The Women Who Made Me

 

Ladies, in case you didn’t know – Wednesday is OUR day.

International Women’s Day. A whole day to celebrate us because, being honest, we’re pretty bloody great aren’t we? I find so much to admire about my gender and the people who fall into it. I’ve been lucky to have been around some pretty fabulous women my whole life. I am a combination of these women; their lives, experiences and influence have helped shape me in to the woman I am today.

The women who made me come from everywhere. All over. Some real, some make-believe. Some I know personally. Some I don’t. Their influence on my life has been no less because I don’t know them on a personal level, or because they are the figment of someone’s imagination.

I am surrounded daily by women whom I admire, women who have traits and qualities I covet, women that teach me things about myself and the world, that influence me in all areas of my life. The women I surround myself with are my biggest cheerleaders, my biggest challengers. Badasses, the lot of ’em!

The women I am about to write about are the women that I feel had the biggest influence on turning the painfully shy, socially awkward Michaela into the less shy and slightly less socially awkward Michaela I am today in the years when I was still trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be.

 

My Mum – the ever delightful Mazza.

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Those of you that know me well would know to expect to find my mum on this list. What can I say about the woman who raised me? She’s fuckin’ nuts. She really is. Aside from the standard ‘mum’ lessons that most mums instill in their children, the biggest thing she has taught me is to laugh. Life is there to be enjoyed; laughter is the best medicine. She taught me humility and gave me the gift of being able to laugh at myself. She gave me my love for music – without which I would be completely lost. Music is my best therapy, aside from writing, and there are many times in my life – without sounding too dramatic – that music has saved me from feeling too lonely and lost.

 

My siblings.

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My sisters also deserve their own shout out because they too have had a hand in making me who I am. I am really mix of both of them. They have both always been very protective of me as the youngest child. Melanie is loud and strong, stubborn as a mule – traits that have definitely rubbed off on me. Melissa is quiet, shy and can be quite conservative, I have those sides of me too. One thing that I have gained from these betches is balance. As I said I am a mix of the two of them – so whilst I can be stubborn I am often the one that helps Melanie see the other side of the story and that goes for situations I find myself in too. Being able to see both sides is a trait I’m proud I possess. Melissa has helped me developed my “fake it till you make it façade” – when I push the status quo too far Melissa is there as my moral compass, keeping me on the straight and narrow.

 

Cinderella

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 Cinderella was my favourite Disney princess growing up. She was kind, gentle and she persevered through a mass amount of abuse from her stepmother and step sisters, and she still managed to come through the entire ordeal without wishing them any harm or wrongdoing. The animals were her friends. She lived in harmony with them – she even treated Lucifer (I hated that cat) with respect. She was soft but strong. Something that I aspire to be, even now. She was the lesson that whilst you cannot always change your circumstances or how people treat you, you can make the best of the situation – you can control your reaction to it.

Miss Glover/ Miss Meredith/ Miss Rao / Miss Brown.

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I have no pictures of my old teachers so here is one of Miss Honey from Matilda.

Miss Glover – Year 2 and 3 teacher

Miss Meredith – Year 6 teacher

Miss Brown – Biology teacher in Year 8 and 9

Miss Rao – Psychology teacher in years 12 and 13

These women are the female teachers that made me love school and learning. At 27, I still love to learn. Without sounding arrogant I was a bright student; academically I was above average in everything, except perhaps I. T (I still hate technology). I was however a lazy student – if the subject matter did not interest me, or the teacher was not engaging I would switch off and there was no going back. I fluked my way through all my GCSE and A-Level exams; rarely looking at revision books or notes.

Miss Glover was the first teacher that made me enjoy learning – she coaxed answers out of me in front of the whole class, something which no other teacher had been able to do. I was so shy in my first years at school that I would tell my friend what I thought and she would tell the teacher and rest of the class, until Miss Glover came along. To this day I still have no idea how she did it.

Miss Meredith was the first teacher I really looked up to. I remember just really liking her and would have happily stayed at school long after the bell rang when I was in her class.

