Is the buzz word “girl boss” actually hindering us?
Girl bosses have taken over the world. It’s wonderful, it’s inspiring, it’s everything we’ve fought for for centuries. Killing it with your blog? Girl boss. Freelancing on the side of a full time job? Girl boss. Getting promoted? Girl boss. Went to the gym five days in a row? Girl boss. DOING BACK FLIPS WHILST COMPLETING A PHD, HAVING TEN CHILDREN, TAKING OVER THE WORLD AND FIGHTING FOR FEMINISM WHILST AT HOT YOGA/DRINKING A STARBUCKS SIMULTANEOUSLY? GIRL BOSS. This is about how unrealistic I see it is trying to juggle everything that society expects from a woman. I’m going to be completely transparent here, it’s exhausting.
I read an article by Billie Piper recently (love her) who spoke about the increasing pressure on females, that we are “supposed to be successful and business-savvy and coquettish and making cash and a slag in the bedroom and well-read and we are supposed to be on top of all of these things. I just feel f*cked by the amount of pressure” and it couldn’t be more truthful and honest.
This inspired me to write a brutally honest post about the exhausting aspects of (trying) to be a girl boss.
The glorification of being busy
Trying to be a girl boss every day can be emotionally exhausting and overwhelming – where you can feel like nothing is ever enough. There’s always more to do, to complete, to achieve. I wonder if I’ll always feel this way and I wonder often if my massive dreams and expectations that I have for myself are pushing me forward or keeping me feeling inadequate. I also wonder where this fear of me ‘failing’ as a woman if i’m not a girl boss has stemmed from. What happens if i’m not seen as the ‘pretty’ girl anymore? What is my identity then? Or the ambitious girl, or the clever girl? Am I destined for a life of failure if i dare drop the ball? I think the whole of society puts a lot of pressure on woman to not only look flawless but to also have a flawless career, marriage and life. We have the notion drilled into us – if we’re not channeling our inner girl bosses or ‘taking charge’ of our own future then we are failures.
As women we are so hard on ourselves and sometimes we just need a break. Sometimes taking a step back from the ‘girl boss pedestal’ your gripping so tightly on too is exactly what you need. It’s about not forcing yourself to do something, its about listening to your body when you’re too tired for the gym, its cancelling plans that you never really wanted to do, its about sleeping in, its about not checking your emails as soon as you open your eyes.
It’s time that we start striving for progress, not perfection.
Trust me, non-busy life looks great – and I wish that my brain would allow me to rest more, to get up at 10am instead of 6am, to not feel like I always need to be achieving in order to be enough. To not feel like crap when I look bad in pictures or when I receive even the slightest bit of criticism. To not get anxious when I am resting and instead enjoy the moment. I struggle to even have a bath or read a book anymore without checking my emails or social media. I am striving to prefer to take things at a slower pace and be present in the moments I allow myself to rest.
Some days though, I am ALL IN. I am ALL about my dreams, hopes, and vision for the future. But there are some days my eyes burn from being over tired and juggling so many things and I’m overwhelmed – where my days are just about putting on foot in front of the other. And I need to learn that that’s okay.
Redefining success for ourselves
My dream life that I work tirelessly towards is to have my own business, have children, a happy marriage, a dog, lecture part-time, travel the world, meditate every day and work out, eat healthily, have a great social life, become a great boss, mother, wife, best friend and family member. And I set all of these expectations my self. No one has set the bar this high for me, I’ve set it for myself. AND THAT’S A HELL OF A LOT FOR ME TO LIVE UP TOO.
Admittedly, it’s took me a long time to discover that a job or title does not define who you are – I am still working on this. Your job is simply a way of providing an income so you can do what you want to do; i think its time we stop letting all the titles and zeros in the bank define us – whether that title is boss, wife or mother or none of those mentioned.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to be a Girl Boss, but I also feel like – at least for me in the traditional sense of the word – its almost impossible to sustain. And that’s a brutally honest conversation I’ve had to have with myself. It’s about time we re-define what a girl boss is. It’s about what’s right for you and not feeling under constant pressure to be the ultimate success story – to have it all. Success also looks different for everyone, and I am trying to re-frame my idea of what it is and if by trying to maintain this ‘perfect’ life actually makes me happy at all.
As much as I admire the girl bosses out there, for the time being I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do.