The myth that if I succeed, as a woman, means another woman cannot is simple just a myth. The idea that as women only one of us can have a seat at the table is not ideal. The notion that we must compete against one another is unrealistic. But what is true is if I succeed I create the opportunity for someone else to succeed, if I get a seat at the table I create another seat at the table for someone else; there is no need for the competition.
This was a post that I have wanted to do for quite a while, but I never could quite frame it in the correct context for the audience that I have here. As I am in the midst of relocating for my career, I am doing a lot of thinking. So as I begin a new position in my career, I am meeting new people. And with meeting new people comes providing them with my abbreviated background a blend of professional and personal information. A new woman co-worker asked me "how do I do what I am doing with a husband AND a daughter." (I am not going to lie to you I was a bit taken back by the comment, because I could not understand where it was coming from.) My response was quite frank, "I just do."
One of my first blog post discussed the idea of work-life balance "Work Life - What?!". I vividly remember over a year ago meeting with a Vice President with my employer and asked her how she does it. I can now see and feel her frustration with that question. Let’s be honest, women have been “doing it” since the beginning of time. Further, this is never a question that we ask men – we literally only reserve this question for women. Thus when it comes to women and getting things done, in every aspect of our lives, we just do it. It is now that I really for the first time understand my VP's response to me. As I discussed in one of my previous post, there is no such thing a "true" work life balance or integration. It's just doing. Sometimes my family needs all of my attention and sometimes my work needs all of my attention.
© My great great great great grandmother who carried her child on her hip as a slave, fostered a loving relationship to have her child ripped from her arms and sold as property.
© My great grandmother, who never got to opportunity to met me in person, but held together a family while whole heartedly loving both of her grandkids and their mother with all her heart.
© My beloved Gramie who raised my father and aunt as a single mother, making sacrifices beyond my measure (and many others) to ensure their successful future.
© My aunt who triumphed over adversity and road blocks that should have stopped her to attain happiness and success.
© My older and vibrant sister, who no matter what is going on her own life still has the time to bring a sound voice of reason and true loyalty.
© Then to my brilliant, fantastic, beautiful and courageous mother, where do I begin… With literally all the odds stacked against her she found a way. She found a ways to live through the passing of her loved ones. She found ways to love, even when the people around her did not know how to love correctly. She found ways to laugh, when given the situation most people would have grown tired and weary.
True perseverance in the face of adversity…
I have the blood coursing through my veins of strong women in my past, both distant and near. I only hope for two things in my future: 1. to carry on their legacy with pride and confidence, and 2. most importantly to instill that strength and legacy in my daughter, so she may never do anything in vein.