As those of you that have met me know I am shorter than average. 5’1 to be exact. Of course growing up I was aware that I was much smaller than most of my class mates and it was never something that gave me much trauma but I was always very aware of it. Miss Brown was also a petite lady but she more than made up for it in attitude and she helped me see that being short didn’t mean you had to be ignored – you could still be short and sassy. She helped me learn how to own my height and be comfortable with it.

Miss Rao gave me my love for all things psychology related. Even now the human brain and psyche fascinate me. I love to observe people and find out why they do what they do, mental health issues and diseases fascinate me. I also just remember her being so cool for a teacher. She was young when she taught me, maybe mid twenties. She loved to travel in the holidays and would come back and tell us all these stories of what she’d done and where she’d been. I was just in awe of her and her confidence and how she carried herself – she really made being intelligent (and passionate about things) cool.

 

Keltie Knight nee Colleen.

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Keltie is an entertainment journalist based out of LA. She used to be a dancer and has danced with everyone from Beyoncé to Kanye, Panic at the Disco to Christina Perri.

I was going through a really tough time when I found Keltie online, it was around 2010 that I began to follow her. She used to send out emails to her blog followers called ‘Moonbeams’ – a weekly lesson or thought. She has provided me with food for thought for the last 8 years and continues to do so now. She has reminded me time and again that people need other people and spreading happiness can be effortless.

Her book “Rockette, Rockstars and Rockbottom” taught me to own my vulnerabilities, to not be ashamed of the bad times and the sadness that surrounds them. That it’s ok to be sad and have a pity party every now and again but you can’t stay there – you have to get up and fight again.

Diane Alice Lorraine.

Dalbs and I

Funny story: when I met Diane I didn’t like her. She hired me when I was 17, buggered off to run another store for a couple of months, came back and I hated her. I still remember the first thing she ever said to me and where it was. Fast forward 10 years and I’d be completely bloody lost without her. She’s put up with the majority of my crap over the years, calling me out on my shit when it’s needed and providing me with some much-needed pep talks. The one thing Diane has taught me, I think more than anything, is that it is ok to want more. Some people are happy to settle but it’s ok not to. As a girl from a working class background that grew up on a council estate people would expect me to settle – so many do, Diane made me see it’s ok not to. In fact she actively encouraged me not to. Thanks, C**t.

Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds

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“Are you satisfied with an average life?”

“Look like a girl but I think like a guy”

“Can’t let your cold heart be free,
When you act like you’ve got an OCD”

“It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top
Better to be hated
Than loved loved loved for what you’re not”

Marina was the first female singer / songwriter that I related to – her lyrics where about everything from not feeling good enough, mental health issues, being bored with what society demanded of females and the standard idea of beauty we see in gossip magazines. Of course she wasn’t the first EVER female to sing about these things but she was the first I related to from my age bracket that I listened to. Her lyrics could have come out of my journal, even my friends have remarked over the years that her songs ‘could be about you’. Especially her song ‘Girls” of which Marina herself has said: Of her song

“It’s a call for women to stop being their own enemies. These days you’re either a nun or a whore, to be both and neither, all in one. I want to help redefine women’s place in society.” I love her.

 

These are, of course, a handful of the women that helped make me who I am. I have 4 Aunts who each have played their part in who I am. Up to the age of 20 they and those name above were without a doubt the biggest players in making me, well, me. There are friends that I have made over the years too that have played a part. Becky was my first best friend, Rebecca in middle school – I remember many a sleepover at her house, Neysa in secondary school – she helped me find my singing voice, encouraged me to join the choir which led to many more memories… I could sit here all day and list the women that made me, everyone that has influenced me. The list would be never-ending because I guess in a way, everyone we come into contact with impacts us. We are the people we surround ourselves with.

 

To the women that have made me, thank you!

To the women I know and surround myself with – thank you!

To women all over the world – you matter, your stories matter and you fucking ROCK.

 

Here’s to having a vagina!

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xoxo Micks

Sister, Sister!

Three is a pretty good number. Lots of things come in threes; the three musketeers, bad news, good news. The three blind mice. Goldilocks and the THREE bears, the main characters in Harry Potter (Harry, Ron and Hermione, in case you didn’t know), the primary colours, the Hanson brothers (don’t lie, you love MMMMBOP as much as the next person), the three little pigs, the three stooges, three piece suits, the Bronte sisters, the Sanderson sisters (Hocus Pocus is the only Halloween film worth watching). Three is, apparently, the magic number.

