15 Sep G Day Stories: Marnie Goldenberg
Dear 11 year old Marnie,
I’ve been thinking about you a bunch lately. It’s probably because my kid just turned 11 and because G Day for Girls is coming up really soon. At a recent prep meeting for G Day, we had a brief chance to reconnect, remember?
There was a short guided meditation – not something I usually do – and my 45 year old today self was invited to find you, my 11 year old way-back-when self.
When we saw each other, you said ‘NO WAY?!’ And I smiled and said ‘Yes way.’ And then we just kind of grinned at each other.
I know exactly what your incredulous and celebratory ‘no way’ was about.
You knew the journeys that had happened in the years ahead. You hadn’t yet experienced the adolescent angst, the peer pressure, the self doubt but you knew it from seeing the present day me. You instantly knew it all. You knew the adventures, the love, the heartbreak, the struggles and successes. And you knew how I feel now – the confidence and the increasing gentleness that I show others, and more importantly, myself.
I love that you were sort of awestruck and proud because it’s not always been easy. At 11 you were on the tipping point of so much insecurity. You were about to shift your choices from what you loved and desired to what you thought would be respected or desired by others. You felt good in your own skin and then, almost overnight, you didn’t trust it.
If at 11, on that brink, you had experienced G Day, I think it would have been a wee bit different. Maybe a lot different.
That’s because G Day is a collective appreciation of the shift from girlhood to womanhood. An invitation to lift each other up, see the possibilities, acknowledge the common and individual struggles and the value they serve to real growth. It’s a sharing of an experience – plain and simple. It leaves an imprint of acceptance that can be drawn on during more tumultuous times. Which will happen, since they always do.
At 11, I really hadn’t experienced the tumult of adolescence yet but in our meeting, my 11 year old held the wisdom of my 45 year old self and appreciated everything that had been learned along the way.
As a “Champion” at the upcoming G Day, it’s a chance to bare witness: to joyfully see girls in all their messy glory. It’s my chance to appreciate 11 year old girls for everything they are and everything they are going to learn.
Come be a part of it, won’t you?
Marnie is this year’s G Day Vancouver Champions Program MC. She is a sexual health educator in Vancouver, who talks to kids, pre-teens and teens about sex, and talks to parents about talking to their kids about sex. She thinks it’s really important and believes that young people have a right to information about their bodies and how they work and that having this information gives people power. Marnie thinks young people are super smart and that giving them information and tools for exercising their smarts is what will set them up for success and positively change the way the world works.
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