I wish I had a talisman, a lucky rabbit’s foot or some trinket to bring me luck. This charm would bring me good fortune beyond my wildest dreams.
Sadly, I have not found this jewel. What I’ve achieved I’ve done through hard work, perseverance and unfailing determination. I’ve pressed on past paralyzing fear. I’ve persisted when I felt the world was against me. I’ve carried on in spite of crippling self-doubt.
And by doing this I’ve found that perhaps I’m my own talisman.
I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed possible, and some goals once believed impossible are beginning to come to fruition. I’m starting to realize that even now I still can’t comprehend what I’m capable of. I’ve gone from debilitating self-loathing to being an inspiration to friends who seemed to have it all figured out. I have grown from weakness to strength, from fear to courage, from doubt to certainty.
I’ve found love, compassion, strength, courage, faith, pride, dignity, optimism, loyalty, passion, empathy, awareness, understanding, resourcefulness, inspiration and so much more.
I want my kids to know this feeling. I want them to know that they can do and be literally whoever they choose. As a single mother, I want them to know that there is nothing wrong with a girl or woman being strong and independent. I want them to know that their thoughts are their only limitation, and that they have control over this as well.
Unfortunately they’re faced with competing messages. Messages from their dad, stepmother, friends, the media and even school that tell them there is only one right path, that girls are somehow “less than” or that they need to think realistically. How can I ask my girls to believe me, their single mom, the one who is alone, the one who is different? Everyone else is telling them to follow the herd, believe what others believe, think how others think. I am the one telling them that not only is it okay to be different, it is imperative to be different.
Only by thinking differently from the “norm” can we achieve better than what is considered “normal”…and I want so much more for them than “normal.” But middle school kids have a desire, or even a need, to fit in with their peers. It takes amazing strength to choose to be unlike their friends. At an age when most parents are just praying their kids don’t succumb to peer pressure I’m encouraging mine to actively choose to be different from the rest. Perhaps it is unfair of me to ask this of them.
And so, I guess, what I really want is a talisman for them. A magic feather like Dumbo had, to give them confidence to fly, to let them believe they can be so much more.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Talisman
Photo by Jenelle Ball on Unsplash