10 Life Lessons From 10 Inspiring Ladies for Valentine’s Day
This post is a very selfish one, as it is a little personal diary of self-reflection. Valentine’s day is coming up and while thoughts turn towards my husband and how lucky I am that we are both happy and healthy at this time in our lives, I have more recently come to see Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in general.
Love between strangers, love between friends, love for the planet and life. But this year as I continue to transition after a hefty lifestyle change, my focus turned towards the women who, whether they realize it or not – have supported me and taught me a lot about life and myself these past few months.
Some of them you may know from the internet or my mentioning them, some may be complete strangers. But each one offers up a valuable lesson that I’d love to share with you.
So here we are, without further ado:
Rose: Rose doesn’t have an online persona but she plays a big role in my life. Of Italian heritage like me, she was my downstairs neighbour when I lived in the city, and is a badass retired lawyer. She has KILLER style, loves to thrift and shop her closet, is always up for taking my picture even in the dead of winter, and after my parents – she is my biggest cheerleader. Her advice is second to none – do you have an auntie-figure like this?
What I learn from Rose: Even if slowly, keep moving forward.
My mother: I always feel so fortunate to have a good adult relationship with my mother, as I know this isn’t always the case. Like all mother-daughter relationships, ours was and sometimes still is, complicated. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She has grown into a best friend; she’ll hike up treacherous rocks in Greece with me to get the perfect Instagram shot, and she (and my father, I think he falls under this category too despite not being a “gal”) has been integral in my transition to a small town.
What I learn from mom: Be patient - everyone just wants to be loved.
Shivalee: Shivalee and I go way back to my finance days. I met her when I was still a university student working part time, and although we lost touch for a while she was always someone I respected and admired. Her presence is calming and motivational at the same time – now she is running her own business that offers mindful productivity workshops to executives and I couldn’t be more proud!
What I learn from Shivalee: Don’t forget to breathe.
Dominique: Dominique and I met through the world of blogging and her unbelievable appetite for hard work and being so generous with her time and expertise is always an inspiration to me. She works a full time job, and manages to continuously put out beautiful content on her blog, Insta and Youtube. On top of it all – she somehow finds time to send flowers to her friends when they’re feeling down (ie; me). She is like a stylish millenial Martha Stewart.
What I learn from Dominique: Hard work really does pay off.
Karine: If you watch my Youtube videos, Karine is my “new” friend that i’ve recently had the pleasure of spending time with in my new town. Karine is a dynamo and I always feel more energized and lighter after spending time with her. I can’t be the only one who feels this way because her business of coaching and strategizing for small businesses and entrepreneurs is growing daily – yay!
What I learn from Karine: Take time for a good giggle - then get on with it.
I’m starting to feel like I know way too many cool people at this point and that I’m so not worthy of their coolness.
Anyway, moving on.
Kat: Whenever you see a photo on my blog or Instagram feed, or in a Youtube video that looks like it was ripped from the pages of a high-gloss magazine, this is the work of my friend Kat. Not only is she an incredibly talented photographer, but she’s a mom of two adorable kids and like many of the women on this list, somehow manages it all while looking so. Stylish. I stay with her when I visit Toronto and I am so so grateful for the time we share.
What I learn from Kat: You can do it all if you remember to take time for yourself. And still look fabulous doing it.
Emily: I met during our musical theatre days, and now I always call her “my wise friend”. There is nobody who has their s*** together more than my gal pal Emily. Her retirement plan is ready to go, and her house is always ready for an overnight guest. I think everyone needs an Emily in their life – do you have a friend like this?
What I learn from Emily: Planning is key to having fewer daily worries.
Anna: Another old friend that I’ve known since my finance days, Anna is one of the smartest women I know and works a high-flying finance job. She’s one of the few women on her team and is so well respected, but since the very first day that I met her, Anna has always spoken her mind and is chock-full of integrity.
What I learn from Anna: Nothing is worth compromising your integrity or your values.
Now for the cool girls I don’t know personally but who I look to regularly for inspiration.
Daria: I only recently discovered Daria via Instagram but she is a killer eco-blogger who loves yoga, is an advocate for the planet, animals and people, and really focuses on enjoying the simple, slow pleasures of life. Her blog is in German but I love following her Insta.
What I learn from Daria: For real - take the time to stop and smell the roses, and take care of them while they're here.
Katie Sturino: I found out about this powerhouse blogger through Jenna Kutcher’s podcast and am hooked. Katie runs the 12ish style – a blog for plus sized women but my FAVOURITE part about her blog and Insta is when she does what she calls a “super size the look” post, where she takes a celeb or blogger inspired look and recreates it for her body shape. This is a lot like my shop your closet videos, and what I appreciate SO much is that she doesn’t follow traditional style rules for body shape. I get a lot of comments on my posts from women who say that certain looks won’t work on them and while I understand and appreciate that we don’t all have the same figures, I LOVE that Katie at least TRIES it and then makes it work for her. For me, it’s the experimentation that drives our style.
What I learn from Katie: Rules are meant to be broken.
I could name several other women who have impacted my life in such a positive way, and whose love and generosity I feel buoy me on a regular basis. I will save them for another post that I have in mind, but can’t believe my luck at having such awesome women in my life.
I’m so sorry I don’t have pictures with any of these fab ladies, and this post made me realize that taking pictures with friends for the fun of it is something I need to do more often. Even if my hair or outfit isn’t perfect.
Sorry to digress, but – now it’s your turn – do you have inspiring women in your life (strangers or no) who have taught you something valuable through your friendship or relationship with them?