do you take amelia as a role model? why/why not?
i absolutely do. amelia has had her fair share of mistakes & failures –– some of them small, many of them huge –– but the beautiful thing about her is that she never gives in or gives up. even when she thinks she might finally have crossed that line into unforgivable territory, she doesn’t stop trying to find redemption, maybe even happiness.
i think it’s easy to look at her, or really anyone in life, & see the bad they’ve done or the faults they have. it’s easy to say ‘she’s a drug addict, so she’s a terrible role model,’ maybe she’s a bit selfish at times, acts out, doesn’t know how to always control her emotions. she runs away. she’s indecisive in her personal life & too egotistical in her professional one. but you have to also look at their strengths & successes.
she’s fallen off the wagon four times, but she’s pulled herself back up every time. she’s been through rehab & a.a. she works in a building full of pills every day, but finds that fortitude to stay sober or to bring herself back from the brink of total annihilation. && especially after all she’s been through, every loss she’s suffered & all that pain, it would be so easy just to let herself self-destruct. but she doesn’t. she comes back. she fights. she works the steps. she does everything she can to make amends & move on. take it from someone who’s been there, it’s an amazing feat in & of itself, just to keep living & stay sober when it seems so, so much easier & even more appealing just to let yourself crash & burn. i know i’m far from the only one who’s found inspiration in her resilience.
she’s selfish sometimes & spends a lot of time in her own head, thinking about how things affect her, but she has great respect for self-care ( which everyone needs, especially when in recovery ). she looks out for herself because, honestly, no one else will. && she also has many moments of strong selflessness & is extremely loyal to people she loves, always being there for friends like addie ( offering to be her surrogate, actively being there for her after bizzy’s death, offering emotional support on numerous occasions, etc. ), charlotte ( going to meetings with her, trying to relate to her & treat her normally to help her move on after her attack, diving all in for maid of honor duty at her wedding, etc. ) & even meredith ( taking care of her house while she was gone, looking after her kids when she was home, trying to step into the void left by her brother, both when he went to d.c. & when he died, even when she’s pushed her away ). hell, she even tried to quietly be there for violet after pete died by making sure there was always someone there for her, that she would never have to feel alone or forgotten, even after everyone else had moved on. she sees these bits of herself in others & she tries to lessen their pain the way few have ever done for her.
she acts out, but she apologizes when she does wrong –– see 11x19, when she admits callie was right without hesitation to save their patient, or 12x01, when she’s the first to apologize to meredith after their morning fight, or 12x04 when she apologizes to steph for not believing her, or 12x09, when despite what they’ve been through, she tries ( albeit awkwardly ) to make amends with meredith, or pp 5x09, when she gives a desperate speech of apology & not only says it, but acts on trying to rebuild those friendships for several episodes after. as evidenced by her speech to arizona, she also knows that apologies can’t be forced, they must be lived. it’s up to the other person to decide whether they want to forgive you. these are only a few examples to say she knows not only how to say she’s sorry, but to mean it.
&& sure, she’s indecisive in her personal life & perhaps too self-confident in her professional one. both have gotten her into trouble, caused her to run away or panic. but when she realizes her mistakes, she accepts them & does her best to fix them. she powers through the overwhelm & anxiety to do what she must, & think of all the lives she’s saved in the process. it’s a distinct human trait, & she learns from her past to make herself both a better surgeon & a better person. i’d also like to add that she looks for opportunities to grow & asks questions to become a better person –– see 12x07, when she tries to better understand white privilege & every day racism ( also just listen to maggie’s incredible speech ) so she can become better at checking herself, instead of perpetuating it, no matter how accidentally it might be.
amelia shepherd is a deeply flawed character, absolutely, but she wouldn’t be interesting if she wasn’t. she wouldn’t be relatable. she wouldn’t be human. && despite being fictional, she still is that: human. she will never be perfect, but no one ever is. we all make mistakes & do things we will later regret. it’s how we learn from them & how we move on & grow that makes us worthy of being role models or inspirations. she is not defined by her faults, but rather by the strengths that coincide, just as everyone should be. && so if you ask me, she is an amazing role model.