I can't remember how many times someone asked me that question.
I'll never forget my very first answer. My parents laugh about it now, because it was so unexpected. It was in kindergarten, and I had made up my mind – firefighter, that was what I wanted to be. I wanted to save people. Pull them out from the fire.
If someone had sat down my sweet little five-year-old self, looked deep into my round rim glasses and told me about how heavy the suit was or that you know, that was quite a dangerous job, and your hair and eyebrows could get singed – I might have changed my mind.
But no one did, and so I continued on with this dream that one day I would fight fires for people.
I guess the point is not what I wanted to be, because at different times in my life they changed – doctor, professional swimmer (don't laugh, the Olympics really inspired me), lawyer.
The point is that someone asked me what my dreams were.
And gave me the choice, and the power, to decide.
Today is International Day of the Girl, which is a day the United Nations declared to celebrate women's empowerment and advancement across the world.
More importantly – I think today is the day that we remember it's our job to be advocates for girls who have never been asked that question – what do you want to be when you grow up?
It is our job to fight for girls who have never been told that they can be anything they want to be – as long as they set their mind to it.
The thing about movements is that it's impossible to do anything worthy of impact on your own. We actually need each other. Which is the beautiful part about real change. When we combine our spheres of influence and our positions in culture and time, that's when we see movement happen.
The good news is that we don't literally have to wear a fire suit.
Or get our hair singed - hallelujah.
Fighting someone else's fire can be as simple as asking her how her day is going – no really, how is it actually going? Or taking one hour of your day to go to lunch when you know she is going through something, something really tough. Or sending a text to a friend who you know is hurting. Or sometimes, being a firefighter takes the shape of a small dress company called By Grace. :)
Regardless of the form – here's the point: Be willing to sacrifice comfort and resources to pull someone else out of their fire.
Until next time,