Girls rule. Ever since I was little, I loved the phrase "girl power" and I used it all the time. I really like people (both women AND men) who aspire to inspire before they expire. I want to list the top ten women who have had the most positive impact on me. These are the women that I look up to.
10. Ke$ha. It bothers me when people say that all Ke$ha cares about is drinking and partying. There is so much more to her than that whether you want to believe it or not. She cares about people and thinks everyone should be treated with respect regardless of race, gender, sexuality, etc. She's an animal rights activist. She encourages people to unapologetically be themselves and break society's rules. She kinda does whatever she wants however she wants whenever she wants and gives the middle finger to anyone who has anything to say about it. She's strong, brave, and thinks life itself should be one big party.
9. Skylar Grey. The thing that I admire the most about Skylar Grey is that she blatantly refused to give up on the one and only thing she wanted the most. A music career. She was asked in an interview what she would rather do if she wasn't doing music and her response was "Die." The music industry sent her spiraling into depression at one point, and she still didn't throw in the towel. She took some time off, lived in seclusion, put her life and career into perspective, worked on making more music, and then she put herself back out there again. That one thing that was the main cause of her pain was the one thing that she fought for over and over again. She didn't have a plan B and refused to come up with one. I don't think that's stubborn. I admire people like that a lot. People who refuse to settle for anything less than that one thing that makes them happy---the one thing that makes sense. And Skylar has since worked with some major names in the music business and will be releasing an album soon. Persistence pays off.
8. Avril Lavigne. I've loved Avril since her "Sk8er Boi" days. She is such a unique artist and I love how she's not afraid to evolve, whether it be her look or her music. She's honest and true to herself. I remember that her record company tried to get her to go for a pop, dance kind of sound for her 4th album because that's what would sell. Avril refused. She fought to make a raw, stripped down, personal album because that was the kind of album that SHE wanted to make. And the album is amazing, by the way. I personally think raw, personal music is better than all the catchy pop songs you hear on the radio. WAY better.
7. Shannon Kaiser. As most of you may know, Shannon let me interview her awhile back. (http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/2011/10/finding-your-happy-shannon-kaiser.html) She seriously has no idea how much I admire her. We have both kind of been in the same boat as far as being in a position in life that made us uncomfortable and unhappy. And then we both pursued our real passion, which is writing. I think this is why I relate to her so much. And now she shares her story of how she pulled herself out of depression and found the courage and passion to go after what she really wanted. She genuinely wants to help other people do the same.
6. Rachael Ray. I watch Rachael's show half because watching people cook is strangely therapeutic and half because her enthusiasm is contagious. She's always smiling and laughing and dancing around. She's so full of love and life and just really seems like an incredible person. (And an incredible cook. Duh.) She inspires me because she's so NICE to everybody and because I can't help but be drawn to people who always have a smile on their face. She's adorable. The end.
5. Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen inspires me to not take life or myself too seriously. We both agree that the simple things in life are the greatest things in life. And if you're not smiling and laughing everyday, something isn't right. I love Ellen. I don't really see how it's humanly possible to NOT love her.
4. Keltie Colleen. This chick is amazing. Let's see...Dancer, blogger, author, fashion designer, entertainment news reporter, love & life guru, fashion guru, life enthusiast. I think that's about everything. Keltie never settles. She's always adding more things to her bucket list and she's passionate about inspiring other people to do the same. She has taught me a lot. She's so honest too. If she's having a crappy day, she's not afraid to say it. And when she's having a wonderful day, she passes her good mood on to others. She gives great advice too. And she's true to herself. Damn. I can't gush enough about Keltie.
3. Lori Deschene. Founder of http://tinybuddha.com/. The website that has gotten me out of so many ruts. I really relate to and feel inspired by Lori. She's so positive, honest, insightful, and kind. She genuinely cares about the Tiny Buddha community and couldn't care less about how many page views she gets or how many Twitter followers she has. She's grateful and honored for all of that, of course, but her main focus in running Tiny Buddha is to help people. I read some of her blog posts sometimes and think, "Has this chick been stalking my life and reading my journal?" I recently learned, thanks to her, that I'm not the only person who carries on conversations with myself in my head. She calls it "internal monologue." I was so pleased to hear that I'm not the only person who talks to myself in my mind.
2. Taylor Swift. I can't make a list of inspiring women without putting Taylor Swift on that list. Do I even really need to explain this one? I have learned so much about life, love, and myself just by listening to her music. She's so relevant. And she has accomplished so many incredible things and she's only one person. Like...Does she sleep? Oh right, she stays up writing songs at 3 in the morning. Nevermind. Taylor is brave, passionate, classy, humble, and loving. I am honestly just so proud of her and can't wait to see what she does next.
1. Christina Perri. I'll try not to stay here all day. Okay, so...a little over a year ago, my life was pointless. I woke up every single morning feeling like there was absolutely no reason for me to get up and face life. I was searching for happiness in all the wrong places, all the while failing to realize that it all starts with your attitude and your outlook on life and yourself. I don't remember exactly what it was that Christina said or exactly what it was that Christina did, but something changed one day. Something shifted. The bigger a fan I became, the more my life started to get better. I could write an essay on everything that Christina has taught me. When I was in a dark hole, she tossed me a rope. She didn't pull me out, but I was able to slowly and gradually pull MYSELF out. And I haven't been the same ever since. I know for a fact that Christina crossed my path for a reason. I had epic life realization after epic life realization just by reading her blog posts, hearing what she had to say in interviews, and listening to her music. I can't even begin to explain how she makes me feel about life and myself. This blog and all the positive messages I share on it would not exist if it wasn't for her. I wouldn't be happy again if it wasn't for her. I wouldn't have blocked out the voices of other people and started listening to my own inner voice if it wasn't for her. I hope I get to thank her in person one day.