I'm not going to list these exceptional women because a) you probably already know , b) a list is boring to read, and c) I would most likely leave someone out and that would be dreadful. Now, I have been lucky enough to have lunch with some pretty cool ladies in Howard County. As I'm a rather shy person, and I work during the school year, it isn't a very large list and therefore manageable for a blog post.
Mary Kate Murray--the woman who started it all for me. Here is someone who inspires people to share their gifts, plain and simple. She was instrumental in the Oakland Mills revitalization process, started our Street Captains program, and created Art Night as a relaxing, unscripted get-together to work on your own stuff in the company of friends and neighbors. These days she's immersed in a Conscious Mamas group that is so creative and caring that I almost want to have another child. Almost. What I have learned from Mary Kate--trust yourself, have fun, take a chance.
Nina Basu Howard--mother, lawyer, Long Reach Board member and a whole lot more. Nina reached out to me as I moved from candidacy to post-candidacy let-down. We had a wonderful lunch at The Ale House in Columbia. I was particularly intrigued by her description of a new mentoring-style model for women helping women who need help entering and succeeding in the workforce. Nina gave me a chance to vent, yes, but she gave me new things to think about. What I learned from Nina--there's always something else to tackle, a new challenge that needs your strengths.
Joan Lancos--Special Events Coordinator and Land Use Liason, Hickory Ridge Village. (But that's just what she does now.) Joann sent me a lovely note after the election to say, "Life isn't over. I have been there, and it will get better." We met for lunch yesterday at Champps and I learned so much that I am still processing information! Joann is a self-confessed land-use geek. Over the course of lunch, I think I figured out why. Joann has served in so many capacities with so many people that she is able to see connections and patterns as they emerge in community events. That's exactly the focused attention she brings to land use issues. What I learned from Joan--pay attention to detail, look for connections, keep at it.
My mother had a deep distrust of other women. She felt that men were more upfront and reliable. I must have picked up on that because it has always been difficult for me to have women friends. Often we are raised to feel competitive with one another. I am grateful that it's not too late for me to learn something new.
What women in HoCo have inspired you?