It feels weird to say this, but I'm really proud of you. Thank for being everything everyone needs to witness right now. You inspire confidence and strength.
A young Girl Scout rung my parents' doorbell last night selling cookies and I heard my dad's voice light up when he opened the door to see who it was. And then I lit up. You see, I was a Girl Scout. So when my parents continue to buy Girl Scout cookies each year, I know it goes beyond nostalgia, beyond succumbing to gluttony over calories we most certainly do not need, and beyond sort of "returning the favor" for remembering all those who supported.
Each year my parents continue to support the dreams of girls in our community, because they know how important Girl Scouts was for me. Being in Girl Scouts gave me lifelong friends--sisters, really. It taught me how to be a leader, to do great things that strengthen our community, and always give back to the community. Perhaps I was just lucky, but it was also one of the few places I knew I could always be myself. Looking back and realizing that, that was probably one of the most important things I could have growing up--is the knowledge and security that I am my own person and I can be my own person.
I was really upset when a friend of mine in university called out the capitalist nature of Girl Scout cookies, and ranted about how we shouldn't buy Girl Scout cookies, because most of the money doesn't even go to the individual troops--which is true. Most of the revenue goes back the larger Girl Scouts of America organization. I remember seeing the break down of what percentage went where and whether or not it is right or wrong is irrelevant.
What matters is that that girl selling the cookies reaps rewards beyond revenue and buying Girl Scouts cookies really comes down to the intangible support you give that girl. When you buy cookies from her, you give her courage, you give her encouragement, you show her that her hard work will allow her to realize her dreams. She learns that sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. You also show her that she is part of a community--a community that supports her dreams and aspirations.
When we give our girls the chance to be great leaders, they become great leaders.
Remember that this Girl Scout cookie season, and every Girl Scout cookie season. No matter how ridiculous inflation continues to raise the price on this great American tradition, remember that when you buy cookies from a Girl Scout you're doing a lot more for that little girl, and hopefully one day she'll realize that, too.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I remember a woman talking about her mother once, and how she always viewed her mother as weak. She always wanted to be like her dad, a big business man carrying a briefcase full of important documents. It would be horrible to be like her mom. What did she do? While dad was busy on the phone discussing important business related things, what was mom doing—she was just in the kitchen making sandwiches for everyone. While dad was busy traveling for work, what was mom doing—she was just shuffling the kids around between home and school and extracurricular activities.
Then she went on to say that one day she asked her mother why she never wanted a career of her own? Her mother was originally from Scotland, and grew up very poor. Her mother also grew up in a time when tuberculosis was widespread throughout Scotland, and many people contracted it. As such, her mother was also affected by it, and in particular, she contracted it in her fallopian tubes. This meant she could not have children. Eventually, her mother immigrated to Australia, found work, met and married her father, and when they decided to have children, though she wanted more than anything to have her own career, they made the decision that it would be best for her to stay home to be available to their children’s needs. Since her mother could not bear children, this woman and her siblings are all adopted. So, the woman she thought of as weak all these years, gave up her career to love and care for children she never had to love or care for.
Suddenly, she realized she never knew the woman she called “mom.” Had she never asked her mother, her mother would have passed on and she would have one day gone to the funeral of a woman she pitied.
I was thinking about this story this week, as Mother's Day in the U.S. is today; and as I get older, I have all these questions I want to ask my mom
Like this Australian woman’s family, in my family my dad was always the busy business man and my mother, though she was not a stay-at-home mom, worked a more "under valued" career path. My mother immigrated to the United States with my father, not knowing much English. In her native Taiwan she had gone to university and was in fact on a very different career path; but coming to this country not knowing the language, altered her job choices. So, for the entirety of my life and most of her life, my mom worked in our local post office, and still does.
I always admired her work ethic, and knew she made a great impact in her office as well as with her customers, so I’ve always been very proud of her. People respect her, and they adore her. On career day in elementary school, my brother and I even wore her uniform to school. I admit though, when people used to ask me what my parents do, I very confidently told them what my dad does (to the extent that I understand what he does), but when I got to telling them what my mother does, I admitI felt a bit self-conscious. Would they think less of her or less of me, because she’s not someone “more important”? She’s not a doctor or a business owner, or an executive at a large company. When I realized this is silly for me to be self-conscious about where my mom works, I started talking about how wonderful she is at her job, and what an impact she has on our community. There's a bit of a small-town charm to her job, because she sees my friends and their parents all the time, and that’s fun—but this “charm” about her job is actually a big statement to the charm of her as a person. My mother is a personable, big-hearted woman, and does not take crap from anyone. She is her own woman, independent, courageous, and full of love. People who meet her, love her.
So, lately I've been thinking a lot about how to show my mom more appreciation for all the love and inspiration she provided and continues to provide.
I always look fondly on my childhood, because I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to be a young mother with 2 young children, trying to keep everything together while my dad was mostly out of the house, traveling overseas for business. She didn’t just keep things together though, there were countless trips to Disneyland, to visit my cousins, roadtrips—my childhood was a constant adventure. My dad always reminds us of this, and reminds us to appreciate her because of this. I honestly do not know how she did it, but I hope I can be as a wonderful a mother as her one day.
We think we know someone, until we really find out who they are. Mom and dad are mom and dad until we discover that mom and dad is a pseudonym for superheroes. I've always looked to my dad to show me the ways of the world, and to be the ambitious, ever curious woman that I am; but my mom is my hero, because she exemplifies strength.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Sony Has Let Down All Its Female Artists - It's Time To Demand Of The Entertainment Industry What We've Been Demanding of the NFL
I've not been Kesha's most devout musical fan, so admittedly, I didn't realize what she has been going through and pursuing since 2014, until her request for an injunction was denied on Friday, and then I became one of her biggest supporters, because it's not just about her. It's about every woman in the industry who has been through what she has been through and every woman who will go through it. The denial of this injunction basically allows plenty of men to let out a sigh of relief because they can use the "she's like a little sister" excuse to get away with inappropriate behaviour. They can go back to touching your leg and grabbing your waist while trying to reach for lower, and chalk it up to "brotherly love." Labels and other companies can go back to pretending this issue doesn't exist or isn't a big deal, and they don't have to worry about losing out on their "investments."
The other day, Emma Watson announced she'd be taking a year off from acting to focus on her personal growth and do more in her work to support and fight for gender equality around the world. You go girl. Emma is the kind of celebrity role model our girls need today. This break she's taking sends an incredible message to them.
As girls, many of us are raised to always please others and it's part of our nature to always care for others and think of others, often times before ourselves. The fact that she's taking time for her own personal growth, which includes reading a book a week and doing more yoga, sets an example of how important it is to take care of ourselves. What we can do for others starts with what we can do for ourselves. More importantly, she's taking care of her body and mind.
The work she does with the UN and He for She is also incredibly powerful, because I assume she has many fans like myself--those who have loved her since she entered our lives as Hermoine Granger, and continue to admire her intelligence, grace, and beauty. We need more women like Emma, who are making feminists around the world look good. I mean, let's face it. Often times, people hear the word "feminist" or "feminism" and they almost fear it, because it carries some negative connotation. There's always got to be someone who takes it too far and kills it for the rest of us right? Well, women like Emma are shining the proper light back on to feminism as a fight for equality, which should have never had to be a fight in the first place, but it takes time to undo hundreds and thousands of years of social norms.
Miss. Emma Watson, you are a beautiful soul, and I wish you an incredible year of personal growth, because that growth can only mean a ripple effect of goodness to be spread around the world.
BIG LOVE & HUGS