It was a nomination by an art teacher that made me feel Noticed at 16 years old. It had nothing to do with art, and was completely unsolicited. My teacher thought I was deserving of being in the National Honor Society and one day during class she pulled me aside and told me she had nominated me. Ms Smith then showed me what she had wrote.
When I read the words it took me back. The fact that someone not only took the time to say these nice things about me, but actually saw that much value in who I was as a person and then stood for me, deeply affected me.
I was a popular but self conscious, awkward teen like most. I had no idea my place in the world and was trying to make decisions for my future without any real support of my ideas or goals. There was what I wanted to do, and then what was expected of me. And what was expected wasn’t much. I grew up in a society where a respectable job for a woman was a nurse or secretary and you only really needed to do that job until you found a man to take care of you. College was not necessary, especially if I was going to choose art as career, and at 17 it was time to contribute to the household. I had other plans. I did want to be an artist. I wanted to start my own business and make a difference . This teachers belief in who I was, her pointing out my capabilities and noticing me made me believe, even if just a little, that it was possible. Now I know you may be saying, “well it’s not like that for girls anymore” “girls can be anything”. “Our society isn’t like that”. I get it, things have changed, but not necessarily for the better. Look at the leadership in our country, look at the pressures put on girls to always look good, not only physically, but how every action is dissected and inspected by their peers on social media. What are our girls Noticed for today? How do we champion them?
Do you understand that this, THIS, is Girl Noticed. Noticing the possibilities and capabilities that already exist in each other. Lifting each other up and recognizing the real role models that exist in your life, your workplace, your community, that are making a difference or overcome extreme obstacles but that most often never go Noticed. Without your nominations there is no Girl Noticed.
You are capable of changing a life. You might spark something that sets the course to change many lives, just like my teacher did so many years ago. Your impact on another’s life is whatever you choose to make it.