On Becoming an Independent Woman.

There's been a recent outpouring of things supporting the independence and capability of women. A championing of what it means to be a girl.

As I sit here waiting for AAA to come change my tire, I can't help but thinking about these campaigns and what made and continues to make me so confident in my abilities as a woman (and yet to be more than okay with another person coming to change my tire).

I think it starts with my upbringing. My parents gave us kids whatever we needed to succeed in the areas we loved. For my brothers that was computers and books on programming. For me, it was goalkeeping equipment and endless trips to the bookstore. And even more, they encouraged us to read a little bit of everything. I grew up reading stories of people accomplishing their big dreams. Why would I ever think I wouldn't accomplish mine? And when people tried to smash my dreams, my parents taught me how to fight to make them a reality. Not to just talk about the problems, but to actually solve them.

And then I've had a series of really great mentors. My friend Kristen started pouring into my life when I was a seventh grader. Fourteen years later, she's still doing the same thing. She makes me think and encourages me to be the best person I can be. When I worked at Mount Hermon, my boss Charlie helped me understand my personality and what that means for working with and loving other people. I grew an even deeper confidence in who I am and my ability to do anything I'm called to do.

And since moving to California, I've gained some really awesome friends, many of whom are fantastic independent women. Their examples of confidence, leadership, and drive inspire me to have the same.

And so, I think these videos are great. But I'm also a little fearful of them backfiring. That too much hype/publicity in their use to sell products is still doing the same thing. That we are still telling girls that their qualities and their womanhood can be used to sell something.

So yes, watch these videos. But don't stop there. Find some young females (or males for that matter) and pour into them. Provide them with resources and opportunities. Share what you've learned with them. Encourage them to be the best people they can possibly be. Regardless of gender. Regardless of YouTube videos. Regardless of what's standing in their way.