Women Empowerment; We Are What We Think

In Life & Travel by Jackie Cruz

We become what we think about.Earl Nightingale

While organizing my stuff after a 5-week trip to sunny California this past June, I came across a purple folder from my childhood. On the front, there was a pale blue sticky Post-It with an “A” circled and a short note from my teacher.

The year was 1996 and I was in 5th grade at Foster City Elementary School. I had just begun to form strong opinions about major social, political and economical topics, as well as my love for soccer, Nike, FBI agents and mint chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin-Robbins.

You never know what is stowed away in your unconscious mind as a young child. Thoughts and ideas are planted and wait patiently for enough sun, water and nutrients to bloom as an adult.

The story I wrote about was the “Island of Socco,” probably an allusion to soccer and a reference to my family’s roots in Sicily. Pictured on the front of the report was everything that embodied nature – sun, earth, plants and water. As I wrote in an earlier post, I have a strong connection with nature. The sun, mountains, trees, moon, water, desert and beaches are all dear to my heart.

The tale describes a waterfall on the island with magical powers that only women athletes could use. Those powers would be gathered, and then brought back for women in my country. It’s funny how something in your childhood can be directly applicable to what your passions are several years later in life.

As I read the words of my 9-year-old self, I wanted to laugh hysterically, cry with all my heart and go back in time to give myself a high five. “I will help all women athletes be stronger than men” and “women were tall and strong; men were short and scrawny” were two of the sentences that stuck out to me. Another was “men sewed baskets and made skirts; women hunted.”

At a young age, I wanted to be an FBI agent. I loved everything about going undercover, getting the bad guys and training to kick serious ass. Growing up were figures like Gladiator, Undersiege, Rocky, Mission Impossible and Rambo. All of which had awesome, life-changing quotes that filled the clear pockets of my school binders. It was only later in life that Wonder Woman filled my thoughts and influenced my daily life. Perhaps the lack of women super heroes and power figures prompted my strong stories of female empowerment.

My other passions are natural eating and green lifestyles. In my story, I talk about “[bringing] healthy food, Nike shoes and lots of sunblock.” Sound familiar? Before finding this report, I created Sport Botanics, an organic, vegan and animal-friendly body care company for athletes. Who knew at 9, I would already know what I wanted to do 20 years later?