Welcome to Real Women Wednesday
It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s your weekly dose of RWW! I created this series to empower, inspire and connect women. Every Wednesday, I share an interview with a woman who I’ve connected with or admire.
I want this series to showcase the empathic, soft and powerful sides that every woman has. I want us to push the comparison, jealousy and girl hate to the side and just listen to these vulnerable words.
This week my Real Woman is Erin Moore.
I met Erin Moore when I was a young, lost 18-year-old attending college. Erin was my journalism teacher before she was a role model and mentor for me. I connected with Erin because of her raw authenticity in the classroom. She made me enjoy coming to school, even though I may have skipped a few of her classes from time to time. Sorry, Erin!
Erin cares and from the moment I met her, I knew she wore her heart on her sleeve. She’s had an incredible career, a notable education background in Sweden and her classic sophistication is something I admire about her.
I went from being a lost college student to becoming someone actively chasing my wildest dreams. I can thank Erin for pushing me and making me believe in my potential, capability and worth.
When my dad was in Nova Scotia, I took him to meet Erin and he cried and thanked her for being there to support my passion of sharing stories. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
I knew I wanted Erin to take part in this because she’s wise, her words are honest and her heart is big. She has a story I want to share and to come full circle is oddly remarkable.
Meet Erin Moore!
What words would you use to describe yourself?
Curious, empathetic, questioning, happy, adaptable, human.
What’s one thing that’s happened to you that has made you a stronger person?
I started teaching journalism at NSCC six years ago. Teaching journalism is very different than being a journalist and it was a difficult transition. All of a sudden I was working with 60 students who all had their own challenges, and I discovered that much more than needing me to teach them how to do an interview or how to report the news, they needed me to know them as complex individuals.
At first I had a wall up. A “professionalism” wall. Only when I got rid of that rigid barrier did I start becoming a better teacher. So in that way I got stronger by getting softer.
And of course my students teach me a lot too. It’s unbelievable what some people go through just to walk through my classroom door in the morning. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling job then being a small part of helping them find success. (Plus, I get to meet people like you Molly. I watched you truly transform in the program. Wow, and look at you now! Incredibly proud. Sorry-tangent!)
What does vulnerability mean to you?
It means opening my mouth and saying it all. Even things that are uncomfortable and difficult, knowing that I might be rejected but knowing that the pursuit of raw honesty is worth that risk because it’s so rare. Vulnerability happens when you stop hiding from yourself.
Have you ever felt discriminated against because you’re a woman? How did you overcome that?
I had a few difficult experiences with cameramen when I first started working as a journalist when I was 21. They were belittling, rude and condescending. I overcame it by standing up for myself and by becoming a video-journalist. That meant I did my own camerawork most of the time and didn’t have to depend on them.
How has becoming a mother changed your life? What’s the biggest lesson your son has taught you?
It changed my life by giving me roots. Before I had Oliver, I was nomadic. I lived in several different countries, France, Sweden, Ghana, and I was enjoying experiencing different cultures and learning about myself along the way.
Having Oliver made me want to be close to home again, closer to my parents, and live a less transient life. That said, we’ve moved 8 times in his 8 years, but mostly in the same city. Still a tad nomadic I guess, but firmly rooted in Nova Scotia.
My son has taught me a lot about acceptance. Children are very much their own people, and I love him for who he is, not for who I imagined he would be.
Compassion, communication, connection. I’ve spent a lot of my life chasing sparks, exciting moments and intriguing possibilities. I don’t regret that. I’ve had wonderful adventures that have literally taken me across the world in the name of love. But sparks can be superficial and for me, they’ve been fleeting. So now, instead of flying to another country, I want to come home and spill my guts to someone about my day and get the same back from them. It sounds mundane, but it’s a beautiful thing when you find it.
What is your favourite non-physical attribute about yourself?
Being able to make strangers feel comfortable enough to share their stories with me.
On a surface level- which is embarrassing to admit but very real for me- it means worrying about aging. Lines, wrinkles, grey hair. And what is happening to the skin under my neck, please?
In a deeper way, it means feeling connected to other women. I don’t have any biological sisters, but I have many sisters who I can talk to about the silly worries and the scary ones. Will our kids be ok? Will we become invisible as we age? Can we take care of aging parents and kids at the same time? Who will take care of us when we’re sick? What the hell is that menopause thing out there on the horizon? Being a woman means being proud and complicated and taking pride in all the complications.
What is one thing you feel your life is missing?
Nothing. I have a healthy child, wonderful parents (who are unshockable when it comes to me), a close and diverse group of friends, an amazing and challenging job, the ability to travel and a partner on this earth walk. Ok, more heat. I hate the winter, so I could use some more time under palm trees.
If you could give a piece of advice to women today. What would you say?
The same thing I tell my journalism students: Chose differently. Take risks. Make lots of mistakes and learn from them. Be kind and make your own story a good one.
Reading her answers made me cry. I cried because she’s such a humble woman with such a big heart and the type of woman, mother, and teacher I hope to be one day.
I want to say thank you to Erin for being a part of this series. You’re an incredibly important woman in my life who I look up to and having you answer these questions thoughtfully and support my passion means the world to me.
You can follow Erin’s journey as a journalism teacher, through her Twitter profile.
Are you wanting to read previous RWW posts? Catch up here.
If you’d like to be featured on Real Women Wednesday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on social media. My handle is @thebookofmolly.