Losing someone you love is always hard, especially when they’re someone you admired. It’s been a year since my aunt passed away and I still find myself thinking of her often; she was one of the most enchanting storytellers I had the privilege of knowing.
My aunt’s passing is something I’m still coming to terms with, even though she lived a full life. I’ve reflected on this a great deal over the year, trying to understand why I’ve been so affected. I think much of the feelings stem from the fact that she was my first female mentor to pass away and she was a big mentor to lose. Ida was so many things that I aspire to be – creative, intelligent, humourous, thoughtful, tough. She accomplished a great deal as a writer despite coming up against so many obstacles. I’ll never forget her stories of auditioning for productions as an actress and losing opportunities because the director or stage manager learned she was married. She found a way to live a creative life in spite of this. In Ida’s words, “Women didn’t have many choices; I made mine.”
When I think of where I am now as a creative professional, I think of those differences. While there are still many obstacles for working women, there are also more opportunities. The torch has been passed on and it’s our responsibility as young people to seize opportunities and make opportunities when needed. As I take advantage of these opportunities, I like to think that one day I’ll be in the position to pave spaces for women and other underrepresented groups working in creative fields, just as Ida and others have done for me.