I recently came across a campaign launched, several months ago, by a cosmetic company. The central message is that today’s girls and women have more than one side to them and that is what makes them unique as individuals. There is no need to choose sides to define who you are! It is ok to have antonyms describe you. For example, shy and bold, cautious and goal setter, raw and refined. It is even permissible to have 2 polar opposite concepts. An example would include polished nails and a polished mind. Today’s girls need this message. How often do we see girls stopping a hobby, or losing interest in something, as they get older because it is not a girl thing to do? Perhaps, girls would hold onto these early hobbies, or venture into other new territories, knowing this is not the only way to define themselves.
The same holds true as we get older. Many choose to label themselves with one title which, in most cases, is an occupation. If that is the correct way we are doing such an injustice. Choosing to write your “and” story is such a great reflection tool. You will learn so much about yourself and since you are not constrained by one title, it will feel joyful and satisfying as well. It is as if the clock, in a timed exam room, is absent and you have as long as you want? Who knew the word “and”, along with the symbol, had so much power? We are strong women of the 21st century. Embrace your own “and” story and shine like you should.
Recognizing we each have and “and” story is similar to the idea of a quilt being made up of various squares. If we only hold a single loose square, we do not have the entire beauty, joy, and warmth of the quilt. A single label, again, does not define us. The “and” story could be the greatest story you have ever written and read. Your “and” story could encourage and provide support to others. Never underestimate the power within you.
My “and” story includes many titles that I am proud of in my life. Alone they do not define me, but listed together they provide a more accurate picture of ME! Loving and caring wife, mother, daughter,sister, and friend. Loyal and protective. It would also include avid reader, writer, blogger, and life long learner. Finally my “and” story would have health conscious motivator and dedicated educator.
Please reflect on your own “and” story and the power it holds. Do not hesitate to be proud of it and share with others. When you do, the benefits cannot be measured. They are numerous AND beautiful.
Feel free to share your “and” story in the comments.