There are a lot of reasons for who I am today and how I got here, attributed to many people and experiences along the way. Some who may have only been in my life for a brief moment, but were there long enough to inspire me and those who had a significant impact on my life to lead me to where I am now. There is a time in our lives when we grow and make our own choices, and I think one of the most important things included in growing is to choose what we are passionate about and what path we want to follow. And that’s why many of us have role models to aspire to be like or to push us to be better than we view ourselves at times.
I was featured for my volunteer work in the Sexual Violence Center’s newsletter in January and had to answer some questions so people could get to know me better. One of those questions was “If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would that person be?” I am sure many have been asked or heard this question before, and for some it comes to mind immediately, for others (like me), it is a whole analytical process of what role model or interesting person I would really want to meet up with if I had the opportunity! I always thought meeting up with authors or poets of the greatest literary works (Dante, Shakespeare, etc.) would be amazing, but then again, wouldn’t it be amazing to sit down to dinner with Orlando Bloom?!?! As great as it would be to talk to authors, poets or my teenage actor crush, scientist Rosalind Franklin kept coming back to mind when I was debating what to answer for this question. And that’s who I chose.
Rosalind Franklin is a role model to me because she was a strong woman, who went against all odds of what her family wanted for her and what society said women could do… and she went on to make great contributions in science. If you aren’t familiar with Rosalind Franklin, she is best known for her contribution to the discovery of DNA’s structure, which was quite the competitive scientific race to see who would find it first. Politics, fame and glory play just as much of a role in science as they do many other parts of life. Her X-Ray diffraction images of DNA helped lead to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Watson and Crick, the two scientists who discovered DNA’s structure, only hinted to her contribution in a series of their articles that were published in Nature. In my view, she did not receive close to the amount of recognition she should have. Sadly, she passed away at 37 from cancer. Her story is quite interesting and I would highly recommend the biography on her life “The Dark Lady of DNA” by Brenda Maddox if this subject is your cup of tea.
I have always loved science, considered going into a science field and ended up being a science/tech writer because I also LOVE to write. My love for the sciences though has never faded and I even got involved in a chemistry research project my senior year of college dealing with the structural changes of molecules. So to read about and be inspired by someone like Rosalind Franklin is huge to who I am, what I’m passionate about and what I always strive to be. I am a huge believer in women’s rights, women in science and engineering, women being promoted into higher positions and positions of power. Right now, my focus is on my career and how I, whether through my job or career, can make the world a better place. I believe that having role models, or a particular role model, helps push me to be better and work harder towards my goals. And on another note related to Rosalind Franklin and my passion for fashion, she also really started exploring fashion more when she lived in Paris. If you read a biography, you can find out more about her time there and how she was inspired by fashion. But I guess who wouldn’t be inspired by fashion living in Paris?!?!? My favorite story of her related to her style was when she attended a dance in college and wore a short dress while all the other girls were wearing long, glamorous dresses. This just shows her personality and that she was determined to do what she wanted to and not just go along with the norms.
So who are your role models and why? Do they help push you to be who you want to be in life or in your career?