Be Yourself, It Speaks Volumes

I recently got a newsletter that really hit me– like right in the gut and my goodness was it needed. The title was (excuse the language) Don’t Cower. Don’t Make Yourself Small. Be Your Absolute Fucking Self Every Single Day. 

Recently I have been struggling with that idea… being my true self

Should I continue with my up front, opinionated, at times challenging self? It seems to have gotten me decently far but not as far as I wish I was, so do I tone it down? Do I stop dying my hair crazy colors, getting piercings and tattoos, being a hands-off parent, being OK with confrontation both in a personal or professional setting? Should I hold back?

Is “myself” too much?

In truth I know that I would be doing myself a disservice if I were to “tone it down.” I would be holding myself back and letting “them” win. I don’t want to be the woman who is perfectly tailored everyday at work, I’ve truly embraced the air dry hair style. I want to be the woman that her work speaks for itself- my work proves my professional worth and my work, important as it is to me, by no means defines me.

I have had many successes and failures in my (holy crap) almost ten years in the professional workforce that I am proud of and also wish I could have a do over for. I also know that I never want to feel guilty for becoming a mother, putting my family first, or being myself. My self worth is non-negotiable. Shari’s decisions, are mine and mine alone.

To other moms struggling with the work life balance and struggling with career growth, I am here to say you are not alone. The struggle is very real. Again, I may not be as far as I had hoped at this time, but I am damn good at what I do and I am damn proud of the mother I am becoming. Never forget to look back on how far you have come. Don’t compare yourself to others- you will always fall short if you do.

To future moms or women who work with moms, everything is not how it seems. Your life completely changes once you become a mother, your priorities, your mind set and your heart change, this is inevitable. Just because I come in early and leave earlier than you do, does not mean I am less productive or committed. In fact I could argue that I am more focused in those 8 hrs I am in office than I am at any other time of my day. I am  also putting hours in after my son goes to sleep. My career is a top priority in my life and my son has not changed that. I ask that you respect those mamas in the workforce, not only because maybe someday you will be there, maybe not, that is cool too, they have two full time jobs (and two side hustles as it is in my case) to make ends meets, or just to fufill their passions. Keep that in mind as you reach for your goals and hopefully help each other reach your goals.

“Ladies, its okay to support and compliment other women. Nothing bad will happen. I promise.”

So wow, that was a lot. I don’t have an answer to my previous questions. I don’t know what happens next, but I know I need to continue to work on me and how I feel about my current life phase. I will finish off this post in the same way the email (mentioned above) ended:

“Being an individual is one of the most generous things you can do, for it might seem like a quiet act?

But it speaks volumes.” – Ash Ambirge, Founder, The Middle Finger Project