Slight turn today as one of my friends said something that made me think which really doesn’t happen often (lol J/K you guys, I find you all very thought provoking).
If I had to describe myself in three words I wouldn’t pick ambitious, I do not think of myself as ambitious nor do I identify as being ambitious – something that I think has only happened in recent years. My dad came across one of my old school projects where I was asked what I wanted when I was older, number one was “be successful”. Number two was to be happy. Great to see I had my priorities were in order.
Entering the working world I started to see how ambitious women are seen. I remember sitting in a meeting with the head of an agency who was making some requests of us – nothing too over the top, very much the basics. I remember admiring how great she was at communicating and laying down the law. Then we left the meeting and two men (who just to be clear, I did not work with, we just attended the same meeting) muttered that she “certainly knows what she wants” and had a little snigger together. I felt crushed. Here was a successful woman, holding a business meeting and with one line she gets cut down. I felt so disillusioned. I started to notice it more and more. Little comments about women in the business, women being called “ball breakers”, if a woman wasn’t cheery and friendly then some suggestions were made about her bedroom life. The lowest of the low was when I was going through a particularly bad patch at work and one co-worker took me aside to ask if I was letting issues with my love life affect my working life.
I cannot believe that has ever been asked of a man. Which sucks. I feel like every time we do well someone feels they have to cut us down. And I really don’t think I’m being over-dramatic. Or a feminazi which quite frankly is just a ridiculous term.
So I think I played down my ambition. I think I feared being seen like that. Which I am not proud of. So it was so lovely of my friend to say that she sees me as ambitious. I am no longer going to be afraid of that label and I’m going to channel my 7 year old self. Except maybe I’ll put being happy at number one.