Can you remember a time when you believed you could choose any career you wanted? Most of us have had ‘reality’ get in the way of that belief. But at ten, it’s a lot less complicated.
My daughter asked me to edit her class assignment this morning. She was tasked with a creative assignment and had to write her own “legend.” When I read it, it reminded me how simple it could be to create our own paths, to choose the things we believe fit us. And perhaps we’re our own worst enemies in letting those beliefs come true.
Here’s my ten-year-old’s writing assignment – and her perspective on creating a career that fits. (Oh – and at ten, paragraphs are apparently optional).
In the Hopi tribe mostly everyone did what they were supposed to do. All the girls learned to make pottery and baskets while the women filled in missing stone or plaster in the walls of their own houses, and cooked. On a boy’s sixth birthday he would go with his father to the fields and learn to spin cotton, weave, sew clothes, plant seeds, and they would kill mice, rats, and rabbits. When they killed the rabbits it meant the rabbits wouldn’t eat all the crops, and they would have rabbit stew for dinner. But out of everyone there was one girl. This girl didn’t want to do anything her sisters and friends did, she wanted to kill animals and plant seeds and do everything a normal girl wouldn’t want to do. She had no idea how she was going to tell her father. Eventually the time came she had to tell her dad or else she would be working with the females. She loved all friends and everything but she just didn’t think it was fair that all of the boys got to do more difficult stuff. She thought a girl should be able to do the same as a boy. She pulled her father aside on the field and asked if he could teach her to do what he does. His jaw dropped. He was in shock, no girl had ever asked that before. After about forty five minutes of arguing and convincing he finally gave in. For boys, seeing a girl in the fields was hilarious, but as they continued laughing she continued practicing. She then became better than the boys, all the practice made her better and all of the laughing motivated her. Eventually when she was an adult she was better, stronger, and braver than anyone else in the Hopi tribe. While she was an adult she told all of the girls that if they want to work with the boys, they would have to turn their dreams into plans.
What did you believe was possible when you were 10?