When I was quite young one of my aunts knew me almost as well as my mom knew me. Together we celebrated birthdays, holidays, school events and soccer games. She gave me books to read and let me spend the night in her apartment. She made the best chocolate cookie bars I’ve ever had and brought them in big Tupperware containers to share at our 4th of July picnics. Every summer she watched my sisters and I play for hours on the beach and in the water.
Through the years, my aunt continued to give me books and we talked about all sorts of things. I remember laughing together. As a teenager, I always felt listened to when I spoke to her. More than listened to. I felt truly heard.
Having a trusted adult in one’s life other than one’s parents is so important. I was fortunate because I had many.
In my early twenties, I thought a lot about what I wanted to do with my life. My aunt was the first woman whose career I recall observing in the making. Without revealing who she is, I can tell you that she is smart, successful, and forward thinking. She contributes to her community in a very meaningful way. From my perspective, her job is interesting, engaging and valuable. And I know she works very, very hard. In watching my aunt, I learned that a woman can accomplish whatever it is she resolves to accomplish – for her, it seemed to me, even the sky wasn’t the limit. And as I set out to begin my life professionally, her influence was profound.
Today, I don’t see or hear from my aunt very often, and we live 3,000 miles apart. But she is always in my heart, and I trust that I am in hers.
Today’s post was encouraged by BEEBeautifulYou, a tribute to a beautiful woman whose life inspires my own. Thank you, Aunt. You have given me so much.