I have really, really, really looked forward to making this post.
I met Gina through LiveJournal, courtesy of Sydney, and something clicked for me. I’ve been reading her journal for years now–since before Thor was born–always avidly interested in the way she talked about her children, and especially interested the relationship she described with Samantha, her youngest daughter who was still at home (it reminded me of my relationship with my own mother.) The “Wee Beast” as Gina called her, was a source of amusement and delight for me, and in that strange internet way, I feel like I’ve watched her grow up.
I asked Gina if she would do the honors to introduce us to her daughter, Samantha, the youngest women we have profiled to date.
When I was asked to do the introduction to my daughter Samantha, I wondered what avenue I could take with this, considering my bias. I think to know Samantha you need to understand a few small nuances. She has been raised solely from day one by me, a single mother. To further complicate matters she was brought up in a very conservative right wing, two-parent, highly religious part of Southern California by a very open-minded, non-religious, left wing single-parent. It’s taught her balance, and tolerance and acceptance. It has shown her that she has choices. She has bucked the odds in a number of ways. Society said she had a higher rate of teen pregnancy or promiscuity. It didn’t happen. Percentages show that children of single parents dabble or become addicted to drugs and alcohol quicker than their two-parent counterparts. Not in this case. She was born with a strong sense of right and wrong, and it has been her beacon from birth.
If you were to meet her randomly, you would see a somewhat shy, very sweet and polite young lady who has a smile that welcomes you immediately. She carries herself with a grace, and dignity that is almost old school in today’s age. If you were to hang around a bit longer, you would probably be struck by her intelligence and continued thirst for learning. If you were fortunate enough to remain for even a little bit longer I think what would get to you the most would be her sense of humor, and her overall empathy for humankind. Neither ever waivers. She brings laughter, kindness, and a sharp wit with her every where she goes.
Underneath the carriage of grace, she is a bit fragile. She has the same sets of insecurities that most girls her age do, but she doesn’t let them define her. Her fragility is balanced with a secure sense of self. She isn’t easily, if ever swayed by the crowd. She frustrates when she is misunderstood, and she is easily angered by unfairness. She is studying law, because she believes in the rights of all, even the downtrodden that are overlooked by most. She stands firm in her beliefs and is not waivered by arguments. This bleeds into her social life and gives her a fierce sense of loyalty to friends she has had nearly a lifetime.
She isn’t perfect, but she is darned near close in my eyes.
I like to think that God took the best of me, the parts I am not good at keeping polished, or evenly maintained and placed them in this smaller package with instructions to care for and learn from. I’ve been given nineteen years thus far to admire and tweak and learn in absolute amazement from this wonderous human being, and I hope before I die I have gained at least a tenth at what she has to offer.
I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I have enjoyed raising her.
Age Range: 19
Preferred Job Title: Office Assistant and Disney Cast Member
Industry: Association Management and Retail
Who are you? I am a nineteen year old girl who is trying to find her niche in life. I’m funny and love making people laugh. I’m bilingual in English and Sarcasm. I’m a movie junkie and an avid reader. I have a weakness for stuffed crust pizza and have been known to fall in love with every pug I see. My family and friends are so important to me. I have strong opinions, but an open mind. Sometimes I think I care too much about others, not in the way that I care how they feel about me, but how they feel about themselves. It really hurts me to see other in pain; emotion and physical. I’m very passive aggressive and can be incredibly lazy, but overall I mean well.
To date, you are the youngest women we have profiled. With the world in front of you, where do you think women should be focusing their efforts for the future? This may sound corny, but just what makes them happy. I don’t think women should be judged because what they want to do is make a career for themselves and thrive in the business world, and the same for the women who will fufill their lives taking care of their home and family.
What has been the biggest challenge in the transition between high school and college? The lack of guidance and rules in college in comparison to High School. High School it seemed like you couldn’t even blow your nose without asking permission. In college, students walk in and out of the classroom in the middle of the lecture with no punishment. I know for some it’s hard to motivate themselves when it comes to lack of structure, while others, like me, thrive on the freedom to get things done on your own time.
What are you most looking forward to? Living life! Finding out things about the world that come with age; not television, books and movies. Experiencing new experiences. Making friends that last a lifetime, making friends that last a few months, falling in love, making mistakes, forming accomplishments, everything life has to offer- the good and the bad.
Describe your family: Very unconventional. Very few of us left, and the ones that are still here have a twisted sense of humor, quick wit, and love for eachother that is deep.
What does the first hour of your day look like? Usually with my phone alarm clock going off a few times and my tired brain calculating how many times I can hit snooze before I must RUSH to get to wherever I am going. When I must finally rise I’m usually running around getting ready, but I always make time for breakfast!
The last hour? Most of the time on my computer checking out emails, facebook, and tumblr. Other times it could be reading the book of the week for me, or watching the last bit of bad reality TV.
What makes you feel successful? Accomplishment in myself. When I know that I did the absolute best I could and I achieved it I feel very successful. In fact, even when I don’t achieve it fully but I know in my heart that I put all I could into it I still feel good.
What brings you joy? Others joy. Knowing others are sad, insecure, or just down on themselves makes me sad so why not switch it around? When I feel others are happy I have the same feeling. Also, family, friends, music, and long talks make me joyous.
What women do you admire? Strong women who understand that they have flaws. Knowing you can overcome whatever problems you currently have in your life and be strong about it is a huge quality I admire. I often don’t sweat the small stuff but keep it built up in my head until I have a meltdown every once and awhile. I admire those that can take these little inconviences and breathe. “It’s not the end of the world” and that’s it.
What do you like best about your closest friend? I love the way she stands up for what she believes in. She has opinions on life, politics, music, and even pop culture and has reasons and knowledge on all these subjects enough to form an educated opinion. I like associating myself with people like this because I feel like I am the same way. I don’t like when people blindly form opinions that are biased because of religion, what political party you belong to, and what the 10 o’clock news has told you.
What do you like best about yourself? My loyalty. I’m more loyal than your favorite dog! I’ve been burned in the past by some important people in my life and in some ways it has hindered me. For example, I hold grudges like it’s no ones business, but in other ways I think it makes me fiercly loyal to the ones I really care about. I know what it feels like to hold someone in high regard and I do not want that happening to my loved ones.
What advice would you give boys about girls? Well, for one, I shouldn’t be the one giving advice! However, if I had to I suppose I would say, “Man up!” Even if a girl really likes you she will not wait forever for you to decide on your feelings. She has a life and feelings as well.
How do you overcome adversity? As I stated earlier adversity and I are tricky friends. Most would see me as the type of person who is very laid back and doesn’t let small things matter. When in reality problems can eventually build up and become something overwhelming. I suppose it’s nothing a good cry can’t get out.
How do you want to be remembered? As someone who mattered. Even if it was through 5 people. I want to make an impact on SOMEONE’S life where they can be eighty years old, sitting in their rocking chair, talking to their grandchildren, “I remember when I was nineteen and I had this great friend Samantha…”