I was once asked to describe myself the way other people likely see me. Yesterday, I was asked, “How would you describe your childhood?” Do you want the sanitized version, the Op-Ed piece or the diplomatic dossier? My instant response yesterday was lonely. There was just enough age between my next older sister and I for me to be an annoying little sister. I was too young to tag along and because of that one of my most powerful memories with “D” was driving up US1 in her little baby blue Toyota from the waterslide park in Homestead listening to Debbie Harry sing Call Me on the radio. My memories of C, who is seven years my senior are usually her and her uber cool high school girlfriends: Jessie and Christy.
But, I spent much of my time alone. Certainly, there was a gaggle of kids on the block but once (by best friend next door)moved to The Crossings when I was in 4th grade, I was the only girl in my peer group. Being the “token” boy in my family was a compounding factor. There was some perception of injustice that my father had no sons, especially when all his girls were so smart. It was as if the intelligence was squandered on us. How ironic when the three of us turned out as we have and are as unique and individually successful despite our gender. But irregardless of which narrative of my self-perception I present, my gender rarely feels like a factor for me. Actually, it has usually registered as a probable liability. Until now.
There is something tremendous in the female form. Sharon Stone is on the cover of one recent magazine with the subtitle “The Body Issue”. I sat flipping through it while C plunked down a few bills on clothes from Chico’s. I realized, women have HALF the power, yet somewhere we got convinced we either didn’t or shouldn’t. The truly fascinating result is that we share our power. We never relinquished it, we just shared it. What is mine became OURS. That is the true power of the feminine. The frontier women shared, even living 50 miles apart. There is no pack mentality or Alpha female. So, when the Big Boys approach us and ask us to join them….it makes us pause. If I am doing so well out here in the wilderness that it caught your attention, that you and The Boys had to come over and check us out, we girls are obviously doing it quite well. And we don’t need rescuing or saving or training or assistance. We would love for you to JOIN. There is room for more. But it means yours becomes OURS. That is our way.