It wasn’t until recently that I have realized I am a role model. It’s funny because throughout the years I have been involved in a variety of leadership opportunities. I’ve mentored, tutored, been a camp counsellor, and worked with children at many different age levels. However, I always saw those experiences as being a leader, never a role model.
I’m the fourth oldest of 10 grandchildren on my father’s side of the family. Now that my not-so-little cousins are becoming young women, I’ve started to realize that I’m someone they look up to, whether they tell me directly or not. Most recently, my cousin who is a freshmen in college said that she’s been struggling with the transition, and not feeling like her normal self. So I reached out to give her advice from my own experiences. In her response she called me “one of her many amazing role models.” That struck me. Wow. Me?! A role model?
Role models appear to have their lives figured out, and are well-put together people. They are someone to aspire to be. A role model is someone who is influential through their actions, and words. They possess a multitude of valuable characteristics. A role model is confident, and strong. Someone like Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama – those are role models. Not me. How can I be someone’s role model?!
A few days following the conversation with my cousin, I had another encounter that made me realize that I’m being viewed as a role model. Recently, a family friend’s daughter who I used to babysit when she was younger asked me to be her sponsor for her confirmation (journey of faith). Wow. Again?! Me, a role model?!
Most days I feel like my life is not put together. Half of the time I forget to wear the same coloured socks. Sometimes I cry for no reason, or accidently wake up late. I get stressed out, angry, and want to sit in my room and be alone. I don’t always eat healthy, or I splurge on unnecessary items. But somehow people still see me as a role model?
It wasn’t until recently that I saw a new perspective. I’m here to remind you that even when you feel like your life couldn’t get anymore chaotic; you’re still a role model in someone else’s eyes.
Role models are people who we perceive as making the best choices to suit their life. These are people who we see as someone to model our life after. It’s the people who are vulnerable and overcome obstacles. The people who work hard, and don’t quit. They are role models. They are people who teach us how to live and grow. People who help us with physical tasks, and mental barriers. People who inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves. We may know them personally, or not at all. But whoever it is that is your role model; they’ve touched your life in a special way.
It’s the experiences that I’ve lived throughout my life, and the obstacles that I’ve had to overcome that I think make me a role model. It’s the values and characteristics that I possess as a student, a cousin, and a friend that make me a role model.
The reality is that even when you feel like you’ve hit a low in life, or that you don’t know what the next step is; someone is looking up to you. Even when you don’t believe in yourself, someone else believes in you.
So remember that someone sees you as role model, and you’re helping them live their life to the fullest every day.