I’m a feminist. It says it in my title. I wholeheartedly believe everyone should be a feminist. I mean who doesn’t think we should have equal rights and opportunities?!
Frankly, I didn’t. It took me a while to get here and saying that literally breaks my heart.
I have a vivid memory of sitting at the table over a meal with my in laws. We were discussing women in politics. I do not remember the year, but I’m thinking it was early 90s . The subject of a woman as president came up and I remember saying out loud “I don’t think a woman should ever be president. We’re just too emotional.” Everyone at the table agreed. I believed what I said. I lived it.
I was raised to believe those words. My conservative Christian family believed that men were the “head of the household” and that women were put on earth to serve man. My father worked. My mother stayed home and took care of the house. In fact, my father repeatedly told the story of how my mother quit college when they got married because “no married women needs to go to school.” My mother is gone now, but I know, without a doubt, that not completing college was probably her greatest regret. She didn’t know though.
Maya Angelou said “When you know better, do better.” Let’s do better.
And THAT is why Women’s History month is important. That is why we have to keep talking about it and educating others. I did a post on my personal Facebook every day about Women’s History. It was met with all sorts of reactions, mostly positive though as I think I’ve weeded through the haters in recent years. I’m amazed at people that don’t realize the severity of pay disparity. I still have to convince people about the in equality and lack of women in the technology world. We still have so much work to do.
I started this blog for many reasons. I want to explore writing again. I also want a place where I can be authentically me. Feminist ideas and writing and education is a big part of that. I’m yet to flesh out how that will work, but I will get there.
Have you ever posted a positive image or quote on social media? What made it special to you?
I chronically share stuff on social media that inspires me, makes me laugh or I find interesting. It think at my core I want to educate or help people and that’s why I share. I’m not sure my sharing is always taken that way, especially controversial or political stuff.
How do you feel like you contribute to the world through your vocation?
I do like the “help people” part of my job but I also like the “service” part of my job. Working in higher education is a calling and I am called to do that. I tried corporate for a few years, but didn’t connect as much to the mission as I do in higher education.
Have you ever donated money or time to a cause? What feelings prompted you to do so?
I mostly think acts of service and donation should be done quietly and without recognition. That said, I worked and help raise a decent amount of money for Relay for Life. Age and time has changed my mind a bit about that, but I don’t begrudge the effort I gave it.
Have you ever performed a random act of kindness?
If you have a brag about it, it isn’t a random act.
How do you contribute to your family or friend group on a regular basis?
The more of these questions I read and answer, the less I like them.
How would you like to live your life with the idea that you’re setting an example for others as you do so? Would you do anything differently?
I hope that I do live my life that way. A large part of my life, the last 24 years or so, I’ve tried to set an example for my children. I’m not perfect. I fail. But my intention is to always be a good human.
Is there a meaningful giving experience you’d like to plan for in the future? Write about it.
This is an interesting thought. I’m not sure. I’m a bit put out with big organized charities these days, but it raises the thought of what could I do on my own or with my family or a small, organized group.
I’m doing it again. That thing, where I commit to write and then I fall off the wagon. I’m trying. The last week has chewed me up and spit me out. Between just generally not feeling well, more shootings, one in my town with racial overtones (that some people refuse to acknowledge) and then some personal struggles I’m having around motherhood and womanhood and childhood (is that a thing) and life. That was a heck of a sentence. You’re welcome.
I just don’t get it. Why is it so hard for privileged people to admit that racism exists. I had a full on debate with someone I know and love about this. He (a white male) cannot see it at all. Well of course he can’t. He’s never experienced it. People used the argument that the guy in Atlanta “said” it wasn’t a hate crime. Well of course he said that. Then why don’t you recognize that people of color systematically don’t even get a chance to speak, much less tell us what really happened? It rocks me to my core. to. my. core.
It’s Women’s History Month in the year 2021, and I still feel like we’re fighting to convince everyone (women included) that there’s a problem. There IS a problem. There ARE all kinds of problems. Why aren’t we working to solve them together instead of denying they exist?
What is it that you feel is missing from your life right now? List as many or as few items as you like.
I don’t think much of anything is missing from my life. I have all I need and my family is happy and healthy. I do sincerely hope for grandchildren one day but acknowledge that it is not my children’s responsibility or duty to have children. I would like to travel more and hope it will be possible in the next few years.
Is there something that you had in the past that you wish you still had?
I sometimes wish I had the blind confidence I had in my 20’s but I wouldn’t go back there for it. Beyond that, I wish I had my health back before cancer and diabetes. It is true that you take your health for granted until it’s gone.
Do you feel like you are simply destined not to have some of the things you may want out of life? Where did this belief come from?
No, I still believe that anything is possible. There’s really not much I want in life that I don’t already have. I would love more travel and I think that’s entirely possible in the future.
Is there a time in your past that you “realized” it just might not be in the cards?
I realized in 2019 that the doctorate wasn’t in the cards at that time, in that way. I qualify it that way because I’m still not 100% convinced I won’t achieve it one day. I surrendered at that time though and it was definitely the right thing to do.
Can you think of anyone you know that has the thing that is missing from your life? What did he or she do differently than what you’re doing right now?
I purposefully and intentionally do not look to others for comparison. What other people have is not my business. I’m more likely to be aware and concerned with those that don’t have the material things I’ve been blessed with. Living is a world of envy and coveting is not a positive place.
This is the exercise on Work. I didn’t finish it but I’m posting as a record. It is a good exercise and does inspire quite a few stories. Maybe I’ll come back to this at some point.
List as many past jobs that you’ve held as you can think of.
