My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Amy Ahearn.
Amy is a woman who knows her own mind, which is full of thoughts and opinions which (thankfully) she is not afraid of sharing. She is totally ace at telling it how it is and when it comes to a hot topic she can nail it every time. Amy’s so many things; she’s a mum, she’s a feminist, she’s a shift worker, she’s an extremely talented writer, and yes, you’ve guessed it… she’s so inspiring!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Amy. I married my bestie, Carl, a few years ago and between us, we have 4 awesome kids. Our home is chaos and laughter and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our kids range from toddler to teen, which is interesting but has worked out great for us as the big kids dote on their little sister. My husband is a talented designer and artist and I’m a shift-working public servant.
I started writing a couple of years ago now, after co-organising a protest nurse-in that made headlines all over the place after TV host David Koch made some remarks against women breastfeeding in public. I’d always written snippets here and there but the success of the nurse-in and appearing on TV to debate Kochie made me realise I liked having a voice. Finding an article about the whole thing on a misogynistic website that called me the face of the Handbag Mafia sealed the deal. I had a name for my blog and commenced faffing around with it for ages until another blogger, Emma from Five Degrees of Chaos, coaxed me into getting more serious with it and answering all my noob questions so patiently, like “What’s a link-up?” and “What’s SEO?”.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I am skeptical, I am fun-loving and I am strong.
I am not intolerant, I am not a natural extrovert and I am not much good without coffee.
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
My husband! Not so much the getting married bit- to us, that was a formality and an excuse for a killer party. But definitely combining our lives changed my life. He is different to me in many ways and the same in others. He is more passive, yet has had much to fight for in the past. I learned how to lend my strength to someone else without fighting their battles for them. Combining our kids made us a real-life, modern-day Brady Bunch and that comes with it’s own challenges and was something I’d never even considered before meeting him.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
That survival leads to strength. You can lose someone through death, you can lose important relationships and you can feel totally alone and you can pull yourself through it. That might mean asking for help or taking time out or doing whatever it is you need to do to get through it but you can get through it and you will be stronger for it.
What is your biggest achievement?
At this point, I really don’t know. I feel like I’m supposed to say my children, but I really can’t claim them as my own achievement- they are very much a joint effort. My biggest achievement is probably getting my butt into gear and doing something with my writing. It’s probably not much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something.
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Without a doubt it was the loss of my mother. I felt like I was lost at sea for a long time. I literally drifted through my work, my life at home- everything. I wouldn’t even say I’ve overcome it. My Mum was my world- she was the glue that held my family together. My life changed dramatically when we lost her. I don’t think you can overcome that kind of hurdle, really. You just slowly make your way around it and learn to live with it.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
That’s a tough one. Some days I think my purpose is to be a great mum. Other, less glowing days, I’m sure I am here to learn to be more patient. In the past, going through hard times, I’ve been pretty sure my purpose is to demonstrate exactly how much crap a person can survive – dramatic, I know, but I did feel that way for a while. Some days I write something and think that’s my purpose- to write and add my voice to those starting or continuing important conversations. I think my purpose is all those things and probably others, as well!
What are your words to live by?
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard M. Baruch
Is there a more perfect way to say be yourself and haters be damned? I don’t think so!
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
That is a tough one – there have been some amazing people in the world so far. I’m going to say Stephen King. I love his work and the fact that it’s so diverse- so much more diverse than many people realise. He’s often pegged as a horror writer and he is that, but he’s also written some amazing fantasy stories with themes ranging from domestic violence to time travel and historical themes. He writes characters that are so complex and thorough that you feel you know them. Over all his work he has certain recurrent themes and symbols that tie them together and I love that. I’m not very good at fiction but I’d like a crack at it and who better to show you the tricks of the trade? My husband once designed a tee-shirt based on a Stephen King series combined with his favourite sports team. Not only did he buy one, he generously autographed one for us as well, which sits in prime position in our home, framed. I nearly keeled over when it arrived- total fan-girl moment!
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
Get a massage- I have a few back issues so pain relief and relaxation are super high on my list! Then it would be off to scour the op shops. It’s my not even a little bit guilty pleasure. This would be accompanied by a good takeaway coffee and followed by a lunch prepared by someone else. Bliss! There would probably be a long, hot bath that day. All by myself for a change. And a good book. And cake, before they all get home and make me share!
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
Not enough, if I’m honest. But I am working on changing that and improving my health by getting more active and eating well. One thing I do every 6-8 weeks is get together with my friends in our very exclusive club. We call it the Ladies’ Beer Appreciation Society. We get dressed up and head out to nice restaurants for good food and the appreciation of beer or wine or cocktails or whatever we fancy. It’s a nice night off for all of us- loads of laughs and something to look forward to.
Thank you for sharing, Amy.
Let inspire you a little bit more…
on the blog
and on twitter