Women embody resilience
As women we are the epitome of resilience. In fact, if you were to look up the word in a dictionary, you’d see a picture of women (OK, slight exaggeration, but there should be a picture of women there).
Let’s look at the facts. We juggle everything, if you’re a mum, then you’re likely to be balancing raising a child, looking after a home, and going out to work. Even if you’re not a mum, you’re like me, when life threw health challenges at me, I still had to earn money to take care of myself, while taking care of myself.
We don’t have the luxury of slowing down and taking it easy most of the time.
In fact, I’ve always said for a long time, if you want a job done properly, get a woman to do it.
We unstick, unglue, and unfuck so many things.
Yet for a long time, we’ve been part of a prevailing culture where instead of having one hand on the back of the woman in front of us, to push her up, we’ve been grabbing on and pulling her down.
I have been guilty of this. I’ve felt so threatened by other women’s successes that I’ve felt jealous and the need to hold her back. We have been told so often that there is not the place for all of us, only a few. Yet that practice always left me feeling terrible, like some kind of sickness had invaded me.
For this I am unbelievably sorry. The only way I feel I can correct this is to make amends with any further actions I take in the course of my career (and life). No more dragging down when I should be pointing and running towards (aka Abby Wambach).
Times are changing
It has felt in more recent times that times are changing. Today, I was at an event that had just been created by a lovely lady called Kylie. Kylie, like me in many ways, wants to create a platform that brings women of different backgrounds together with the common goal of lifting them up and helping them feel empowered.
There were three speakers, of which I was one of them. I spoke about In Their Shoes customer research which gave it it’s first outing as a talk, Charlotte from The Power of the Parent spoke about her work as a strengths coach, and the stunning Laura from Girl Behind the Look spoke about creating a glow for yourself (and totally badassed her way through her first ever talk!).
It was amazing. Aside from putting my slides together yesterday and doing what I always did in pitches, aka wing it on what I was going to say (it looks far more coordinated than you might think). What a great room of ladies.
Networked the h*ck out of myself, almost lost my voice (this is a hazard of wfh & only talking to the dog!). And was absolutely grateful to Kylie for bringing a room of engaged ladies together.
If anything, it energised me beyond measure. All the thoughts and ideas that I’ve been having, but are still, as yet, largely untested, got a small and brief airing. And reader, they didn’t suck.
I’ve absolutely done the big no-no of putting the most important thing (to me anyway) at the bottom of the page. Why? Well, I wanted you to read to the bottom, but if you didn’t if it all goes wrong, nobody read this bit. I’m KIDDING.
Anyway… here’s the vision I’ve been playing with for the last couple of weeks.
I am going to build a community of women whose lives have been diverted from their original path. To help them find their voice online, and give them the skills to help them.
In addition to helping with skills, the community will provide education and information on how to cope with all the unexpected shit life throws at you. You know, health issues, grief & loss, separation etc.
Why? I’ve just gone through seven years of absolute hell. The resources I needed, and still do, just aren’t there. There was no community for me. There was nobody to have my back when the days were really bad, because nobody I know truly know or understood what my experience was. Nobody knew what it was like to walk in my shoes.
But I know I’m not alone.
I’m an angel playing skittles, knocking down the pins that are in my path. Hysterectomy, death of my (very much loved) dad, premature ovarian failure, menopause 1.0, fallopian cyst and both ovaries removed, menopause 2.0 are all my pins.
You are all angels playing skittles too, you have pins you’re knocking down… but if there’s a group of us throwing balls at them, we’ll knock them down twice as fast.
I’m inviting you to join me – hit me up in the comments below and tell me what’re the pins you want to knock down and what do you want to stand in their place?