1988-1990 – Clerical at Family Physician’s office 1990-1991 – Macy’s Credit Department 1991 – The Commercial Bank 1991-2000 – Carrollton Federal Bank 2000-2004 – Stay Home Mom 2003-2004 – West Central Technical College 2004-2016 – University of West Georgia 2016-2018 – Amtrak 2018-Present – Georgia Institute of Technology
Are there any particularly funny, horrifying, or heartwarming moments you strongly remember from any (or all) of them? Jot some of your favorites down.
I thought I wanted to be a doctor until I managed to get thrown up on one day at the doctor’s office. Watching someone getting stitched for a chainsaw cut didn’t bother me at all, but the vomit did.
The best story from Macy’s was the Christmas Eve another lady and I were locked in after closing. The credit department was the last to leave and security forgot about us. They locked up and set the alarm and left. We had to set off the alarm to get someone back there to let us out.
Working at the bank feels like a big chunk of my life, even though now I’ve been in higher ed much longer. I learned so much banking though about work and leadership and learning. There are so many stories and memories with the amazing people I got to work with and opportunities I was given. I wouldn’t know where to start.
Are you currently fulfilled at work? If so, why or why not?
Mostly, yes. I always want more and appreciate the extras I get to do like conferences and committees. I’m also ever aware of retirement approaching and I want to push to get my salary to a higher level for those purposes.
What is the best job that you’ve ever had? Why do you think you liked it?
I have had “best job” experiences at all the jobs I’ve been blessed with. I wouldn’t pick one necessarily. I’ve learned and had exceptional experiences everywhere. That said, the job I have right now is the best one right now. I am incredibly blessed. I am a part of the best team I’ve ever been on. My team is smart and fun. I get to do all kinds of cool things. I have great flexibility (which I love) AND I get to work from home full time.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Why did you take it (or stay longer than you wanted)?
Just like above, there have been low points in every job. Most of them had to do with bad leadership and/or circumstances. I made the best of every situation I could and I always stay too long. Mostly, I have hope that things will get better, but I also stayed too long for benefits at one place.
Does a part-time or full-time position suit you better? Why?
Oh definitely full time. Idle hands are not good for me at all. I like to stay busy.
What are your work values? Think of values that bring you emotional fulfillment (being challenged, helping others, influence, etc.) as well as external things that you value (high earnings, job security, having adequate time away from work, etc.)
What is your dream job?
What if you thought of your work as a calling instead of a grind (even if just for now)?
Are the internal values more or less important than the external things you receive?
Do you feel like you need to work toward a change in your career or vocation? Why?
Okay already. I started. I made a website and I blogged. I created a twitter and I tweeted. Now what’s this all about?
First, I want to learn to and love to write again. I started journals at a pretty young age and have continued that habit off and on. I had a pretty long running anonymous blog and loved that interaction. It was well read and pretty popular off and on.
And then… I started a doctoral program. Note the word “started.” I actually spent about seven years in that program. I was admitted to candidacy, successfully completed all my courses (ABD), and went through dozens of drafts of my dissertation. Bottom line: I thought my research was interesting and good and my writing was marginal. My major professor disagreed. She thought my research was boring and didn’t care about it and thought my writing sucked. After seven years, I bailed. I took a Specialist degree and walked away. It is quite literally the only thing I’ve ever started that I didn’t finish. It is also what I will always consider my greatest failure. Yeah, yeah. I know.
Now, with a year of reflection on that I’ve decided my major professor and I were both wrong. I firmly believe now that my research was valuable, important and worthy and my writing didn’t suck. I’m not bitter. I’m better. I still struggle. I lost confidence. I lost my voice briefly. I’m ready to pick myself back up though. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to believe in myself again.
Beyond all that, I find myself wanting a place where I can express myself a bit more openly than my personal book of face account and with more characters than a tweet, even though I did make a tweet. Calm down. I know. This isn’t social media. I won’t confuse the two.
So what are we doing here? It’s still developing. Here’s some things I think I’ll explore here:
Some personal work, like the year of writing things you’ll see here
Whining about how much I miss/love/don’t understand my grown up children
What would happen if you overcame the obstacle? More importantly, what would happen if you didn’t (think broadly: emotionally, physically, financially, etc.)?
Can you reframe the most pressing current obstacle as simply a to-do list? In other words, in order to overcome this, what do you need to learn? What tasks do you need to perform? Who do you need to convince?
Have you ever used an “obstacle” as an excuse not to get started? Did you regret it?
Are obstacles really just fears holding you back?
What is the longest-running obstacle in your life?
What steps have you used to make progress toward overcoming it? How far have you come with it? What do you wish would happen? How would that be possible?
What is the biggest obstacle you faced in your past? Did you overcome it? If so, how? If not, why?
I’ve been stirring over this for a couple of days. I find myself needing to define what I’m trying to get to, before I define what I’m trying to get through. I’m not sure what that is right now, which is part of the challenge for me. In many ways, I’m happy and satisfied, and I’m not sure I should even be asking for more. There is though – something more. There always is.
My very nature is to keep pushing through to “the next thing.” I need to unpack that. Does there always need to be “the next thing”? Is growing and progressing “the next thing”? It makes me think of that Hamilton song, “Satisfied.” (There’s a lot of quotes here.) So what is the next thing? Is it more education, a different position, something all together different? I don’t know.
Having said all that, now I wonder if the obstacle is actually not making a decision about the future. When I started thinking about this, I initially said the obstacle is likely fear, anxiety and maybe resources. Now, I think maybe those are side effects or even excuses for the real obstacle – indecisiveness.
I’m going to think on this some more and maybe come back with more thoughts.