You know what else there are three of? Wright sisters. Yep, Melanie, Melissa and Michaela (and for those who didn’t know my whole immediate family have names that begin with an ‘M’). I am the youngest girl and the youngest child out of the 4 children my Madre and padre had.

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Clearly our parents hated us. I can’t explain the outfits. Early 1990’s here I’m guessing.

Look through family photo albums and there are hundreds (I shit you not) of photos of Mel doing nothing in particular. There are a fair few of Melissa too, and me? There are about 5, ok maybe 10. Guess the parentals got bored of taking photos in the 4 years between their eldest and youngest, huh? I’m not bitter about it at all.

All three of us are similar in ways, and different in others (go figure). My brother was the oldest, but as he passed away, Mel took on that role and I do think she is the typical oldest child. She is very much a leader, and not a follower. She is responsible, and protective. An organiser, a problem solver.

I always describe Mel as the pretty one. She is unapologetically herself, something I’m yet to be myself. She encourages my crazy, and is always supportive, albeit cautious, whenever I announce my next adventure. Overall, she’s pretty average, Hun!!

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Taken in Summer 1989. Mel was coming up 4, and yes that’s me as a bubba!

Melissa, the middle child, is the sensible, proper, sensitive one. The intelligent one, I’d say. That’s not to say Lissa can’t be fun – she is hilarious behind closed doors when she is completely relaxed. I really wish she would show this side of herself more outside of immediate family, we have such fun and she always has me cracking up. Melissa is the ‘helper’ of the three of us; she is far more helpful with everything and anything than I am. She has a heart of gold for sure.

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Waterfield First School, wassup!

 

Now recently, I have begun reading a book that my lovely friend Lisa gave me whilst we were on holiday at Cape Cod in the summer, I read the first few pages but then life happened and I never got around to really starting it or finishing it. It is called ‘The Magic’ and is written by Rhonda Byrne. It had helped Lisa refocus so she bought a few others and myself a copy to give it a go. The basis of the book is gratitude and how, if you take time to be grateful for what you have you will attract more of what you want – the universe takes its cues from you and delivers to you what you put out there. There are different practices for you to do everyday. I’m currently on day 5. Now some may think it hippy nonsense but I figure, why not give it a go? I firmly believe that you get back what you put in anyway and you can never be too thankful, can you?

 

That gives you an idea about how this blog came about. Last night on my way home I got to thinking about things, as you do, and I thought I’d share my thanks with them. Not something I normally do because Mel was concerned “??? is everything ok?”

And Melissa’s response when I hugged her and said, “Thanks for being my sister” was “get off me, and it’s not like I had a choice is it”. I was feeling the love for sure. Off of that I decided to write about them and the top ten reasons I am thankful for them. So here goes,

 

 

  1. They are my oldest friends.

 

They have known me since the day I was born, the good me, the bad me. They’ve seen me ill, crying, crying with laughter, looking my best, and looking my worst. They were there through school, awkward teen stage, the uni days and now into adulthood. They were there through it all. Sharing it, and living it with me and I know they will continue to do so. We understand each other in a way that only sisters do, and for that I am forever grateful. I can’t imagine a day when they aren’t there to share memories and moments with.

 

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  1. They are always looking out for me, even when I don’t want them to.

 

From day dot they’ve done this, and although at the beginning it was probably because mum and dad told them to, now I know it’s through choice. When I was playschool and painfully shy (to the point I wouldn’t even tell the teacher I needed the toilet), Melissa was there holding my hand and telling them for me. When I was going through the worse period at uni with an friend, Mel was on the other end of the phone at midnight calming me down, and simultaneously offering to come to Kingston and sort it out for me. I know that I would never have finished university if it weren’t for Melanie because things were that bad.

When I’m away travelling and get homesick, they are both there telling me to stop being such a girl and enjoy where I’m at and what’s going on. They are always looking out for me.

