Me and the Word “No”

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On a recent phone interview for a book feature, I was asked by the author about how I developed a healthy relationship with the word “No”.

Now if you know anything about me, you’d know this relationship has gone from frosty to cordial over a long period of time. And I can’t say it’s in the pink of health. So as I pondered my answer to the question, I was reminded of my paternal grandmother, Estelita Imson.

My wonderful wonder grandmother Estelita Imson, who recently turned a fab 88.

My wonderful wonder grandmother Estelita Imson, who recently turned a fab 88.

You see my relationship with the word “No” was defined indirectly by a fundamental trait of mine.

I find it extremely hard to give up. Period. Good and sometimes bad.

Whether it be conquering my fear of talking to people or curbing my urge to walk away from difficult people; whether it be finding the strength to fail forward or to pushing the limits to fly upward; whether it be about fighting a good fight of faith or fighting to keep the faith.

It’s very difficult for me to give up on people, on plans, on myself.

And that’s because I grew up watching my grandmother keep on keeping on regardless of the odds stacked up against her. Orphaned at a very young age, she was passed around relatives who provided bare necessities that excluded an education. But she was such a hardworking girl that people loved having her around. She could’ve remained this way all her life and the world would’ve just said, “c’est la vie”.

But hers was a different constitution. She was a dreamer. She was a doer. And she didn’t know how to give up.

From peddling a few boxes of shoes taken on consignment in her town’s public market, she created something out of nothing and saved, borrowed, talked her way to owning her very own shoe store. The odds were there, but not knowing how to give up meant not buckling down from the weight of those odds. Even when she had to raise 10 children  and 4 grandchildren along with running the business. Even when a Japanese bayonet was pointed to her with her newborn son in her arms. Even when two fires ravaged the market. Even when people preferred to buy shoes from the department store instead of the public market and sales dwindled. Even when she almost died from a cerebral aneurysm. Even after she lost the love of her life after over 60 years of marriage, friendship and companionship.

I don’t give up easily because I have an extraordinary woman in my life who never did.

As we mark International Women’s Day, let’s take time to honor the women in our lives who’ve shown us the way, selflessly, quietly, courageously, unceasingly. We wouldn’t be who we are today without them.

My 2 granddaughters are next in line to be inspired by my grandmother! That'll make for 5 generations if wonder women, and counting. :-)

My 2 granddaughters are next in line to be inspired by my grandmother! That’ll make for 5 generations of wonder women, and counting. :)

And let’s decide to be an intentional role model to other women, who are waiting to be inspired and instructed by us.

Be fearless, be limitless, doubtless.
Be bigger, bolder, better.
Be yourself, and be the best YOU ever.

Mama, thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me how to never accept “No” for an answer. For teaching me how to be a good homemaker and provider. And for my lifelong love for shoes!

Loving life, living love.

Loving life, living love.

I honor you, I celebrate you, I applaud you. I love you forever!

“Fight a good fight of faith.”

 

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8 Comments

  1. Michelle Yamamoto
    Dec 21, 2013

    WoW…Donna, this is absolutely a very touching story and one I can relate to on many levels. I too, am a single mom and pursuit of building in this industry. Much is to be said about how we are influenced by the generational truths and beliefs that occur in our family lineage. It is magnified and shows up when we are adults. I am going to do everything possible to break through my circumstances and see you live in Dallas in March for ANMP, I have never attended that.
    You are a blessed, looking forward to meeting you soon!
    Michelle

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    • Donna Imson
      Dec 23, 2013

      Thank you for your lovely words, Michelle! Here’s hoping our paths cross soon. :-)

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  2. Gigi Bondoc
    Jan 13, 2014

    Dear Donna,

    I didn’t read your beautiful write up about Mama until today. It is a tribute and an inspiring one for a wonderful lady who has cared for and continue to love all of us. Thank you Donna, Congratulations and more power to you as you motivate the world!

    Love always,

    Tita Gigi

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  3. Abir
    May 15, 2017

    I have not been answered and no one has helped me to process the application for support service and others since 14 days. As before, no one cared when the purchase was made. The answer was that they tried to contact me. It took a lot of time and then I was told I could not process the order Q net Do you allow me to do this?
    I have not been wrong about the policy of the company or the contract agreed upon, but negligence and lack of interest and will not exaggerate if you say it is a fraud
    All data were sent to complete the process and I did not see any result
    Please speed the processing because I can no longer bear all this delay and the problems increase and things get worse
    ID/ hg908294
    TELL/ 00201120519557
    E MAIL / sonamohamed61130@gmail.com

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    • Donna Imson
      May 15, 2017

      Hi Abir! I”m sorry but I’m not in the position to process your complaint so I will have to refer you to QNET’s Global Support Centre. Please call them at +603 7949 8288 (All languages) or email them at global.support@qnet.net

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