I recently heard Lupita Nyong'o promising to partner with more female photographers in 2019.
It was on the evening of the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards event late last year, and Instagram had partnered with her to capture the event through her eyes. As you can imagine, hearing her say this made me really happy - not only because of my love for photography, but also because it's always nice to hear a woman choosing to support other women.
Unfortunately, women supporting other women is rarely the case - especially in the workplace.
Having recently graduated from University, I'm currently mentally preparing myself to go back into the workplace, and I find that out of all the concerns I have about finding a job, the thought of working alongside other women is the one that troubles me the most...
I watched a movie the other day about a young, career woman who had been running her own company for a year and a half, and had built it up to the point where she now had 220 employees working for her. However, she was now being requested to hire a CEO to take over some of her management responsibilities because she had too much on her plate; and allocating some of her work to someone else - it was believed - would decrease her workload and, in effect, make her more productive in other areas of her work.
At the beginning, she struggled with this idea. It was obvious that she was reluctant to give up her CEO position, and had a hard time finding someone who she felt was good enough to replace her. But with time, she started warming to the idea; and as the movie progressed, it was slowly revealed why...
I recently came across some memes on the internet about women's ever-changing emotions that made me laugh out loud. What I find so funny about these memes is how accurate they are.
One of my current favourites, for example, says:
"Being a woman is exciting because we don't know what mood we'll be in next, or for how long."
It's crazy how abruptly our moods can change. My mood swings, for example, change so often in a day that I lose count of how many emotions I've felt by the end of the night. It's even worse when I haven't slept well the previous night, when I'm hungry or "at that time of the month" (ladies, I know you know what I mean😏).
Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Full of Life.
She seems to have everything going for her. She draws people to her without even trying to, and always has a wide smile on her face and an encouraging word for every person she meets. Many are in awe of both her inner and her outer beauty - me being one of them. But she doesn't seem to notice the impact she has on those around her. She doesn't see herself the way the rest of us see her; and if she notices...and if she does see, then she doesn't let it show. And I can't help but wonder why...
I recently read a post on social media put up by a young woman about my age who I have come to love and care about deeply. She spoke about a period in her life when she struggled to make friends with other girls in school. From the onset, these girls made it clear that they didn't like her, and when asked why, they answered by saying that they didn't know why - they just didn't like her. It was only later on in life that they confessed through emails that it was because the boys in school found her pretty, and also apologised for their immature behaviour in the past.
Despite this young woman's decision to forgive them and try to forget, that experience has stayed with her and still affects her to this day - sometimes causing her to dress down in an effort not to attract so much attention as well as not to intimidate other women.
Reading this post broke my heart - not only because of what she went through, but also because it's something that I can relate to...
Having become so comfortable standing alone and generally being alone, I learnt a bit late that being a woman isn't something I can do on my own.
Every part of my journey included one group of women or another, and sometimes I was lucky enough to experience more than one part of my journey with the same group of women. Even when I look through this blog, I see traces of the women in my life - from the pictures and videos they took of me to the meals they treated me to, and shared with me. 😊 My mind is filled with the lessons I have learnt through my friendships and relationships with these women.
Honestly speaking, now that I've realized this, I don't know how any woman can survive without having other women - be it mothers, aunties, sisters, cousins or girlfriends - in her life!
"I'm so glad that I'm friends with women of substance."