This morning, I was served breakfast in bed (strawberries sprinkled with dairy-free chocolate) by my husband in celebration of International Women’s Day. I had not heard of or celebrated IWD before 2008 when Leo came into my world. Apparently, in other parts of the world (specifically from Leo’s experience in Brazil) this day is highly celebrated and women given flowers in the streets by strangers. Sounds delightful. Yet, despite never having recognized this day before, I have always been surrounded by friends and family who have made IWD an everyday occurrence for me.
You see, my parents never told me I could not achieve anything. My sister and I were not hampered by boundaries. We could be whatever we dreamed. There was no one who told us it had never been done before and therefore could not be achieved or our dream would be a challenge.
Last night, while watching the Oscar coverage and monitoring the online stream of chatter about the Hollywood prom night, I noticed several people commenting about the extraordinary win of Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director. Now that Bigelow had won the prestigious award, other women could now tell their daughters this dream was possible. When was it ever impossible?
This February, I was blessed with a second daughter. I will never tell either of my daughters they are hampered by their gender or race. They are individual human beings with equal rights and opportunity. They cannot expect to have doors opened to them based upon their gender, but due to their talents, discipline and dedication. They must blaze their own trails and not depend upon others to open doors that may be closed at present. They are in charge of their own destiny and how they execute their wills. I will encourage my daughters and other women to look to history as inspiration, but never as a limitation for what can and should be done. History is history. Blaze your own trail…live in the present.