being very supportive of what I want in life.
My father’s mother is similarly amazing, even if she looks at me as if I’ve grown two heads. She scares me to death when she lounges around the house and takes the trash out at 1 a.m.
There are also my childhood friends, who were raised in different households and have been supportive and stood by my side when the going got rough, proving it’s not always blood that is thicker than water.
My cousin is my confidante and best friend (and who taught me everything I need to know about handling money).
So yeah, growing up, I had pretty good influences. I could go on and on talking about each of them, but there wouldn’t be enough space in any paper that could contain the love I have for them.
These women (even the ate who sells things just outside our house or our neighbor who’s somehow always awake for drama) have taught — and continue to teach — me something more than meets the eye.
Their values, ideals and way of life are in my heart and mind.
From learning household chores like how to do the laundry (which I never have time for or escape from whenever I have to actually do it, sorry for that), wash the dishes and fold clothes (admonished by screaming grandmothers and aunts) to becoming independent, brave and responsible they have taught me so much about the world.
In a way, they have equipped me with strength of character.
My life wouldn’t be as colorful and meaningful without their guidance. Thank you for always making a huge difference in my life, and in the world.
You are my heroes.
And to all women, thank you for getting up in the morning and choosing to fight and strive for a better, kinder world. You should be celebrated every single day.