It's easy to say, "If only."
If only things had been different, I would be different. If only I had grown up richer, smarter, more beautiful. If only I'd been more brave.
Susan Kitchens, of 2020Hindsight, tagged me with this prompt: "If I could have met with a mentor on a weekly basis when I was a teenager, I..."
I usually ignore internet tags because they are at best mindless time-wasters. This is the first one I've seen in months that hasn't in most ways resembled a chain letter.
Susan tagged me on this subject because she's passionate about WriteGirl, "a non-profit organization for high school girls centered on the craft of creative writing and empowerment through self-expression." The girls are mentored by professional writers. Today they'll be writing all day at the Pasadena Playhouse for Tonight's big event, PlayWriteGirl.
You can go to PlayWriteGirl and watch celebrities like Christine Lahti, Melora Hardin, Sprague Grayden, Dana Delaney and JoBeth Williams perform the pieces the girls write today. You can also have great food. (Even from Mozza, which--I'm telling you--lunch for two can be $70 bucks and worth it.)
If I could have met with a mentor on a weekly basis when I was a teenager, I would not have been richer, smarter or more beautiful. But I might have been more brave.
The word "empowerment" is overused, but if I let myself think about it for a moment, let it mean something to me, I remember how hard I took things as a girl, how deeply I was shaped by events large and small. How afraid I was. How long and arduous a journey I had to travel to find my power.
Life might be different for any one of us, if only... But "if only" is fantasy. I got what I got. I made of it what I could. But sometimes I didn't know what to make of it. Kindnesses from adults I trusted are jewels I treasure to this day. If I hadn't had the help of those adults, I might have turned out to be someone I wouldn't care to be.
2020 hindsight and life experience tell me even little things can empower these WriteGirls and make them brave: your presence in a seat at the Pasadena Playhouse tonight, for one little thing. For another: your applause.
Other bloggers who've tackled this subject: West Coast Grrlie Blather, Mademoiselle Gramophone, Altadena Hiker and Life Under a Tin Roof Sky. I'll add more as I find them, or you can follow the links to people they've tagged.
Open Mouth, Insert Fork
Plumbing the Deeps
I haven't tagged anyone, but it's a worthy subject to blog about and I don't think it has to be limited to women. How about you? What's your take on the phrase, "If I could have met with a mentor on a weekly basis when I was a teenager, I..." ? Let me know if you blog about it so I can link to you.