I leaned in and fell over.
Here’s the thing. I work. A lot. I just do. I always have. Because I liked shopping. Because I like good food and good wine. Because I dislike crowds, getting beer spilled on a new outfit and also, because I was a great sober cab for my friends in college. Afterall, safety first!
So when “leaning in” became a career verb, I put on my Bossypants, said, “Yes, Please!” and took every opportunity to hustle like a Girlboss. Can you blame me? Each of those books tells you to work your tail off, if you want to basically be a badass like any of their authors. What I failed to realize is that those books are condensed career lifetimes. As in, I can’t make my entire 2015 about checking every single career to-do off of my list.
At this exact minute in time, I find myself working for no less than 6 businesses/people. Six. And yes, I have as many hours in the day as Beyonce, but she also probably has a personal chef and someone to do her laundry and her hair. I did not wake up looking like this. I woke up puffy, frizzy and needed to brew my own tea, and had to put on my pants two legs at a time because I spent too much time catching up on Instagram this morning.
I didn’t realize there was an International Women’s Day this month until the reality of my many careers had already sunk into my bones and I skimmed my emails. I quickly found that these women who work hard to be recognized as equals among their male counterparts are seeking quality, not quantity (although technically equal pay would be quantity but I beg to push for the quality of life you can lead as a result of that quantity.)
When I weighed my many tasks against the level of quality work I’d be able to contribute to each outlet, I realized I was spreading myself thin. Too thin. I was dropping the ball on things that actually mattered to me for petty opportunities that I “could” or “might” pursue. I look at those words with the same disdain I do a sweater that I think I *might* be able to unshrink.
For all of you out there working hard, I hope you are working for what matters to you– not because you think you should, but because you know in your bones that this– whatever “this” happens to be–is worth it to you.
I leaned in, and tipped over from the weight of my world hurting my shoulders. I don’t need to do it all right now. I’ve picked myself right back up, decided what’s realistic about my time, and what deserves my energy. These “women’s days” are more than just blasting Spice Girls jams (although that doesn’t hurt) and negotiating for your raise, it’s also about making your workday meaningful. I hope for all the liberty we’ve gained, we continue to be mindful of self care–because I’ll tell ya what I want, what I really, really want…I wanna, I wanna, I wanna…present the best version of myself–and my work–to the world and it’s difficult to do that if you’re juggling knives.