If there was ever a person who possessed the qualities described above it is Lidia Szczepanowski, Esq., Model Citizen’s 2021 Woman of the Year. She inspires and brings hope to others the way a beacon of light guides ships at night. Lidia exemplifies the real-life embodiment of the words success, independence, entrepreneurship, and glamour and she does so with humility, integrity, and passion. Lidia acquired a plethora of knowledge over the years as a litigation and business development attorney, business strategist, entrepreneur, black belt in karate, and international spokesmodel. More importantly, despite her extraordinarily busy schedule, she has always been most passionate about “giving back” through proactive “hands-on” participation in philanthropy and philanthropic activities.
MARGREIT MCINNIS FALL INTO FRIENDSHIP
This month, as we begin the Fall season, I am reflecting upon my relationships, specifically the friendships I have built over my lifetime and certainly those I have been lucky enough to form in the last year or so. When we are young, our peers help us learn how to play, how to behave in groups and most importantly, little by little, how to be trustworthy and how to trust others. Trust is an essential and defining element of any relationship. Without it, there is not much substance, not for me anyway. I can chuckle a little as I write this because for some reason, when I think of my early years and adolescence and the concept of trust, there seems to be a lot of memories of boys throwing sand at me in the sandbox, pushing me into pools or chasing me down a rocky beach. I’m sure I am not the only one with these recollections of childhood. Tell me, were you the pusher or the pushee?
All fun and games aside, let’s get back to the subject at hand. Why do I feel that friendships are an integral part of my ever-evolving self? Because I have learned so much from them throughout my lifetime, especially from those mistakes and missteps as a young and maturing human. Perhaps there was a time that I threw the sand? Of course, I have plenty of moments I wish I could reframe or redo. But really, I shouldn’t, right? Because all those moments have helped me become a better person, friend, partner and most important of all, a better mother.
I find as I spend time on social media and in the digital world that there is such a mix of messaging. We humans have a gift to be kind and wonderful to each other, or in quite a contrast, to be cruel and unforgiving. But we all have a choice, don’t we? We can allow that negativity, like a pollution of the soul, to penetrate our daily lives, or we can rise up and above all that. This is the most valuable addition to my psyche in the last year. Recognizing the importance of surrounding myself with people who lift me up and encourage my success both personally and professionally. I’m not sure I can explain why it seemed to take me so long to make this a focus, but I can say that this new epiphany has been like having a wave of optimism wash over my life. It has been wonderful in the most positive of ways. I feel like I can take on the world, and I have the amazing and talented family and friends in my life to thank for that.