Updated: Jul 23, 2019
Last week was pretty rough, between an insane workload, juggling my holistic women’s healing courses and getting my period I was feeling very depleted. Still, I met with a woman from the course at a café for lunch to discuss the upcoming exams. It was the first time we met in person, so of course there was some small talk involved.
Let me set the scene for you:
This woman is a very young and lovely yoga instructor who is trail blazing her own path the way only a gen z could do. Being on the very cusp of millennialism myself, I have certainly frightened my parents with my career choices more than once, but something about this quiet assurance that everything would be ok was shocking to witness firsthand. Eventually she asked me what I did for a living and I pointed to the behemoth of a Shopping Center looming over us in the tiny independent café. “I run that.” She looked confused: “So you sell stuff in the mall?” How do you explain to such a tender young thing who’s only real work experience so far has been with a startup for a few months the soul crushing, time sucking, life destroying evil that is a managerial job in a corporate environment?
Her response surprised me. After suggesting a chat with the CEO to fix any issues I may be having (to which I snorted in my Turmeric Latte) she turned into a whole other lane by saying how great it is that women are rising to the top of their chosen fields and that is exactly what this world needs right now.
I was gobsmacked.
I have had my head down for so long, working long hours, taking punishing amounts of work on and trying to avoid hourly crises I never really stopped long enough to realize that I was at the head of my game. I had been working on getting this position for years and since then, had been working in it for 7, but somehow it escaped me that I was a #girlboss.
Then came the guilt.
I am a staunch feminist who truly believes that I can do anything a man can do, while bleeding.
But this, I just can’t do this anymore.
Does that make me a traitor to my own kind?
I have packed away every emotion, hired and fired, worked through countless lunches, sicknesses, dates with my husband. My work is always on time and better than expected, I work for a third of what my male colleagues earn, yet I never complain. I clean up every mess and am on call 24/7. I have fulfilled my father’s and feminists expectations.
I do it all. And I just can’t anymore.
In typical fashion I went home and opened a bottle of wine. Then another. The glass ceiling never broke, there was never a moment of relief. In fact, every time I’m at the airport or train station, going to yet another meeting, I always look at the expensive champagne and think, someday, when I make it, I’ll buy a bottle of Dom Perignon to celebrate.
The world may not need another yoga instructor, but it certainly doesn’t need yet another unhappy soul plugging away at a job that robs the joy out of life.
I may be setting a bad example for young women out there or proving chauvinists point that women are too sensitive to be in high-ranking positions. But if that’s what it takes to find my way back to a healthy version of myself, then so be it.