On International Women’s Day, I alluded to future brainstorming of what it means to me to be a woman. Here is my mini rhapsody.
To Walk in My Shoes as a Woman
Growing up in sneakers or barefoot, aside from that brief window in the early 90’s when I was forced to wear Eastland shoes to stay on trend, it was evident I was not your traditional little girl. Throwing a fit when forced to wear a dress to church on Sundays or for school pictures every year was a common scene in our household. I liked digging holes to China in our front yard and building forts in our backyard. Sometimes, I found myself completely content counting the rings of our old Oak tree’s devastating stump while taking notice of whatever crawly critters interrupted me.
Those habits lent themselves to having many boy friends at an early age. Girl friends were fine, I just didn’t care for their drama or “girlier” interests. It didn’t help much that after my youngest sister was born, whose name also began with “A,” landed me the nickname “Big A,” which was on point with my big personality. I was and still am goofy, silly, creative and chatty. There was more than one occasion where I got booted from the back to the front of the class so I would pay attention.
As I got a little older, I became more aware that I was not all that influenced by the Disney princess dream of finding my prince charming. Nor did I daydream about my wedding day or get excited about having a big family, staying home and cooking. Rather, I wanted to adventure, travel, explore the world. Yes, fiercely independently do my own thing.
Years have gone by in my 20 plus years of adulthood in which I felt like a bit of an outcast. That’s not to say I had trouble making friends. I am a people person who loves to laugh. I’m not afraid to be laughed at.
All joking aside, my most recent adventure is the start-up of my own business. the bravery built to embark on the greatest adventure of my life, starting my own business. I have been inspired by several female friends who have gone before me and successfully started their own companies, as well as those who’ve come alongside me sharing my vision.
Now, with #metoo #timesup and #likeaboss campaigns raising never before seen in history, I feel freer to be me. Apologetic by nature, I am all the more determined to courageously live unapologetically. I work hard to turn off any sound bites in my head that I need to conform to be softer, quieter, more feminine.
Furthermore, I am thrilled to embrace the new look of “feminism.” She is strong. She is fierce. She is a force to be reckoned with. She is brave. She is beautiful. She is fun and fabulous. She is me.
Quirks and all, I hope my story inspires females all around to pursue their own unique dreams and never give up. Welcome new shapes and seasons to transform and refine, maybe even redefine your initial vision. Remember to have fun with the journey. You go, girl!