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Inspiring Women February 2023

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profile<br />

A Life Spent Not Fitting<br />

Into the Behaving-Likea-Lady<br />

Stereotype<br />

Melissa Meyer Mash, a member of the AW Surrey International <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Group, has lived following her mother’s example of not worrying about<br />

being different.<br />

Melissa Mash<br />

I<br />

grew up in Milltown, New Jersey. My<br />

mom and dad found our lakeside<br />

property while on a bike ride. They stopped<br />

and talked to the farmer who was selling his<br />

land. Dad built the place by himself and the end<br />

product was a pink house with three differently<br />

angled roofs. Certainly different from the others<br />

on the block! I never had to go further than the<br />

end of our sidewalk to find friends and fun.<br />

My mom liked to be different<br />

My mom was always a trend setter. When<br />

other kids had Christmas trees with lights and<br />

baubles, we had trees with doves and cardinals<br />

or candles and gold bows. One time we had a<br />

Hawaiian theme at school so I asked to borrow<br />

my mom’s seashell bracelet. She told me to wear<br />

it on my ankle instead of my wrist. It made a<br />

wonderful sound as the shells clinked together<br />

and I was egged on by my classmates to get up<br />

on the table of the library and do a dance, which<br />

I did. I ended up in the principal’s office. Mom<br />

was secretly amused and told me to never worry<br />

about being different<br />

How come I live in Surrey?<br />

It’s quite simple to explain how I ended up living<br />

in Godalming, Surrey: I met a handsome Brit<br />

and moving to England with him seemed to be<br />

quite an adventure, which, in fact, has proven to<br />

be true!<br />

Melissa doing a<br />

preflight check<br />

on her Cessna<br />

182.<br />

A different<br />

kind of flying!<br />

48 INSPIRING WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN 49

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