I went out with my friend, Allan, last night. He's just returned to the States from 6 month assignment in Singapore. While in Singapore, he stopped over in Australia where he picked up a gift for me: a beautiful canvas bag with geometric designs and kangaroos in black, red, and yellow. And a t-shirt that says simply on the front: Rubgy Girl. I laughed out loud at the t-shirt, because it's true. I'll be wearing it with pride.
I don't play the sport of rugby; I live its principles. My friend, Alex, has told me, "Christa, you're the kind of person who is so nice and generous with such a good heart, but if someone crosses you or someone you love, you have no problem checking that person." It's totally true.
I've had to learn to be appropriately tough. My tolerance for whining is very low and my admiration of taking action in support of beliefs is high. I learned early on that I had to stand up for myself because I could never 100% count on someone else standing up for me. And I take it on as a personal responsibility to lend a voice to those who cannot or are fearful to stand up for themselves. In my family, if you didn't speak up with confidence, your concern didn't get heard. Hard lessons to learn as a child, and ones I am incredibly grateful for as an adult.