21 year old, Ruth, shares some of her wisdom and knowledge. A new mother, student and business woman, Ruth is an inspiration.
The photoshoot was a lengthy process but she did not complain. It was a privilege to watch her balance business and personal calls whilst caring for a 2 month old, in addition to staying model-like for the project.
Throughout the process, I saw Ruth’s confidence grow. What I admire most was the undeniable love she showed for Jeremiah, her son. A natural mother, I’m sure there are big things in her future, no matter where it takes her.
Keep slaying, Ruth. You rock!
Hi. My name is Ruth McKinley
I am beautiful.
I'm a student and I help out in the family business.
I am the mother of a perfect little boy, Jeremiah.
He's my blessing.
I love spending time with him. He's always content.
I want him to be like Jeremiah in the bible. It would be perfect if he was a little prophet. I hope that he is a well-behaved little boy. I don’t want him to shy away from anybody and I want him to be confident to talk up. I will tell him not to be scared or shy, because I’m certainly not.
The biggest thing that I’ve achieved in my life is becoming a mother. It’s even bigger than when I got into university.
It was the biggest surprise in the world to know that I got into univeristy. I went to every college in this area. You need certain things to get in but I just sent everything I had ever achieved and they said, ‘Yeah, come on in’. That shocked me.
I studied Sports Psychology and Coaching because I love sports. I dress like a girly girl but the whole idea of the coaching appeals to me. I also wanted to know what people are thinking when they are on the field.
I am the student that wakes up in the morning, I’ll look outside and if it’s rainy or snowy, then it’s like ‘Um um, today is not a college day, you know’. Or if I did get up for college, sometimes I’d just stroll in late. I always found distractions even though I wanted to be there to learn.
I’ve had to motivate myself a lot especially when I was at university. I had a song that was constantly in my head to keep me going. The song was, ‘I Just Can’t Give Up Now’ by Mary Mary. I sang it all the time and always posted it on Facebook.
I wasn’t willing to give up on my dream at all.
Getting into university was like, ‘Yeah, wow. I made it after all this messing around.’ It was amazing but to know that I’m a mother, that someone looks up to me and that I have to protect someone? I’ve already graduated that. That is my biggest achievement.
How am I going to motivate my son? I’ll tell him about my experience and how messing around didn’t help at all. I’ll tell him that he needs to not follow the crowd. There will be times when he can be with his friends but just do what he has to do. Get through each of those stages because at the end, he’ll have all of the time in the world to live and just enjoy life.
I’m not sure what I’d want my son to be when he’s older. I’d leave that to him. Whatever he wants, you know, do what he feels happiest with. If he changes his mind every minute, then so be it, because I have, thousands of times. He loves reggae music though. I feel like he’s going to be a big dancer.
Friends and family:
My friends and family reacted really well to my pregnancy. It was unexpected because I expected my parents to be angry, but they have had my back 100%. At first, Mum didn’t believe me at all when I told her about the pregnancy. She thought I was joking for a good few days.
I’m most close to my Mum. We’re forever laughing. I’m basically a mini her. We look alike. We act alike. I’m her from the past and probably her in the future.
Family means everything to me. Without family, I don’t think you’d even have friends. Your family are your first friends. From there, you get more friends, who become your family.
The most inspirational person I’ve come across would be my grandma. She was the most inspirational person I knew. When I was younger, my Grandma came to England and looked after me and my twin brother. She made a big impact. She was a great part of our lives, even when she was in Jamaica
When we heard that my Grandma was gone, it kinda struck us, like ‘Wow!’. She was massive in our lives whether she was here or in Jamaica. Even at my Grandma’s funeral, the sadness was there but there were no tears. It was more happiness that she was now resting.
Even though her passing away hit us when we first found out, it wasn’t until we got on the plane that our hearts just broke. When the plane was up in the sky for us to come home and we could see Jamaica, then, that’s when we just felt everything falling apart.
The whole family is not the same without my Grandma. She was the top, the roof, the shelter for everyone. I don’t remember anything my Grandma told me specifically, but I remember the impact she had on, not just my family’s lives, but other peoples’ too and the legacy she’s left behind. My grandma inspired me. She is unforgettable.
I’d say, my Mum has now taken over the role her Mum used to have. Even though she’s the youngest of her siblings, she’s taken on the role of looking after the entire family. My Mum is strong enough to look after everyone. She is one the of the biggest inspirations for me. She could do a man’s job, a woman’s job, everyones’ job all-in-one. She never complains, doesn’t sleep and walks around like a zombie, but you know, that’s Mum. She’s awesome!
When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a air hostess. That’s one dream that has never left my mind. I love wearing heels so I’d be the perfect air hostess. I like being on planes, so that explains my dream job.
I like to travel, whether it’s in a car on just a road trip or on a plane going somewhere nice. I love travelling around, abroad, in the country, anywhere, as long as I am moving around. Did I already say that!?
I hope I will be in my dream job in the next 5 years. Or living somewhere nice. Maybe married. Maybe. I actually don’t think I’d stay in the UK past the age of 30. In 50 years, I’ll be 71. Hopefully I’ll still be as fit as I can be and will be still enjoying life.
What makes me cry? Leaving people. Missing people. I get emotional out of the blue sometimes.
What makes me laugh? When I’m in a good crowd, I laugh continuously until tears come out. I get hot and the laughing is just too much.
I remember when I was in year 8, the supply teacher came into the classroom with an old-style overhead projector with the big arm. I don’t know why she was turning with it but it smacked me in my head and believe me, I was unconscious. I didn’t wake up for a long time. When I woke up, my dad was over my head. High school was the funniest!
What do I wish people knew about me? Hmmm.
I like shopping! I love food! Don’t mess with my food! Anything potato, I’m there. I always say ‘Imagine’. That’s it. That’s my catch-phrase. Imagine.
My life comes to mind when I think about the phrase ‘Because I’m happy’. Just everything about my life! I’m responsible for who I am today. 100%. Nobody said, ‘You have to be a certain way’ or anything like that. I’ve always just been guided like ‘This is right – this is wrong’. It’s up to me to make the right choices. I hope people see the real me. I’m as real as it comes, to be honest. I don’t change for anybody.
Advice to young people:
To the young girls especially, don’t follow your friends. Don’t follow what society says should happen at your age. Don’t always listen to what guys says to you. Listen to your own voice. Just be you!
Advice to the readers:
Imagine you can be anything in the world. Just be that! If you want to be a nurse, act like a nurse right now. Help everyone. If you want to be an artist, start drawing pictures now. Anything you want to be, be it from now! Don’t wait for the future. Do it in the present.
Just be you! Don’t be anybody else. You don’t want to have any regrets for the future. Enjoy being young.
The songs that keep me sane:
1) Smile For Me, Jamaica
2) All My Life
3) I Love the Pit Pit Patter of the Raindrops
4) Tis Love That Makes Us Happy
5) I’m a Big Deal
Thanks, Ruth. We think you're great! Thanks for sharing your story.