for strength, for guidance, for grace...
I was recently questioning my existence. You know, those existential crises that pop up from time to time? I tried to think of the purpose for, basically, everything. What I realized, though, was that none of that needed to matter so long as I clung on to the brilliance in life.
As I contemplated that further, a trend quickly became apparent. Many of the beautiful aspects of my life have been women—women who taught me how to love, how to be strong, how to be kind, how to be myself.
There are many women who are important to me who I could not include. But, I hope this pays tribute to the phenomenal and strong women who happened to have been in my life. More so, I hope this reminds everyone of the women in their lives who have proven to be role models of strength.
My grandmothers. My mother. My sister. My role model. My inspiration.
A cousin who has shown me that hope, love, and resilience mean more than anything else and help reveal the beautiful. Even while she is going through hardship, she remains positive because, as she reminds me, all of the joys, all of the victories, all of the love matters. She has little idea of how much I look to her for strength, and how she has inspired me to go after my passions.
A role model and a friend who, despite what she has gone through, has never failed to make me smile. Without knowing it, she has become a guiding light in my life, helping me navigate my poetry, my experiences, and my identity. I turn to her and to her words more often than I can count (and more often than she knows).
A sister who, despite getting under my skin, I could never, ever, ever live without. I don’t think I’ve loved anyone quite the same. Her intellect pushes me beyond what I thought I could ever do. She is my biggest supporter and my best friend, and has been with me through the hardest times of my life.
My abuela who sacrificed everything for her children, who remained strong amidst true crisis after crisis. I only hope that my life can be a fraction of what hers was, filled with love and pain but always, always, always strength. She reminded me that stumbling caterpillars become fluttering, beautiful butterflies
My Oma who fills my life with joy and love, who reminds me to love others and the earth more than you think possible. Like my abuela, she sacrificed everything with strength for her children. She has always been a figure of strength in my life, inspiring me to love and to follow in my passions. I love apple trees and sunsets because of her.
My mother who pretends to not cry sometimes for my benefit, who gave me more in life than anyone and who I owe everything good in my life. She’s the one who kept those popsicle stick masterpieces, who stayed up for nights on end when I used to be scared of the monster in my bathroom, who hugs me when there’s pain. She is beautiful and is the epitome of strength. She has allowed me to forge my own path in life and while she has always been the person I cling to, she has constantly urged me to live life for myself. To stop being afraid. To go after what I want. And to be good, to always, always, be a good person.
I am grateful as there is no shortage of strong women in my life, and I want to thank them all.
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Author: Olivia Jimenez
Olivia Jimenez is twenty years old from Miami, Florida. She is a student at Georgetown University where she is studying English and Psychology with a minor in Film and Media Studies. In her free time, you can find her watching The Office, thinking about house plants, or searching for a chocolate chip cookie. She is excited to join the Make Muse team to develop her feminism and artistic expression while contributing to a necessary and beautiful space.