Hello Dearest Friend,

 

No, we are not Little Red Riding Hood; we are the Wolf.

 

I love soccer great; Abby Wambach’s book called Wolfpack and how she suggests we follow our path, the opposite of the Little Red Riding Hood story, warning kids to stay on the “path” or something dangerous will happen.  

 

I literally gasped when I read this part of Abby’s book because one of the very first books I received as a child was Little Red Riding Hood.  I was born hungry to read into a home with no books unless, of course, you count the Bible.  As a toddler, my mom and sister (5 years older than me) read me Little Red Riding Hood until I had memorized it. Yikes!

 

I can’t help thinking how this message of following the expected path must have impacted my life.  I remember raising my hand in seventh grade and proudly telling my teacher I wanted to be a doctor. I was confused and disheartened when she winced and said, “that’s a lot of years of schooling.”  Apparently, the path to medical school wasn’t safe even for a little girl in the enrichment program for kids identified as bright.  I dropped my dream of medical school, thinking her reaction meant it was too hard and clearly the wrong path.  I became a nurse instead…a much safer route.   I remember telling friends and family that I didn’t want to get married until I was over twenty-five.  Oh, the outrage.  Good luck with that, several said.  I felt radical and brave for suggesting something other than the norm in 1979.  Can you imagine that now?  Maybe I knew I wasn’t ready for such a big commitment, or perhaps I secretly never wanted to get married at all.  God knows I chose a real winner when I did take the plunge at twenty-six years old  Marriage, children and quitting work to raise my kids were all part of the safe path I was supposed to stay on.  Dammit, that safe path led me to a world of hurt and regret.  While I am profoundly grateful for my three sons, getting married and quitting a successful career were paths to regret not safety.   

 

Eff the red cape days.

 

I’m a wolf.  Damn, that feels great to say out loud.  I have yearned to carve out my path through the woods (no wonder I love the forest) all along. It took a life crisis to recognize my power and to begin to blaze a trail that works for me. How is this Little Red Riding conditioning showing up in the rest of my life…oh, the possibilities.  

 

As a wolf Abby suggests you embrace four truths;

  1. Make failure your fuel; learn from your missteps
  2. Lead from the bench, be a leader no matter your position on the “team.”
  3. Champion each other, encourage and celebrate others and their successes
  4. Deman the effing ball, be grateful but demand what you deserve

 

So, as a wolf writing to a fellow wolf, welcome to the wolfpack.

What will you do with your power?

What path will you take?

 

xoshelley

 

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