I am proud of my career and the path I have taken to get here. I’ve spent 22 years in the professional world, taken on responsibilities that I wasn’t entirely sure I could manage, but succeeding despite my doubts, and what I am probably most proud of is getting my bachelor’s degree, even testing out of four courses. Impressive, right? I also lived in three different states, have completed one half marathon, two 10K runs, several 5Ks, and shed many family dysfunctions to claim an identity that is not defined by history and drama.
Oh yeah, and I also birthed two beautiful babies in less than 2 years.
Yet, the other day when a friend asked me to blog about something important or something that I am an expert on – my response was, “I don’t really do anything that interesting. I am pretty boring.”
Her face said it all.
How can that be my answer? And above everything else, why is that so many women’s answer when we are asked anything remotely close to describing our successes, our accomplishments or our self-worth? Why do we consistently de-emphasize our good? Why is it so hard to admit that we are smart or accomplished or inspirational?
I drove home that day frustrated with myself and determined to own my greatness. While I have now recognized quite a few things that I can easily be proud of and rattle off in a moment’s notice – the trophy moment I am most proud of is the small yet incredibly powerful message I give to my kids. Every. Single. Day.
Since my babies came into this world, I have told and taught them to be kind and to be brave. And I have lived my entire motherhood trying to show them how to do it. I get it wrong at times but for the most part – wouldn’t you know – I have been a great role model. I am nice to every person even when my children recognize that he/she was rude, impatient, or short and I have been brave when answering every question my children ask with the truth (as I see it), even the ones that they are conventionally too young to understand.
So there. It isn’t earth-shattering. It may seem inconsequential. I didn’t discover a vaccine or break a world record. But I made a personal accomplishment – I found my greatness. Rather, I acknowledge my greatness. And I will be damned if I am going back.
I know there are others out there like me – the ones who shrink a little when the spotlight is shined on them. I get it. I don’t like to be the center of attention or for the story to revolve around me. It’s not where I am comfortable. But that is quite different from being completely indifferent when it comes to my self-worth.
So practice your lines, ladies! I am coming for you. If we run into each other in a Starbucks, a playground or a boardroom – you better know what you are good at – because I won’t let you walk away from me until you have told me.
Come on…be kind and brave!