My Ode to Being a Woman: I’ve been around long enough that I have earned these stripes as a woman. With these stripes comes wisdom, strength, resilience and courage. On the other side of that coin, there is resentment, bitterness, frustration and anger that I fight everyday to channel into positive actions. Along my “life is not fair” awareness tour, I’ve earned each and every one of these eight stripes, and then some.
Each of these stripes represents a man in my life that has held me down, ridiculed me, lied to me, betrayed me, demeaned me, fired me and sexually harassed me. There is an actual face and name associated with each of these stripes. It’s a battle that is real. I’ve been the blonde in the meeting disregarded because I was a female. I’ve been the bright woman pushed aside because I spoke my mind. I’ve been threatened and alienated because I spoke up against sexual harassment. I’ve been discounted because I had a baby.
These experiences happened in my corporate jobs, my non-profit jobs, my ministry jobs and now as self employed. And women are not off the hook here either. I’ve seen women destroy other women on the job many, many times. The world is cut throat, cruel and a competitive place to be. So I choose to live my life in an honorable, respectable way by staying focused on what goes on my house, my relationships and my company. I raise my son to have the values that will lead him in that same direction. I stand up for injustice when I can. I advocate for positive change when I can. I stand up for the voiceless when I can. I give to help others when I can. I reflect God’s love when I can. And I understand that these stripes make me who I am and that the only change I have control over is the change within myself. So for International Women’s Day, I salute all other women who have lived their own “life is not fair awareness tour” and have risen above it, whatever it is, to proudly show their stripes of wisdom and courage.