I’m hosting an evening in New York City at KGB on Thursday night with three terrific women writers (Masha Hamilton, Stacy Parker Aab and Louisa Ermelino) We will be reading from our own work and sharing the incredible true stories of women from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. The title of the evening is Ordinary Women: Extraordinary Heroines. Our goal is to get you to think about your favorite heroines and if possible, to begin to think of yourself as the heroine of your own story. Over the next few days I will be blogging my thoughts on being a heroine.
Part One -- It's a bird, it's a plane, it's YOU!
What comes to mind when you think about heroines? Is there a book or story that inspired you or is there someone in your life you consider a heroine? Have you ever thought about the women that have influenced you over the years? What qualities do they possess that you admire?
Now think about yourself, what qualities do you like about yourself? What is heroic about you? Have you ever thought of yourself as a heroine (or hero?) If so, why? If no, why not?
The word heroine is expansive. When I give myself permission to think of myself a heroine I have the urge to stand with my hands on my hips and my face pointed toward the sun (exactly like the graphic on our poster!) Heroine is a word that has power. It makes you feel like you are the captain of your ship, the pilot of your plane, the CEO of Corporation You. It feels that way because it is true. You may play lead or supporting roles in other stories but there is no other story in which you are the hero but your own.
Take a moment and imagine a movie or book being written about your life, who would play you? How would you describe YOU as a character in a novel? What would the story be about?
The greatest stories ever told are not always fantastical adventures, in fact, if you want drama, heartache, battles with dark forces, adversity, pain and suffering, chances are you can find it in your own story. The trick is to decide whether you triumph in the end and “live to tell your story” or whether you wither in the background and let fate determine your destiny.
We are all ordinary people and extraordinary heroines. Keeping our stories to ourselves is kind of like having a cape and not using it. So dare to tell your stories with you as the hero, struggling and achieving, and ultimately triumphant. Share your truth with the world. It may just be the most radical thing you ever do.