How do you want to be remembered?

This month is Women’s History Month. While reflecting on the women who came before us, namely women who have done great and note worthy things in politics as it applies to my work, I started to ask myself how do I want to be remembered? At 34, I’ve done and seen a lot for someone my age, but looking towards the future, I realized I don’t really have a plan. 

I’ve always felt that it is important to leave a positive mark on the world. If not, then what is it all for? You don’t have to discover a cure for cancer to be remembered. In fact, as a filmmaker, I believe that everyone has a story to tell and to be retold. How else are we to learn from and honor the past? It’s important to know where you came from, which is why the first mini-documentary I ever did was on my grandparents right before my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. Today, that 15 minutes is a gift for the entire family to enjoy and reflect on. My grandfather, after all, lived to be 97 years old. He lived through an entire century, through multiple wars, witnessed the invention of the television, microwave, computer, internet, cell phone and even social media, although with the last four he chose never to partake. He lived through 17 presidents, the women’s right to vote, Civil Rights and a slew of other changes that took place during the 20th century. I don’t think I will ever experience that kind of dramatic shift in culture and lifestyle: A world without digital technology, to a world that can’t live without it, but my grandfather accepted it with grace.

My grandfather desperately wanted to be remembered, as many of us do, and I remember him fondly. But when thinking about how I wanted to leave this life, I was a little at a loss. I sometimes wonder if everything has already been invented and now all we're doing is improving upon those things that are already here, sometimes to their detriment? The world is more competitive and ideas are more abundant. We are no longer competing with ourselves, but globally. Then, after all that self doubt, I realized, this shouldn’t be so hard. I just needed to look at what was important to me. 

While I’ve come to accept that I may never be the president of the United States, perhaps my legacy is to help support, encourage and elect the first of many female presidents, congresswomen and city council women. Perhaps my legacy is to help alter history, and the only way to transform it is to change who is writing it. We need more women in political power. Women are intellectually equal and just as capable of running cities, states and countries, so let’s give them the chance to do it. 

There are thousands of women who came before us who put themselves out there to be judged, beaten, and ridiculed. Who wanted to make a difference and who believed in something bigger than self. So, looking forward 100 years from now, when I’m cold and in the grave, I think I would like this on my tomb stone: She was a wonderful wife, mother and person. Courageous and a champion for women to have a seat at the table. She kicked ass.

Now that’s something to work for. 

Kiley Parker

Raising Ms. President HQ, 716 E Market St, Louisville, KY, 40202, United States

Kiley Lane Parker is a documentary and film director, producer, writer and editor. A journalism and political science graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she began her career as a writer and production coordinator for Warren Miller Entertainment. After moving to Telluride, Colorado she became the production manager and senior producer, editor and on camera host for Plum TV. Now rooted in her home state of Kentucky, she has produced and directed several documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television and the web TV station, kyGREEN.tv, which she co-founded with her husband in 2010.