I was a Barbie girl.

I was a Barbie girl. Yes, I hounded my sister daily to play Barbies with me. She hated it. I of course still persisted. I probably had 10 different Barbies and one Ken doll to go along with them. I am not sure what ever made me want to play with Barbie. It is hard to see in hindsight as I am so far from a Barbie girl these days. I, of course, did not see that their feet were set in a previous high heel position, or that getting their high heels on was nearly impossible. Is that why I hate high heels today?

One of mine had a fake tan (I think she was called Bikini Barbie), another was Exercise Barbie with her own workout outfits, one had a fancy dress, another was Bride Barbie, but other than their differing outfits they all looked the same — not much to differentiate them from the other. I know I made up different scenarios and enjoyed trying to create different clothing options — so maybe I was interested in design and had no idea. Other than that I do not remember why I was so enamored with Barbie.

Fast forward to 2015 and Barbie launches this new ad that is not about fashion and looks, but rather teaching, sports, and taking care of animals. It goes deeper. While maybe it feels like the adults looking on are laughing at them, I wonder if the laughing is fascination with what is coming out of each girls mouth. I am not sure what a young girl would think if they watched this ad, but I hope that the message at the end: “When a Girl Plays with Barbie She Imagines Everything She Can Become.” My hope is that a girl does not have to just play with Barbie, but that when a girl plays at all her imagination lets her create the world around her so she sees all she can be.

What do you think?

Better than you ever imagined.

“It is going to be better than you ever imagined.”

I do not remember when I first heard this statement. I know I was young. Life was not always a piece of cake with ice cream on the side. It is a thought that has always stayed with me and always resonated. It brought me strength. When things were tough when my mom was sick it made me think about days when life might be better. At times I thought, well it cannot get any worse, so it can only get better. Whether you believe in God, a higher power, or the universe, there is a design to our lives that we do not always have control over. When we let go and let the design take shape and happen as it is meant to, we open ourselves up to allow for “better than you ever imagined.”

When I have had trying work situations and it was hard to see to the end of a long tunnel, it brought me hope. Hope. We all have to have it. We can have it on the darkest days, and it can be with us when life is good. Hope leaves us in a place that brings our imagination to what could be, to what is possible. When you are in a tough relationship and it seems like maybe settling is an option, think about how taking a stand for yourself means that the result of your life will be better than you can ever imagine. It does not mean it will happen the next day or the next month, but standing strong for yourself can only result in amazing things.

It has in my life. Many times when I have thought why was I put in this situation? Why me? I have been so good, honest, and did the right thing, why do I get the shitty end of the deal? What I have learned is that sometimes it is not about the hand of cards you were dealt, the person that passed on in your life, the job you lost, the friend who treated you poorly. It is about how you handle that challenge, how you do or do not let it affect you. That is how you grow, and how we open ourselves up to the strength and lessons we learn. And, many times once we work through our hurt, pain, or sadness what we receive on the other end is better than we can ever imagine.

What do you think?