Empowered, Independent, and In Love
Women have been fighting for equal rights for a long time now.
I am here for it. I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to be a female business owner. I live and breathe girl power.
But there is something that I need to say, something that has weighed on me more than I realized until just recently.
This movement seems to stomp on the idea that we can in fact depend on a man and still be an empowered woman.
Sometimes, it goes as far as to diminish the value a man has.
Equal rights does not mean putting the other side down.
Part of running a business as a woman is telling your story, or at least, in my industry it is practically expected of you to share your truth, your why, and your authentic self. It’s part of your brand.
Well, I haven’t been 100% authentic. Why? I was ashamed. I felt that if I shared my why, I would be judged, because my why isn’t some societal expectation of female empowerment.
My why started with a man.
I started my business for love. And for some reason, I felt that if I shared that then I would be judged. I would be seen as less than. I would be judged as some kind of anti-feminist.
This business has turned into something I love, something I do for me, something I do for him, and something I do for us. But it started with him.
I am here to tell you that it is okay for you to depend on a man, and it is okay for you to admit that you need a man. It is okay for you to do something for love.
It is okay for you to turn away from what society expects of you and instead be a giant (proud and strong) pile of mushy lovey feelings.
I was prompted to write this when I had a conversation with my mom. Somehow it came out of me that I was afraid to share the deeper side of my purpose because I felt I would be judged by the women's rights movement. My mother was appalled. How could I feel ashamed about this thing that I built with my partner by my side? It took her words, coated in all those empowering feelings that moms seem to give us so well, for me to realize how damn proud I am of what I have created and WHY I have created it.
My partner and I are just that, partners. We have developed a partnership that you cannot see in an Instagram photo. A partnership that cannot be validated by an engagement ring shared on Facebook. It is a partnership that only him and I know, and that is all that matters. And that partnership is something to be proud of.
Our life is complicated. We move somewhere new about 3-4 times per year, we have no permanent home, we are away from our families and friends 90% of the time, and we are away from each other a TON. Our life changes directions on a moments notice, regularly.
I started this business in a foreign country, and have since ran it from 6 different locations (countries and states) on 9 different occasions and 5 different time zones. Over the span of 20 months.
I started this business because I was sick of being away from my partner. I wanted to be with him every single day that was possible. Why should I be ashamed of building something in the name of love? Why has society made me feel like that isn’t an empowering enough reason?
I wonder if stay at home moms have similar feelings. Do they feel empowered to announce that they have left a corporate job that society deems safe, in order to stay home with their child? I hope they do! But, I have a feeling this is something they also struggle with. Do they begin to feel “less than” by this choice? I don’t have kids, but I can imagine how empowering it feels to create a life… so shouldn’t those choices you make afterward feel just as empowering?
I chose to walk away from a career that I was only at the beginning of building so that I could be with the man that I love. And I am proud of the choice I made, and I am proud of what I have created for us. I am proud of what I can see in the future for us, because of the choice I made.