“Make it Happen!” In this Slice of Life, for Day 8 in recognition of International Women’s Day my focus will be on my daughter and the woman I can envision her becoming. This is not yet something she can see, and I in no way want to rush her teenagers years (though it is tempting) but I want her to know her value and to have the confidence to become whatever it is she wants in her life. I want her to gain confidence, maintain her curiosity and follow her passions.
Sarah is a born leader, never a follower. She is fierce, independent and curious. She is a divergent thinker, always looking for ways to solve problems. Sarah has a strong belief system, and holds herself and others to these standards. She is the girl that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO spoke to when she initiated her “Ban Bossy” campaign. Girls who were called bossy like Sheryl was when she was in 9th grade are the girls she is speaking for. In fact these skills serve Sheryl well as a leader and she wants to eliminate the word “Bossy” not only because it is hurtful, but because it sends a message that sounds like “don’t speak up, don’t raise your hand.” This leads to lack of confidence and when this happens from elementary through those high school years, it can cause self-esteem to drop 3.5 times more for girls than boys.
For my daughter Sarah, there are so many paths that she may take as she grows up. There are so many possibilities that I can see for her. Sarah, since she learned to speak, presented her arguments like a lawyer. Sarah who we call Sarah Bernhardt, for her acting skills. Sarah, an artist who can spend hours drawing displaying such amazing talent. Sarah who plays her guitar and sings along with such raw emotion. Sarah who writes song lyrics, collects quotes, and loves to write stories. Sarah who loves science, imagines herself as a scientist or studying astronomy and seeing the world through telescopes. Sarah who loves children and learning, most recently spoke of wanting to be a teacher. I do not know where her journey will take her, but I do know she is a powerful force with passion and once she finds her way, look out!
Sarah is a leader, a divergent thinker, strong willed and not afraid to speak her mind, all the qualities that a woman in leadership needs. Although I am not rushing her teenage years I am looking forward to all that she will become. I am also going to celebrate for my daughter the process in getting to these places. The journey in learning, not only in the formal education or preparation programs, but the journey in learning about oneself as we grow. These teenage years are quite challenging and offer little opportunity for reflection and growth. In fact these teenage years have the potential to tear you down and make you set aside who you really are almost to the point you forget. I do not want my daughter to forget, I want her to celebrate her strengths and enjoy the journey.
In this video, Peter Reynolds says to his daughter, “Your art delights me. Your dancing makes me smile. Your words dazzle me. Your ideas surprise me. Your kindness inspires me.” These are the very words I would like to share with my daughter today, on International Women’s Day. Follow your passions, stay curious and love life. It is yours to make happen.