Today seems like the right day to say it, to stake my claim and to relentlessly get my book, “The Do It Yourself Princess”, published. Let me explain…
I’m 52. I’m in that group of people that has watched women struggle with being responsible for the domestic home lives (the cooking, cleaning, raising of precious children,…) to being critical bread winners – some by choice some by happenstance. I witnessed this as a child with a single mom from age 16. And at 40, I became a single mom with 3 young children (9, 11 and 14). At 18, I was grabbed in an elevator (and thankfully not seriously assaulted as I was able to push the guy and get out of the elevator) only to have officials tell me that even if the guy was caught his punishment would be minimal if anything – and that he was well known in the community for attacking women?! As I have risen in the marketing and advertising industry I have suffered from a litany of inappropriate comments and behaviour and in the cases where I have fought back the exhaustion has often outweighed the win/the justice. My children can attest to this as they witnessed some of it first hand when they would join me at events or when they have patiently listened as I cried tears of frustration and they are now witnessing it happen in their own circles. The truth is women and men have not been treated equally. The good news is times are changing – which is amazing!
All of this said, a few years ago I started writing a book – The DIY Princess. Like many of us I grew up being read fairy tales and watching Cinderella or Lady in Red movies. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be saved by Prince Charming? But the truth is, life is far from a fairy tale…or is it? As women, here in our North American first world, though there have been and will continue to be for some time, struggles, challenges and injustice, we can create the lives we dreamed of. Prince Charming is nice but we don’t need him to make our dreams come true. We can do this ourselves. And if in the process we happen to fall in love and meet a modern day Prince Charming – perhaps better named for our generation as a “partner” (vs a person who saves us from our lives), then that is awesome! And that is the point of The DIY Princess. It tells a bit about my story for reference and then provides a guidebook for women to create their own modern day fairy tale – with or without the charming…”partner”.
After last night’s Golden Globes I am proud to be a woman. Proud of what I have accomplished and proud of the new circle of men that I have now chosen to surround myself with. My 3 male business partners are good people, my sons are enlightened men – I am of course bias but I think they are overly aware of the challenges women face given they have been raised by a single mom and are surrounded by grandmothers, aunts and a sister who all exemplify unbelievable female leadership at home and in the workplace.
We can do this. I can do this. In fact, I have done it. My life is far from perfect but its a good life and it has taken a ton of work to get here and I still have a ton to do. Importantly though I have worked and will continue to work very hard to make the life I imagined and continue to imagine come true. I am not putting it in the hands of Prince Charming to make it happen. Making my life and dreams happen is my job. Making our lives happen and our dreams come true is all our jobs! This is a responsibility that is incumbent upon all of us regardless of gender. However, it is also incumbent upon all genders to not hinder another gender because of sexuality which is the topical conversation of the moment.
With that, I am determined to get The DIY Princess completed and published. Its right for the times. And, its my dream!
I wish you all your dreams – make them happen!