It takes many years and a great deal of perspective to truly understand the depth of what your parents have done for you.
Most recently, I’ve realized that, thanks to them, I’m bossy.
My parents were the type of people who didn’t just tell me that I could do anything I wanted to do; they made me believe that I could do anything that I wanted to do. In my formative years, my most valuable lesson learnt was that nothing was impossible–it simply required more practice. They did not neglect to give me answers, but became masters of the art of that crucial pause, during which I could attempt to find a solution myself. Life is a puzzle, some aspects easier than others, but all manageable with time.
It was with this mentality that I created my own imaginary restaurants and TV shows, made comics of super powered families, turned boxes into cars. Instead of taking the easy way out, I learned to find ways to get what I wanted without my parents’ help. This was how I learned to make doll houses out of shoe boxes and teach myself basic sewing when I wanted a purse. My parents, the ready enablers of all my various projects, taught me to create my own solutions.
My desire to create non-existent things did not stop in my craft corner. When I wanted dry trays in the cafeteria to stop the rise of soggy chicken nuggets on my favorite lunch day, my mom taught me the power of a petition. When I wanted my grade level to have a monthly magazine, I made a plan. We had teams, fundraisers, articles, but publishing proved harder than anticipated for 9 year olds, so we donated our hard earned money to the Book Fair. During my summers, I would write novels. Hundreds of pages detailing the lives of twin preteen detectives are still saved on my computer.
When I got older, I realized that a lot of things were not simple enough to accomplish on my own. I learned to manage people, showed them how to create things, giving each person an integral part of the puzzle and showing them how it would fit with the other pieces to create a bigger picture. It was how ideas became reality. How my high school went from a school without an International Club, to a school with an International Club–a club that organized relief funds for the tsunami in Japan in 2012, supported a child with Save the Children, and organized an annual Masquerade Ball big enough to rival some of the more traditional parties.
I love getting a vision of something, and putting the pieces together until it functions. It’s probably why I wanted to be an engineer for so long. It’s probably why I have trouble working in jobs with established parameters and no room for innovation. It’s probably why being on the production staff of the Black Monologues was easily one of my most fulfilling projects of my undergraduate years.
It’s also why I’m bossy. Because despite being born with the superpower of being an amazing creator that was carefully honed over the years with practice and extensive leadership training, I was also born a woman. Therefore, my leadership is bossy, boss with a y, diminutive in comparison with male leadership. I appreciate women who like the word bossy because, they believe they’re reclaiming it for themselves, and while I respect the thought, I will not take it as a compliment. Bossy is not the female equivalent of boss; it is a word men use to identify normally positive traits associated with masculinity in women and deem it undesirable. So, yes, I am bossy, because that is what a man will tell you I am.
Bossy is undesirable because it is threatening– because it is intimidating.
And, to be frank, you should be intimidated by me.
I think nothing is impossible.
I can create anything.
I am self-aware of my own power.
I have always done and will always continue to do the impossible, because my parents raised me to believe that I can.