I think that getting where you want to go has a lot to do with knowing who you are following there. There are so many amazing and powerful women (and men) in the world to look up to and admire for what they do and how they live. Personally, the traits I most prize are persistence and charity.
I think you'll see what I mean.
5 Real Life Women I Admire
1. Janis Joplin - Okay, I know. Janis was a depressed alcoholic and drug addict who had massive ego problems. She's not exactly a hero for the ages. But, oh, Janis. Here's what I admire about Janis: she followed her heart. She sang what she wanted and she never accepted no. Not when she took pressure for being a "white girl" singing the blues. Not when she lost her band or when the record company threatened to cut her. Not when she was a mousy girl in Texas surrounded by people who didn't understand. She didn't always make the right choice, but she always stood by her choice. And man, could she sing.
2. Alice Paul - You're probably familiar with Susan B. Anthony and perhaps even Amelia Bloomer, but Alice Paul is my suffragette hero. Alice was one of the minds behind looking to the Brits for inspiration in the movement. She was one of the ladies imprisoned after picketing the White House. She was beaten and abused in prison, at one point being force fed raw eggs through a tube. And with that misery, she started demonstrating for prison reform. Alice Paul attacked injustice where she saw it, with no thought to her personal safety. She was a fighter. Always. And a winner (not in the Charlie Sheen way). The White House protests and the scandal that came from the women's treatment in prison was ultimately what pushed the 19th Amendment through. She was also the original author of the Equal Rights Amendment. Alice Paul was well-educated and used her knowledge, intelligence, dedication and strength to change the world. Who can argue with that kind of legacy?
3. Eleanor Roosevelt - Eleanor was one of first First Ladies to refuse to just sit and be pretty. Her speaking and activism continued unabated and her passion for helping the poor was one of the things that led Franklin to his New Deal policies. When Franklin interred Japanese citizens, Eleanor was public and vocal about her her dissent of this tactic. She fought for women, African Americans and the poor with equal vehemence and passion. She was also a Montessorian, so there's that.
4. J.K. Rowling - J.K. had a passion, and despite her circumstances, which included clinical depression, she sat down every day and made a simple motion with her hand. She wrote. She wrote out her sorrow over her mother's death, her frustration, her anger, her joy, her love. She wrote. Everyday. Even when it seemed pointless. Even when her publishers told her to get a day job. She wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. And gave us some of the finest children's literature ever published. She inspired book release parties that topped any previous movie release. She got kids who thought they hated to books to sit down and read. She inspired an entire generation.
5. My mom - If I had to pick someone to be stranded on a dessert isle with me and my children (because I can't possibly be stranded without my children) it wouldn't be The Husband, because I'd kill him. It would totally be my mom. Not only would she easily build a raft from banana peels and bamboo and a working coconut radio, but she'd do it while offering me the world's best advice and keeping me from throwing myself out of tree. She grounds me with her calm and her wisdom. She is the best prepared individual ever for the zombie apocalypse and she doesn't even believe in the zombie apocalypse. And she too is a fighter. For what she believes, sure, but mostly for who she loves. On the days I fail to be Alice or Eleanor or even J.K, my mom reminds me that I am still fighting for my girls.
Okay, enough of me - who do you admire?