My mother doesn't take shit from anybody. She is kickarse in all the ways available. She is an empowered and balanced and amazing woman. If she weren't my mother already, I would wish that she were. Probably. No offense to my other, hypothetical mother. As far as role models go, she is the cream of the crop. She is a woman doing things in multiple STEM fields, being a caring and supportive mother and grandmother, and looking young and hot always.

When I was in my late teens, I went to Sydney to search for the person I loved. I had had my heart broken and I cradled its pieces in my carry-on luggage and we went to look for a new start together. In the first weeks I was there, I shared a bedroom with a friend of a friend, in his parents' house. It was a ways up the North Shore, and I slept on the train in a way I hoped was adorable and would attract suitable men or women. In the evenings I bought a bit of deep-fried chicken and bacon in pastry, and once a week we went to the RSL for dinner and trivia. I was never certain whether we were romantically involved, but I slept on his floor and he didn't wear a shirt to bed, and after three weeks he bought me a necklace.