After all you put me through,
You think I'd despise you,
But in the end I wanna thank you,
'Cause you've made me that much stronger.
Well now that we're back from 2002... I thought it was time to share an update.
Do I hate women?
H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS NO! But, I wondered this for a period of my life. My absolute favorite things to do are stereotypically male hobbies. I hate even saying that, but it's unfortunately what has been proven to me in my life. Why was I drawn to these areas?
I always enjoyed the smell of gasoline, scratch that, racing fuel. As a child, my weekends were filled with traveling, camping & racing. I knew more parts on a car in elementary school than most adults. and started my own racing "career" when I could legally drive. I started fishing as a toddler—I realize fishing is fairly universal, but go out on the frozen lake in the dead of winter after school and count the girls you see. I fed my entire family, on multiple occasions, from animals I had harvested. I wore my blaze orange with pride as I would walk through the cafe, the only woman in sight, at 5am when all the men-folk were there for breakfast before their hunt. When I'd take apart a computer or VCR and begin to put it together I got the weirdest looks from my girl-friends. Why in the world does she want to play with that?!
Since birth, I've been defying the culture standards and blazing my own trails. Today, you can find me shooting archery like Katniss Everdeen (even though I did it first). What I'm saying is, I seem to enjoy the difficult path. The path that seems to require a bit of sass, fight & finesse.
My childhood has conditioned me for this fight.
As many of you know, I founded a mission/purpose called Outspoken Women back in May of 2017. The intent was to showcase & support under-represented women and non-binary folks in tech. The mission was amazing and the energy was fantastic, but it was a mission that needed more financial support than I was able to scrounge up. (Travel scholarships for conferences so money wasn't yet another blocker.) And due to the lack of funding, the mission sort of fizzled out with a non-functioning website remaining.
Outspoken Women still has a strong brand and a strong purpose—to showcase under-represented individuals. However, our mission is changing effective immediately. Outspoken Women will begin to support women who feel like they don't have a voice.
We're unsure of how this organization will be structured—considering anything from a community to a non-profit to a company. Whichever path can cause the biggest impact. If this mission really resonates with you, please DM me on Twitter or LinkedIn, we need you!
How am I really doing though?
For those who really know me and who are following along, it's been made very clear to me that I have not been well for almost 2 years—some of that time existing while I was still at Pantheon. I've realized that I was in a deep depression and that has caused sadness and anger throughout my entire family. It turns out, happy wife, happy life really IS a thing. My oldest has been in therapy for the last couple months, I've been in therapy for the last 9 months, as has my spouse. Self-reflection has caused me to realize why I struggled so deeply lately—I was depressed.
I've suffered from depression before, this isn't a new monster for me to take on. However, the problem with depression is that sometimes you don't even know it's there. It just causes you to slowly start behaving differently and before you know it, you're causing harm all over the place. I've been incredibly privileged in that my depression is manageable with therapy and self-reflection. My heart goes out to those who suffer with depression more deeply or require medications to function—I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, not even Pantheon or toxic-dude. 💜
Last Thursday (10/1), I woke up in the best mood of my life—like puppies, rainbows & unicorns 24/7. And as of today, Tuesday (10/6) it hasn't stopped. Do I still hurt? Am I still in debt? Absolutely. But here's the thing, I can't let them win. And when I say them, I am referring to Pantheon, toxic-dude and every other piece of garbage who thinks it's okay to mistreat, discriminate or cause harm to others.
So am I okay? Abso-freaken-lutely. Never been better. I let out emotions that have been eating me alive for a while and now it's time to live. Now, it's time to fight. 💪