They’re right: Time’s up.
I have a confession: I wrote this blog over a week ago. I felt inspired to say something but then my familiar friend, fear, crept in and I was unsure if I could actually say how I was feeling. As you read in my last blog I have been struggling through the start of 2018 to embrace my fear and frankly to embrace much at all. The lists looked so long and daunting. I was drowning in the details.
I made a small change: I decided everyday on the way to work that I would listen to a new podcast. This morning was Super Soul Conversations with Brene Brown. It rocked me. It was the closest and most concise way I could ever explain how I was feeling. So – I’m hitting “publish” and feeling the fear and being vulnerable anyways.
This has been on my heart for a while. I’ve remained silent on the topic because I don’t talk about controversial things in public forums for a few reasons; namely, that it doesn’t serve the higher purpose to banter about things when you know that people believe what they believe.
Left wing vs Right wing.
Protestant vs Atheist.
Vaxxers vs Anti-vaxxers.
It all boils down to the same thing: you.can’t.change.people’s.views. No matter how hard you try. There is this evil thing called the world-wide web that will publish any view, whether supported with facts or not. And as a result of that, I choose to keep harmony and not talk about anything controversial in social media forums.
With that being said, I feel moved today. I watched Oprah’s Golden Globe acceptance speech and I cried. I am going to preface this blog by stating two things:
- I am not and have never been a women’s right’s advocate. Sounds harsh, right? Not because I don’t believe it’s important – it with utmost certainty is – but because I was always of the view that the best person should have the job. I didn’t think that certain spots should be held for gender or race but rather the best qualified person for the job. In fact, I thought it was more insulting than anything else. This coupled with the fact that I have worked with the most incredibly successful and intelligent woman meant I couldn’t see the glass ceiling of my gender because I didn’t believe that there was one. My experience does not speak for every woman, it is solely my own.
- I have never been sexually, physically or mentally abused. I have never walked that path, and I have no idea what it might feel like. My life, generally speaking, has been easy. I am one Y chromosome away from being part of the most privileged group of people in humanity.
Something felt a bit different today as I watched my daughter’s namesake present the Cecil B DeMille award to Oprah, an award which is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the world of entertainment. Today I felt a responsibility I hadn’t felt before. That responsibility is to remind myself and my daughter that the world isn’t what it is because we all had an easy path. A simple concept with a difficult delivery. There are visionaries and people who suffered great oppression to make great change, and it isn’t just a glorified issue in Hollywood. These visionaries had the courage to be vulnerable and to stand firm in their values no matter the cost. So even though it wasn’t my journey to be faced with great adversity as a woman in order to achieve success – it was some people’s journey; many people’s in fact. Those people paved my path and filled all of the potholes.
The tears that came as I tried to multitask and get ready for work while catching up on the outside world (side note: watching emotional acceptance speech while putting on mascara are counterproductive activities) those tears were the result of the realization that my daughter might not experience the world as I did. Maybe she would be one of the countless victims of abuse and there was nothing I could do to protect her. Even though I couldn’t protect her, I could arm her with the tools to be able to survive it – and not only survive, but still somehow flourish. In order to do this I need to make a fundamental perception change. I want to let go of the urge to say “really – another one?” and to say “how can I make sure there is one less?” instead.
There are so many things I wish for my daughter I couldn’t possibly list them all. I want her to be confident, I want her to work hard, I want her to be kind and always use her manners. I want her to buy a coffee for a stranger or say hello to a homeless person and look them in the eyes. I want her to experience true love in whatever form that might be. I want her to breathe in the entire world such that it’s a part of the fabric of who she is. I want her to know what it is to fail, but then to have the courage and the vulnerability to try again. But above all of those things – I hope she always, always speaks her truth.
It starts with me.