I recently discovered a circa 1983 picture of myself dressed as Wonder Woman (in Underoos, complete with a jump rope “Lasso of Truth”). Maybe it’s my upcoming birthday (I will be 41 – which seems somewhat impossible), but the discovery took my breath away; that 8-year-old with a huge smile, would she recognize me now?
I grew up idolizing Wonder Woman, singing and dancing to Madonna and Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation was a revolution – girl power as I had never seen before). Oprah and I have been on a first name basis nearly my entire life – at least in my mind. I watched women like Oprah and Martha Stewart do revolutionary things; creating not only brands, but movements. Seeing strong, passionate women as successful leaders, blazing new trails served as an inspiration to me as a young woman sorting my way through life’s ups and downs.
I was blessed to grow up with women who were strong, confident, and uplifting. It is encouraging to see what they have become and how they are facing their 40’s with an energy and passion that continues to inspire me. I love that I was raised to have mutual respect and admiration for the stay-at-home moms, business executives, teachers, and lawyers. We were taught we could do anything and I enjoy watching these women soar on their chosen paths.
So it comes as no surprise, that my generation is facing their 40’s with a fierceness. I, like many of my peers, am proud to be in my 40’s. I am proud to be a role model for my nearly teenage daughter. I am proud to be married to my college sweetheart, whom I have grown up with in every way. I am proud to experience daily the miracles, joys, and stresses of motherhood. I am proud of friendships that are deep and genuine. I am proud to be cultivating a life that is meaningful and will hopefully encourage my children to act in brave, kind ways. I am confident that my best is yet to come, that I am only just beginning to do the important work I have been placed on this Earth to do.
Now, in my last few days at 40, but on the cusp of this new decade, I am reminded of that little girl running around as Wonder Woman. That same spirit is still with me – experiencing the world with an open heart and a big smile.
*This photo was obviously altered, missing is a my younger brother in his Superman Underoos. I thought he would appreciate the edit.