I’m sure this post is going to get the blood flowing for many women out there, and if it does…GOOD! (Disclaimer – there is some profanity and brutal honesty in this post, so if you get easily offended, go grow some thick skin)
This past weekend I’ve been catching up with a lot of my friends. Bike rides, races, and just plain old fashioned phone calls. Yes folks, people still do talk on the phone. Shocking, I know!!! I actually prefer the phone call over a text message any day. And one recurring theme kept popping up over and over…
Invisible ceilings. I am truly baffled by the invisible ceilings women create for themselves. Think about it. If there was ever a time you told yourself you couldn’t do something because it was too hard, you were too old, seemed crazy and impossible, ever told yourself “I could never do that”…there’s your ceiling.
One discussion was with a friend who was struggling with cycling. She wanted to improve, but kept telling me reasons why she couldn’t ride certain routes or handle certain conditions (note: invisible ceilings). She wanted some tips, although she already knew what I was going tell her. Short version of my answer was simply “suck it up.” I elaborated with telling her to ride different routes and different conditions, and stop worrying about how “hard” it may be. For fuck sakes, how on earth can you expect to get better if you keep riding loops around Chatfield (Reservoir) over and over? Go hop on that group ride up Squaw or Guanella Pass! Do stuff outside of your comfort zone! Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Not what she wanted to hear, but she knew I’d give nothing but the cold hard truth.
So here’s the disconnect that I’ve observed primarily among women. Remember the jackass that was elected into the White House last January? Remember the big march that followed shortly after his election? Good on you for rallying…but what have you done to really change things since that day? I’m sure there are a few who are more involved with their local government, community organizations, etc…but very few. Most have continued with day-to-day normalcy. Work, chores, school, recreational activities, etc.
While the Women’s March showed the world the discontentment with the current administration, to me (and this is purely my opinion) it seemed to be a venue for women to complain about a dozen handful of grievances. While I don’t disagree that women are treated unfairly, what I don’t understand is that some (not all) women spend so much of their energy complaining about inequality (amongst other things), yet they continue to place invisible ceilings upon themselves. Seems strange and counterintuitive to install limitations when your goal is to seek equality.
First things first…life isn’t fair. Get over it. If you don’t like your situation, then do something about it or accept it. Most of all, stop complaining. It accomplishes absolutely nothing except for wasting time and energy. One thing my mother preached to me as a young girl was that life is hard. If I wanted something bad enough, I had to work for it…and sometimes, I may not get what I want. So accept it and move on. End of story.
Indulge me for a bit while I digress…
As a kid, I remember coming to Colorado for vacation driving from place to place. Yep, we were the typical “car” tourists. Even as a transplant back in 2001, I still drove from place to place – seeing all the beautiful sights of Colorado. I have a point to this, so stay with me. I once had a boyfriend who rode motorcycles. We would go ride up in the mountains during the summer, and I remember seeing cyclists going up Mount Evans and Hoosier Pass. I thought they were crazy. Now, I’m one of those crazy people who rides those mountain roads on my bicycle! How did that happen?? Pretty simple. I never told myself I couldn’t do it. I never constructed that invisible ceiling.
The question that I posed to my female friends was this…”how can you expect ‘equal’ treatment/opportunities if you limit yourself with an invisible ceiling?” Whether they agreed with me or not, I didn’t care, but it definitely made them think differently.
So whatever that invisible ceiling is you’ve constructed, do yourself a favor and figure out why it’s there…and I bet there are plenty of good reasons why you should tear it down!