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We have a situation…

I feel like everything in my life is finally aligning. I feel magic coming! I feel alive. I feel healthy. I feel strong. I feel like I am on the right path and I trust that the rest of the path will be lit as long as I keep moving forward. Taking inspired action. I know I don’t have all the answers now, but I know that I am smart and capable and have the ability to figure it out. I feel like magic is coming!

AND I feel so grateful for all of it. I feel grateful for what I have now, my little store in Mission Valley and a small early intervention company. I feel grateful for all of it. I am so appreciative that I had the ambition to go after it. But where did that all come from? A lot of hard work… but it’s also more than that. And it got me thinking…

When I was completing my occupational therapy internship, I was working at a children’s clinic. My father was telling me to pay close attention to how the clinic was being run because one day I could own a therapy company. While studying for my occupational therapy exam, I was working odd end jobs. Coaching soccer, teaching tumbling, and secretarial work at a family friends business. Again, my dad was whispering in my ear. “Pay attention! You might own a business one day.”

I scoffed at him each time, “CHYEA right, Dad. Me own a business, please!” (He always did know me better than I knew myself.) He was an entrepreneur himself, owning a few businesses over the years. If he was here I know he would be saying “I told you so!”, we would laugh and I would roll my eyes because he was usually right.

At the Threads Worldwide conference last January, I had this big realization. I own and run two businesses.¬†After hearing stories of our artisans that we work with, specifically in Guatemala. I had understood that girls often don’t go to school because it is thought that the girl would get pregnant at a young age, so why educate them? We heard stories of our artisan mothers fighting and advocating for their daughters to go to school. It is not the norm.

I never made the connection until this past January.¬† I knew children in other countries wouldn’t be sent to school if their parents couldn’t afford uniforms. It’s one of the large reasons I am so passionate about fair trade. Provide parents with dignified work and it will be reinvested into their families and effect the next generation. It helps keep kids in school.

I just wasn’t thinking about the gender disparity. In other countries, girls are told they are less than. Girls are not educated as well as the boys. Girls are not told they could do and be anything! Not the way my parents were telling me, and probably you. I started these businesses because I was told that I could.

We are all so lucky to go after our ambitions with so much less stigma than our brothers and sisters around the world. Or to be able to finish school without our parents and grandparents assuming we will get pregnant. Imagine the fire we could light into girls and how the world could change if we just told them that they could. If their fathers believed in them like my father believed in me.

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