Monday was a day like many others. I drove my children to school, dropped them off with kisses and well wishes. As usual I began to make my way home to get to work. School holidays were finally over, and that meant the mountain of work that had been beckoning me was ready to be conquered.
While I drove, I found myself captivated by the radio show that had been playing in the background whilst the kids were in the car. I turned the volume up and began to listen with interest. A woman was being interviewed about a book she had written for parents.
For the sake of this esteemed author, I won’t mention the book or her name as her interview was exceptional, and from what I gained, she was doing great things. The interview went on and with each question and answer my interest was peaking.
The interviewer, who was a male, asked a question that caused me almost to crash into the oncoming cars. I gripped the steering wheel, clenched my teeth and held my shouting back until he finished. I wanted to make sure I had heard his question correctly and with clarity.
What was his question? What could he possibly have asked that would cause me to curl up with frustration and feel a fire within my belly? Well, before I share it I want to make sure my female readers have cleared their throats and have swallowed their last sip of whatever they’re drinking right now. I need to make sure you aren’t mid-meal or snack because choking isn’t something I want to happen. I hope you’re sitting down but make sure you have space to stand quickly, to stamp your feet and to bang the table.
Clear a path because I fear you may have a similar reaction to my experience.
Not only did this question infuriate me because I am a woman who has endeavoured to create a path, push boundaries, challenge the norm and design a life I love. Additionally, I have been bold enough to believe that I am planned, purposed and chosen for such a time as this. AND, I have been placed on the planet to do something that is unique to me. Like all of you, there is something imprinted on my heart and soul that I will outwork and I find that fascinating, exciting, thrilling and exhilarating. PLUS…. I am a married woman who is in partnership with my husband and thankfully he is a man who isn’t threatened by anything I have written above rather, he celebrates who I am and encourages me to always live strong.
I am also the mother of two girls and a son. I believe that they have a unique plan and that they should take life by the horns and live a life of purpose on purpose and for purpose. I know that they have an extraordinary future and that as we continually put vision in front of them, they will rise and do amazing things. I believe this for my girls and my son, equally.
So, WHAT DID THE INTERVIEWER ASK?
His question to this accomplished female AUTHOR was….
‘Do you think women should be ambitious and what do you think about the stigma that surrounds ambitious women?’ Really? It’s 2015, and we’re asking this question. Should women be ambitious?
I wanted to jump out of my car and shout from the rooftops, YES WOMEN SHOULD BE AMBITIOUS. We are designed to be creative, to have a voice, to bring change. To bring life, to love, to nurture to BE THE CHANGE where ever we are. Has that interviewer not heard the song ‘I Am Woman’? Does he know that it was in 1975 that the United Nations declared that year to be International Women’s Year and ever since we have been celebrating this? Does he live under a rock? Does he know it’s 2015?
I have to ask, would this interviewer ever have asked a man the same question? Or, is it acceptable for a man to be ambitious? I can’t believe that such a question would ever be asked of a man. Instead of asking ridiculous questions like this, we need to value PEOPLE. Value, regardless of age, race, gender, marital status, economic status or any other status that we can contrive.
As we place value on people, from this perspective, we understand, fully and completely that we all have a part to play in this world. Some parts are leading roles, others supporting and some roles require us to stand tall and to speak in a way that is heard through all the sound bites that add colour and expression to life.
My response to that question is this: I am a woman. I am strong. I am confident. I know who I am and whose I am. I choose to walk in the knowledge of this. It is with this knowledge that I will not hide rather I will live and do extraordinary things, things that only I can bring into being. My life is meant to be lived in a way that captivates others. I am visible, and my voice is heard. I will not shrink back and deny my femininity and the story that is mine. I will use my life. I will tell my story. I will seek, I will share, I will hope, I will dream, I will love deeply and I will be me, fully, completely and without apology.
Women and girls of all ages GO FOR IT. Be ambitious for that which breathes life into the world around you.
To his question, this poised author gave the interviewer respect. She responded with grace, wisdom and strength. She took the high road. Through her response, I relaxed and learned from her. A lesson well learned and one I am taking into my future. To the author, thank you for blazing yet another trail and for being your incredible ambitious self.