Do you consider yourself a successful woman?
If, like me, you’re currently wondering ‘what does that question even mean?’, then you’re in good company!
As women, we have been told our entire lives what success as a woman should look like. It generally means things like being beautiful, (preferably thin and young); having a fabulous and ever so slightly glamorous, but very high powered job where we daily save the world as well as making pots of money; falling deeply, madly in love with a Hugo Boss model lookalike, never having a bad hair day and having gorgeous, serene children who bring a huge sense of fulfillment to our already fulfilled and amazing lives. And whatever we do – never, ever, under any circumstances assert ourselves in a way that makes anyone, especially men, uncomfortable or challenged (aka bossy!)
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a woman successful. Ok, so truthfully, I don’t just sit around thinking such lofty thoughts! Initially I was actually considering what made me successful! The reason being, I turn 40 this year and I always said it would be something I would celebrate and enjoy – entering the wisdom years and relaxing more into my more fulfilled self – a stage of life where I could let go of trying to ‘prove’ myself.
That was the plan.
And while I fully support having plans, it’s also good to realise that there’s a good reason we all know the saying: “The best laid plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry”. Instead of having the things I have been told make me successful, I appear to have spent 2015 steadily shedding them. I lost the man I loved (through a breakup), closely followed by my job (through redundancy), and my home (through roommates moving away). Dreams of children and intimacy and a daily opportunity to professionally invest in something I cared about just disappeared. Suddenly everything I had been told made my life ‘successful’…was gone.
I started to wonder what now gave me real value as a woman…
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