 

  1. No one gives me backhanded compliments quite like these two.

 

No one makes me feel prettier and uglier in the world. I can not count the amount of time, Melissa especially (it’s her specialty), has set eyes on me and said something like “you look well gross”, “are you really going out wearing that?” “you need to have a shower, your hair looks greasy”. Sisters, ay?

The favourite ones from both of them are the following.

Mel – we’re out shopping and she picks up some shoes

“Do you like these, Kay?”

“Yea I do, I like them a lot”

She looks at them, puts them back down and says, “yea but you can get with wearing weird stuff like that, I can’t”

Yes, folks, I wear weird stuff apparently. Thanks for that,bro.

 

Melissa – comes into my bedroom, looks at my hair which is styled in a wavy ‘beach hair’ type way and says “when you wear your hair like that it makes you look like a homeless tramp. It looks nice though”

 

A backwards compliment if ever I heard one.

 

  1. They act as a buffer between my parents and I

 

Now this is not to say that I don’t get on with my parents, in fact I think I have a great relationship with them, but, I do know they worry about me a lot because of my tendency to flit here and there, without a real plan. I’m sure they’d love nothing more than for me to find a nice man to marry and have babies but, alas, it hasn’t happened yet. My flighty personality is something that my parents can struggle to understand, I know this from various conversations with them over the years and although they try, they just don’t get it (oh poor little misunderstood me! Ha) but my sisters, although they aren’t wired the same way, they get it – whatever ‘it’ is more and are able to act as that bridge between us.

 

  1. There is always someone to reminisce over my childhood with and share family jokes with.

 

Life can move so fast it’s easy to forget where it all started. With these two around there is always someone to remind me about that time Melissa cracked my head open, or Mel pulled all my eyelashes out (it involved hair pulling and an eyelash curler). They always enjoy reminding me about my tweenage obsession with Blazin’ Squad and the time we all got matching platform boots and thought we could be in the Spice Girls (I was always Baby Spice).

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Brighton Beach fun in the 90’s.

  1. We have veerrry similar tastes in movies, TV and music. Some good, some not so good.

 

We are all well versed in Musicals. You can’t put Meet Me In St. Louis on and expect us not to sing along. Same goes for FRIENDS the TV series. We are able to recite SCENES from that show. It is an obsession. Charmed was another one we enjoyed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Two of a kind, Father of the Bride, Sister Act, The Sound of Music… all bad sooooo good. If anyone were to put on Hannah Montana’s ‘Hoedown Throwdown’ on when we’re around, well lets just say you’re in for a treat!

 

7.They broke all the rules before me so when I did it, it wasn’t such a big deal.

 

Need I say more? Being the youngest this was definitely a huge perk! They got grounded for a week; I got a clip round the ear. I think that’s called #winning.

 

  1. The guidance and advice.

 

This links to the above, I guess. They’ve been there and done it already, so they have pearls of wisdom to share. My friends can tell me something till they’re blue in the face, and I either won’t listen or find excuses. My sisters say it and I take it on board. The best example I have of this is, about a year ago I was talking to a guy and it was very ‘will they, won’t they’, my little Soph told me it wasn’t right, but did I listen? Of course not. Soph told me numerous times. I never listened. After one conversation with Mel, ending in a “if he wanted to be with you, he would be” that was it. I was done.

Sorry about that, Soph.

 

  1. I don’t have to explain my weird ways, or the weird ways of my family to them.

 

They’ve been there for the ride, so they just get it. They embrace my weirdness – encourage it even. We can laugh at how crazy my mum is, or how grumpy my dad gets. Trying to explain to people that my dad doesn’t like Christmas and why is a long and painful process, they just don’t get it. My sisters do. They know the ‘Kick you in the C***’ joke – try to explain it to others outside the family…they just don’t find it as funny.

 

 

  1. I know that no matter how much we fight, we’ll be ok in the end.

 

We may talk trash about each other at times, but I know that the moment someone talks trash about me they will be the first to jump to my defence and vice versa. I can slag my sisters off but lord help anyone else that does.

 

Love my sibs, the pair of sluts!!

xoxo

 

Micks

 

P.S here’s another photo treat for you.

 

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I don’t know why.