I must admit that I have never been a feminist. I just had no time, and as I look at my future plans, there is no chance for me to become a feminist. I just won’t have time.
I have read books in which women tell other women to lean in or to break the glass. I have noticed that none of these books reveals the truth about the price women have to pay to become strong, or what really makes a woman become strong, wise, confident, and respected by a male-run-business world.
The books are written by famous women, whose professional background is rooted mostly in media, or social media business. What surprised me was that none of the authors describes what really has made them find themselves in a business position they actually hold. The books, addressed to a young female generation, are filled with the advice given on their pages describing how to get through a male-dominated professional world, but…
Today, a big part of the young female generation is smarter than we think. They are smart, tough, sometimes even too tough (even it costs them lots of tears cried out by nights), and, what’s the most important – they don’t buy bullshit. They don’t believe in miracles, they know that live bites; they are not afraid of not pretending that they are not stupid.
The only thing they are afraid of is a ‘strong’ woman who tries to give them advice without telling them the truth.
A young female generation has gotten a key to education, foreign languages, open borders, digital possibilities, technical solutions, but they know that the key doesn’t open career’s gates as easy as they were told it would. They want to hear examples from women they can ‘touch’, women who are reachable, who are not hidden behind a glass or a screen.
In my life, I’ve been too busy to be a feminist. I’ve run my company, employed men, built houses, developed shop centres, consulted other companies, rode on my Harley-Davidson, brought up my daughter, travelled across the world. I’ve been socially careless or even blatantly irritating and didn’t pay attention to what ‘others’ might say about my life. I’ve been tough but not vulgar. I haven’t burnt my bras, I like a red lipstick on my lips. I’ve loved men and been loved by them.
As far as I remember, I was also too busy to think whether I was allowed to do things that would be accepted by others or not. I stopped fearing of being rejected. I just had no time to wait for acceptation that would have come from people who had never cared about or for me. I had no time to pretend that I was pleased with empty conversations or that I was interested in complaining about men. I just followed my dreams, my decisions, my goals.
I started with stopping telling lies. This was the hardest thing. However, the feeling of being released from a need to pretend was absolutely overwhelming.
Then, I stopped to say “Sorry, but..” when I wanted to say something; I realized that there was nothing I should have felt sorry about when opening my mouth and I was doing nothing wrong wanting to express my options.
I have learnt that my strength comes from stepping into my biggest fears, facing them, and doing the things despite my shaking legs.
I have learnt that the stronger determination I confronted each of my fears, the faster my self-confidence grew.
As a result of that, I haven’t ‘produced’ energy of being insecure about what I wanted to do or to say.
I haven’t hurt anybody unless it was their inflated ego to abuse me…
I’ve kept on learning, learning, learning. I’ve gained knowledge in the subjects I was interested in, learnt languages. I haven’t ever stopped to want tp develop, either intellectually or spiritually.
In my thirties, I met an amazing woman who influenced my life extremely. I remember her saying to me one day:
“It’s far better to fly with eagles than sip with chickens. The price you will pay while waiting for eagles in your life will be high, but the time you spend with them will be priceless and worth of long periods of solitariness .”
She was right.
I’ve also learnt that each time when I met a truly strong woman, I wasn’t scared of her nor I did feel inferior to her; I just wanted to be close to her, to learn from her, to observe her behaviour. I didn’t want to please her, I just knew my place in a row while being focused on learning from her. It was like my instinct was telling me to follow an atavistic, subconscious wisdom to trust to the real Masters. The Real Masters, who don’t need to scream out about their magnificence, who don’t need to kill someone first to show that they are capable of bringing them back to life later. I felt safe with them all the time, even though my legs were shaking when close to them.
I have made wrong decisions and mistakes too, but I’ve got to understand that it was me and only me who was responsible for every and each of them. There was nobody with a gun pointed at my head telling me what a decision to make. They were all mine. While crying my eyes out from despair, pain, anger, I also learnt that there are always three [at least] solutions to get out of a bad situation, no matter how bad it seems to be.
It doesn’t matter if you are young or mature women, if you need an inspiration, motivation, or guidance in your professional life: find a strong woman you admire who is close to where you’ve been living, find someone you can ‘touch’, someone who isn’t placed behind a screen of your laptop. Find a person who you can ask questions, ask for an advice. You will find the way how to do it.
I have learnt that the best teachers don’t speak too much, their evidence comes from the way they live their lives. This is why it’s so important to choose someone to learn from in your professional or social neighbour.
The price a woman must pay to become a strong one is really high. However, the cheapest stuff never lasts long, never defends itself from being with no class.
I have met women and men in my life, who were wise and strong. I have also met stupid and weak ones too. I’ve learnt from all of them.
Your choices determine the path of your life, its quality, and its outcome.
“A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.” – Thomas Hardy