Where do I even begin to tell my story?
How far back do I go?
I could start when I was born, but I don’t think that’s far enough.
Because I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it weren’t for the strong women of my family who refused to be limited by expectations. I believe that both the dreaming and the hyper activeness are a family trait, I was just the first to give it a name.
My grandmother, just like her eight siblings, was born to become a farmer. She was born to a rough but safe life. The expectations for her were clear: help out at home, obey to your parents, find a good husband, have children, take care of your family for the rest of your life.
However, she was different. She had a dream.
Being born in a prosperous family, she had access to basic education. Every day she walked with her siblings to the small school where she completed her middle grades. This was her favorite time of the day. It was her escape from a life of cleaning and working.
When she turned 12, she approached her ill-tempered father and asked if she could continue her education.
He looked down on her and said: “Sure, go for it.” and continued to read his newspaper.
And so, she went for it.
She moved to the city with a cousin and began working to pay for her education. She began teaching at 16 and never stopped until she was 58.
To me, she has always been the loving and attentive grandmother, but last time I visited I recognized the strong and decided woman that hides behind the pile of fresh baked cookies and warm hugs. The stories of hardships she has could fill an entire book and she is still one of the most hardworking women I have ever seen in action.
Beyond excelling in her responsibilities as a retired teacher, which have resumed to taking care of her house and her husband, she is constantly looking for things to do. She multitasks with excellence: while she cleans, takes care of the farm and tends to all of my grandfather’s needs, she creates beauty by planting unique flowers and trees, painting, knitting and baking.
The book Creative Leap, defines creativity as:
“the ability to toggle between wonder and rigor in order to solve problems and deliver novel value.”
If this is the case, my grandmother is a force of creativity to be reckoned with.
It was to this home that my mother was born. Like my grandma, she was also born with bigger aspirations and a passion for learning.
The women who proceed me are examples of what can be accomplished with hard work and passion-driven action. Neither one of them settled for “good enough” and they worked hard to achieve dreams that seemed impossible.
They are examples for the woman I hope to become.