A Letter to My Daughter, Zola
At the age of 40, I gave birth to my daughter Zola.
Zola picked us as her parents. We didn’t plan to have children. She sort of happened. Much of my life is filled with things that “sort of happen.” I can’t say if they were all good or all bad -- just that they happened. My daughter’s birth on the other hand, was a transformative affair.
I’ve always been a feminist, believing in the power of the feminine.
In my mind, feminine energy isn’t about gender, although it does play a stronger role in the female. It’s about the energy of the feminine: the belief in community, the desire to help others, the need and desire to strengthen the whole. I’ve always been in this mindset, but after the pregnancy and birth of Zola, my need to embrace my feminine energy increased. I want to show her another way to be and to embrace her feminine energy.
This is my letter to my daughter, who is a smart, sassy and life affirming young lady.
My dream is that these things will stay in her forever, that she will learn to love herself as I work to love myself.
I began my life, much like you, with a love for life and gusto for change. My curiosity was only matched by my desire to change the world for the better. I loved with my entire heart and gave of myself fully to everyone. You are just like that, my young child. I see it every day in how you treat others with love and compassion. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to treat myself with such love and compassion. I hope that you will be able to love yourself with your whole heart.
Something I’ve also noticed about myself as I’ve grown and reflected is that, while I’ve lived up to my name (which means “without limits”), I have not been able to see the beauty around me. Through meditation and yoga, I’ve started to transform myself. To see the beauty that surrounds us all.
When you were born, I decided to start a business, so I could spend time with you, but still fulfill my desire to keep my mind sharp. This business, Database Sherpa, is a merging of so much you’ve shown me. Compassion for myself and my clients. Love for the work that is being done. And, most of all, fun. If it’s not fun, as you’ve taught me over and over, it’s not worth doing. Now it’s my turn to teach you. Zola, I want you to know that it’s good and absolutely wonderful that you are good at math, science and technology. I’m proud that you can ask questions like “why did dinosaurs die mommy?” and we can have a conversation about the theories that abound. Keep that curious nature, and if anyone tells you “here is the answer,” I hope that you will always, ALWAYS question what you are told.
You know that my path has been windy to the place I am today. I’ve always been surrounded by technology, thanks to Papa and Nama, who would purchase me toys that were tech oriented and then watch me take them apart. They encouraged me to test out my ideas on the computer. They let me experiment with dirt under the microscope. It’s no wonder I wanted to be in technology, but my road was rocky. Not because I couldn't hack it or handle the work, but because I was told, over and over, by outsiders, “you don’t belong.” It was not a once-in-a-while thing, but an everyday occurrence. Both in school and in the workplace. While I proved them all wrong and am very proud of my skills, I am still haunted by those words. I’m working on this… it takes time. However, I want you to be strong, to honor your talents and love what you bring. And when others tell you “you can’t do that,” you will bravely say “yes, I can do it and let me show you” rather than hiding in fear or shame (as your mother did).
You will be different; you will be strong. I will give you tools and guide you the best I can. I want that feminine energy to serve you and provide you a place to be yourself.
The world is changing and coming toward the feminine. My dream is that you will be embraced and loved for your skills and abilities.
You’re a brilliant and shining example of the future, Zola. I am sure you can be anything you wish, and you will follow your heart toward a path that will impact the world profoundly, as your mother works to change the world through peace with data.
Ashima Saigal is founder of Database Sherpa. She has dedicated her career to bridging the technology divide between those who develop the tools and those who use the tools. She developed a Sherpa approach to Salesforce training and guides organizations on their journey to make peace with their data. Ashima is a Certified Salesforce Developer, Certified Salesforce Administrator, Certified Sales Cloud Consultant as well as a Salesforce MVP. You can follow her on Twitter @databasesherpa and Facebook.com/databasesherpa or visit her website DatabaseSherpa.com.