We’re well into our autumn programmes and I’ve had such a time getting to know so many of our tribes. Whether at schools and community centres, at 5km challenges or out and about at events and volunteer fairs, I feel like I walk away a bit smarter and more conscious of how our young people navigate their worlds.
One story really got to me. A Mini Mermaid came up to me to tell me about a Siren moment that she had had. While at the top of a waterslide, she was so frightened that she didn’t go down it. Meanwhile, her younger cousin did.
I asked when she heard her Siren voice. 'When I was scared at the top,' she said. I wanted to explore this a bit more to understand what she meant. It’s ok to be scared; I needed to make sure she knew that. To be scared isn’t 'Siren'. It’s a natural instinct that’s valid and real.
After a bit more chatting, she told me how she felt after she didn’t go down the waterslide. She felt ‘annoyed and cross with myself and babyish because my younger cousin went down.’
Ok, that’s Siren.
We spent some time working through it. Her Mini Mermaid voice was actually the one at the top of the slide telling her that she wasn’t ready to go down and that it was ok, and probably pretty smart, to make that decision.
We all experience fears and worries. Sometimes though, I think we let being scared turn into shame for being afraid. In reality, being scared and worried is ok; it can take courage and strength to stand up and say ‘I’m not doing that because I am not comfortable with it and I am scared.'
It's the conversations like this that make me determined to bring our programme to more areas in the UK. And as always, we couldn't do it without the support of our volunteers, supporters and the schools and communities with which we work. To all of you, thank you, for helping us create opportunities to have conversations like the one above and help a young girl, and many girls and boys like her, distinguish among a ton of emotions and understand their true voices. #highfins #ittakesatribe