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What Spoke to You in Fourth Grade – It Might Be Your Passion Today

October 25, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom, advice and inspiration for women and women entrepreneurs

As we approached the island on a beautiful old sailboat the once small statue kept growing in size and majesty. Her arm raised and her eyes in a steadfast stare. The metal cloak draped her frame and a brilliant light shone from the torch she was holding illuminating the way to freedom and peace. The setting sky behind her was blazing bittersweet orange, the perfect match to the green patina formed on her once copper surface.

The sight of her this summer reminded me of my 1974 Halloween costume because I wanted to imitate this great American treasure – the Statue of Liberty. In 1974, I was a fourth grader always raising my hand in class and saying “yes” to opportunities to go up to the chalk board, share my homework answer or lead a kick ball game as captain at recess. I was excited one October 31st to imitate this iconic woman.

The funny thing about growing older is fear can enter our lives stripping us of our innate sense of security. My cousins decided to watch “Planet of the Apes” one night and invited me to watch it with them. At the end of the movie, the Statue of Liberty was buried half way up her body in sand implicating the world’s end. That image scared me and I never looked at the Statue of Liberty without fear until this summer. In fact my postmaster used to laugh at me when I purchased stamps and told her I didn’t want any Statue of Liberty ones because I was scared of her.

As the September sailing cruise set forth on a balmy night in New York City with my two sons, now working in the Big Apple next to me, the boat started sailing towards this historic sculpture. I knew in that moment I had to embrace my unrealistic fear established in my formative years and stare right at her. What I found as I walked through the fear and glanced was her unexpected beauty and strength. Something I couldn’t understand when I was ten years old.

This glorious figure morphed before my eyes into a feminist figure of glory. Of course it made sense to me now forty years wiser that only a female could grace the entrance to our country creating a calm passage for immigrants and visitors. I had never seen her as a “mother” figure until she was illuminated at night with the warming hues of orange behind her. It wasn’t the statue that morphed but my perception of her. I wouldn’t have known in fourth grade the woman I would become today typing this blog post – a passionate, fierce supporter of all things women that has set the course of my life.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to have you drift back to your own fourth grade experience and remember the girl you were. Do you see her? Do you remember her? Is she really still in you doing surprising things with her life? What has remained the same about you and her? What has changed and why? Sometimes we need to recapture the essence of our spirit as witnessed in our younger self.

I will take this understanding forward on Saturday when I address a special group of Girl Scouts who have done amazing work to warrant the highest honors. I will tell them to never let go of who they are right now as they develop into intelligent, passionate women with a life purpose. I say the same thing to you in this moment – live your purpose. Take that girl inside of you by the hand and move onward together.

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