It seems fitting that just a few days ago we celebrated International Women’s Day and here I am talking about female empowerment. I love the idea of empowerment. It says to me that we are in control of our own destiny. It is up to us to be the best we can be and achieve what we set out to achieve. It is the choices and decisions we make that enable us to be and feel empowered. In saying this, I do also understand that not every woman gets the opportunity to make such choices and I feel very blessed to be in a position where I have that power.
Now, I couldn’t pinpoint just one thing that empowers me. I’m influenced by all sorts of people, places, and projects. These can change on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis, depending on where I am in my journey through life. As we grow up, as the people in our lives move in and out, as our personal circumstances alter, we have to move with the changes and ultimately find our power elsewhere.
So here’s a timeline on the changing faces of my empowerment, from the mind of a child to that of an (almost) fully-grown adult:
Age 8: As an only child, life got pretty lonely sometimes. My Barbies and stuffed teddies didn’t exactly generate the most vivid of conversations. My girlfriends were the sisters I chose and it was their friendship that was the source of my empowerment. Growing up with these girls, learning about life with them, sharing my deepest, darkest secrets gave me the freedom to discover myself in a safe place without judgment. Not having to hide who I was and be someone I wasn’t was hugely empowering as a young girl. Oh, and the Spice Girls were pretty empowering too.
Age 14: I was scouted at 14-years-old in London and signed with a huge modelling agency. Needless to say I was extremely flattered and felt incredibly grown up. This was my first ever job and my first experience of earning money. Learning the importance of good work ethics from such a young age and discovering the power of work was such a thrill and was the first step in taking control of my future.
Age 22: I was flying the nest–and when I say “flying” I literally mean flying 15,000km to the other side of the world. I was at a standstill in my life. I had completed one year at university, which I can’t say was a hugely positive experience. So, I deferred in the hopes of finding out what my next step would be. It turns out Sydney was my next rather long, rather far away step. Having total independence, no parents, zero friends, and fending for myself was eye opening and challenging. I cried…a lot. I wanted to go home. However, I stuck at it and proved to myself that I could do it alone.
Age 28: This stage in my life has found me being a wife, finding love, and knowing that for the rest of my life, I have someone walking through it beside me. Our love for one another is more powerful then anything else I’ve experienced. I feel empowered knowing that I can make this man happy, knowing that he relies on me and I rely on him, and that I can give him something that no one else can. It is the biggest and most rewarding “job” I’ve had to date and I am proud to say that I feel empowered by this incredible man.
Empowerment does not have one equation. It is not a “one size fits all”. It is a moving, changing, evolving part of an individual. Think about where your empowerment comes from: has it always been so? And what do you think will empower you in the future?
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