2. My hero is Helen Sharman but you already knew that as I wrote about her before. She's often referred to as the first British woman in space, but she's actually the only British person to go into space (2 British men have also travelled into space, but not before gaining US citizenship).
She's also the only person ever to travel from Mars to Space. Mars Confectionary that is - before becoming an astronaut she invented new flavours of chocolate! Gareth
3. My Role Model, and yes teenage crush, is none other than Keanu Reeves. His name means Breeze over the mountain tops. Yes you can make that sound dirty if you want to (you really have to like him to try) but I love Keanu because he taught me some good lessons in life. 1) If you want something - go for it! He was young, dyslexic and pretty - he wanted to act and he went for it! Yes, that vacant look and deep, monotone voice...well that doesn't sound like the makings of an expressive versatility of a budding actor. But fear not! Keanu, be he teenage head-banger, saviour of the human race or chocolate selling nice guy - he'll act his gosh darn never changing socks for you. 2) Don't let the haters get you down. Oh you think he's shit? He doesn't care - he's just gonna go on an make another movie. In yer face! I love him in EVERYTHING I see him in. And most of all 3) I have learnt from Keanu that if you try try try you can make you dreams come true! I know he's actually been through the mill a bit in his personal life but he still ploughs on, that Oscar just around the corner - you mark my words! Godspeed Keanu Reeves, my hero! Squeamish Nicola
4. I have a couple of role models that I would like to try to emulate. But the one I like to refer to most when I have a What Would So and So Do? moment is a cartoon character. I think I have picked someone who isn't real, like the Ms. choice of Wonder Woman because that way they can't let you down, they can't fade or disappoint or turn out to have been mean to your other personal heroes. I love women who have been pioneers, who have broken the mould and had complete conviction in their talents. But sometimes a tiny bit of vulnerability helps me to identify a little more, in order to imitate my other heroes I need to move to Paris, rent a room in the Latin Quarter, speak French and like Pernod. However, an unpopular girl in high school with one friend, a hopeless crush and ideas her peers don't care about? That is someone I can relate to. (Maybe minus the friend.) It might be a little sad to wonder what a fictional 17 year old would do in some situations. But when I'm struggling to stick to my guns Daria Morgendorffer's ability to put people in their place with a pithy line and live by her own standards helps me keep on truckin'. Squeamish Kate
5. Can I take a pick'n'mix approach to role models? I've been racking my brains about this one all week. There are a lot of people I admire, just not any I particularly think of as role models - mostly because I think of a role model as being someone who, well, models a role that you do or hope to fulfill one day. I know some amazing people who I aspire to be like in certain parts of my life - activists, travellers, academics, writers - and others who I take inspiration from in other ways - but we tend to be so different in other respects that I see them as inspiring people, not role models. I might want to write like them, or talk like them or have their approach to honesty or ability to calm down a situation, but I don't want their lives.
Maybe I should find a role model who isn't an all-or-nothing thinker. Squeamish Louise