In support of G Day, an event that celebrates and empowers girls ages 10-12, Sandra Garcia, President and Director of Good Media at Concious Public Relations Inc., shares how her relationship with fear affected her as a young adult. Thank you for sharing your story, Sandra. For more G Day stories, visit the G Day blog.
It was 1993 and I was in the sixth grade, probably 11 at the time. I was not an athlete, like my sister. I was the nerd. I was reading and writing at an above-average level, and teachers groomed me into excelling in academics.
As Grades 4 and 5 went by, I saw my classmates join sports teams. That year, the Chicago Bulls were at their peak and I watched NBA games with my dad, and played basketball at the park or during Physical Education. So when the announcement came on about sign-ups for the girls basketball team, I really wanted to join.
I remember walking down the ramp, but instead of going down to the basement where the sign-ups were happening, I went outside to play instead. I felt I had missed my big chance, and I became a spectator again.
During tryouts for the 8th grade girls basketball team, I got that same “maybe I should” feeling again. And I tried out. I wasn’t an official player – alternating playing time and team managing – but I still felt like I was part of the team.
In high school, the closest we got to any sort of personal growth lessons were Career and Personal Planning classes about once a month. We were asked to write a positive, affirming statement about ourselves, and tape it to a mirror or somewhere in our bedrooms where we could see it. My friend came over and saw that I had taped my affirmation to my lamp. “You actually did that?!” she said. I ripped up the paper and put it in the trash. Fear had won again.
Over and over again I come up against that feeling of wanting to do something and being afraid of it, and I know that I can lose out on a dream if I let it win. I even talk about fear as if it’s something to beat. Now in my early thirties, I’ve invested time and money into self-development programs and am challenged to face those feelings of fear and to explore them. Not to squash it, but to find out who and what it is and hold its hand. It turns out fear and I can be friends.
I wish, when I was a girl, that I had been taught not to avoid fear or to just “get over it,” and that it is just a feeling, like happiness, sadness, anger, or triumph are. I wish it was socially acceptable to talk about fear in school, or at the dinner table. I wish we had self-exploration classes so that we could get to know ourselves better.
G Day is a new social movement starting here in Vancouver, anchored by day-long events for girls aged 10-12. I don’t know if the attendees are going to brush up against any of their fears, but if they do, I know they won’t be alone in it. We do not have to hide. We can share our fears, and celebrate that commonality with girls and all people alike. On April 28th, I hope that the girls are a bit afraid of what they are getting into, so that they can share it and step out of that space knowing they are strong and that they will not just survive, but thrive.
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I'm Nat Nanton, founder of Tutu Mama. Becoming a mother has made me commit to living my greatest life. If you can relate to that, you're in the right place.
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