“a firefighter,” she replied without hesitation
i was on a plane recently when a 13-year-old girl sitting two seats over just struck up a conversation with me and my sister. it was a bold, respectable move for someone going into eighth grade. i know some adults who couldn’t handle it.
she asked us if we were in college, and my 35-year-old face just melted at the fact she thought i was still in college. (granted, she’s 13, and i’m sure every older-looking girl is probably in college.)
we reluctantly said no, we’re older, we work; and she asked what we each did for work. we each replied in a rather general way; she nodded like she totally got it.
we then asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up?
“a firefighter,” she replied without hesitation.
“cool, how’d you figure that out?” one of us asked her.
“well, i’ve always wanted to be a firefighter,” she said. ‘and, i know there’s a lot to it though; like, because i’m a girl, and i know there’s a lot of discrimination.”
< insert yellow-emoji-face-with-big-eyes >
first – over-the-moon cool.
second – how many 13-year-old girls do you know talking like that? (and don’t even get me started on where and how she’s learning discrimination.)
three – that confidence. this is all just really about that level of confidence at that age.
this is the post asking you to remember what you would have said – and how you would have said it – had you been that 13-year-old. this is a post reminding you what wanted to be when you grew up. and, finally, this is a post calling you to do the work you need to do to be as clear and as confident as that 13-year-old.
as an adult.