My Wings

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

9 years ago Friday my heart cracked wide open and has never been the same since.

9 years ago, my magical daughter Marlowe arrived.

On Friday I just watched her, marveling at the young lady she has become… is becoming (and TALL… she’s up to my neck already!).

An old soul from the start, this one believes in her abilities, always far surpassing what she “should” be able to do at any given point, and proves herself right every time.

This summer she will host her third annual summer camp, which if it’s anything like that past two will see our house filled with more than a dozen four-to-six year olds, and me running around as her “staff.”

For the past two years she’s accompanied me to my office in NYC, acting as an intern for a week as well as imagining, planning, and facilitating opening activities at staff meetings attended by more than 30 adults. That can be intimidating for the best of us, but give my girl a stool so she can see out over the crowd and she doesn’t even blink.

At six years old she imagined, produced, staged, and starred in a production of Peter Pan in our house. 

She also showed up here as a guest blogger for the first time at age six, giving really really good advice about the importance of being yourself

She continues to give good advice, recently putting a sign on her bedroom door that says: “The more mistakes you make the closer you are to getting it right.”

Yes, in the wings and the whimsy of my life, this girl is my wings. She inspires me to believe that anything is possible, and that if you set your mind to something you can absolutely make it happen. When I wrote about her Peter Pan production, I said:

It can seem so much simpler to just keep walking with our head down and our feet on the ground, dismissing the whispers in our heart that tell us that perhaps we might be able to lift off the ground—with a big idea, a new project, a new relationship, a change of scenery. Gravity is indisputable, we tell ourselves. Flight is simply not possible. But what if it is? Why not just say yes, and see where your feet lead you?

Marlowe shows me continually with her ideas and actions that flight is possible, if only we just say yes.  

How can you take a page out of the book of Marlowe today, and let yourself take flight?

Buy the Book

Wings & Whimsy Challenge: Howl

Challenge: Is there something that you've wanted to do, but
believed you couldn't? Believed you weren't ready, weren't
good enough, weren't allowed? How can you let Marlowe
inspire you to maybe think otherwise, and go
ahead and go for it? Tell me about it in the comments below, or tweet it to
me @ErikaPetrelli1


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.