By Erin Petti, Guest ColumnistMay 25, 2016
Step one - Check real quick to see if you can turn invisible if you think about it hard enough. Give yourself five minutes tops, though. You could waste your whole day like that.
OK, so, if you succeeded in turning yourself invisible, you’re probably not reading any further. It’s just us now. The girls that have never been bitten by a radioactive hamster, were not born in a far away galaxy, and have to shlep it to an airport to take flight.
Let’s talk about super powers.
First, I want to unpack that term. Super. Powers. Let’s forget about the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet crowd. A super power is something that you can do that is extraordinary. If you’re taking an internal inventory and coming up empty, there’s still hope.
Step one (for people who can’t turn themselves invisible) - First, quiet all the noise around you. This can be the hardest part of the process, but it’s worth a shot. If you can meditate, meditate. If you can take a walk in nature, do that. If it means hiding in your office bathroom with your feet up on the toilet, mama - you’re already a champion.
In that quiet space, let your imagination roam. Try to feel around inside yourself for a want, an excitement, a spark. What would be awesome? It might not have anything to do with your life now, or your family, or your work. Does the idea of hiking make you giddy? Do you have an incredible desire to play football? To crochet, even though you’ve never picked up a needle? What makes your heart flutter?
Step two - Write it all down. Free association, prose, anything you like. See it take shape on the page. It could read like a fantasy novel, but it’s true to you.
Step three - Start. This might mean jumping from a plane, or it might mean starting to save for your first drum lesson. But there’s a start. Your big superhero dreams are in the world now, and there is a first baby step toward realizing them - take it. Today. Now. I’ll wait here.
For me, this first baby step was to brainstorm a novel. I was in a big-time rut and needed to discover something new. I had wanted to write a book forever. When I finally took step one, that quiet time, my mind considered all the things that got me excited. I love New England. I love antique shops. I’d recently met a one-eyed Newfie and fell in insta-love. I put all the stuff down in a notebook and combined it with the idea of a brave girl who just maybe had super powers of her own.
Then, Step four: Don’t quit. I wrote and wrote even though I felt sure I didn’t know how. But I just kept going. This is the part where you have the dream to be a great chef but your frozen pizza keeps burning. It’s ok!
The way to hone your superpower is to cling to it tightly and screw it up a ton of times, then learn.
That’s it. It might take you twenty years to go from burnt pizza to The French Laundry, but every single day you’ll get better if you work. And even when you’re prepping food for the rich and famous in wine country, you’ll still be learning and improving every day. That’s how superheroes do.
Step five - Congratulations and high fives! Celebrate your hard work, start another project, and don’t trip over the invisible lady. You are officially super.
Let's Talk About It:
Could it be that every girl is, "super" in some way? We sure think so! What makes you super? Let us know in the comments.
Erin Petti lives beside some very tall pine trees in Massachusetts and loves to read about magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. She has a masters in education and a background in improvisational comedy. Erin lives with her husband, excellent toddler, and very helpful cat, Lucy. She is the author of The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee follows eleven-year-old Thelma Bee on a dangerous journey to save her father from dark magic, all while keeping track of her adventure in her scientific journal, embracing her love of botany, and daydreaming about cryptozoology.