Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lean On This

"it must be magic..."--Teena Marie

So, we've had enough courtesy celebration of Sheryl Sandberg and her new 'working girl' tome Lean In. It's about high time the subversive brigade rolls into town. And we all know I am going to jump on that bandwagon and ride it 'til the wheels fall off.

So, we're leaning in, right? Make sure you're leaning before I continue. We're all leaning, fantastic. First of all, let me preface the following with the fact that I do admire Sheryl Sandberg. She's awesome--she's worked her arse off and she enjoys an amazing career doing something she loves. I celebrate her success with every other female climber out there.

But the thing about Sandberg's offering is that I'm not quite sure I needed to be instructed to lean. After much consideration, the determination at which I've arrived is that everyone who wants to lean is probably already leaning. Many other women like me have sacrificed a whole mess of other things in life in reverence to the one-track minded career path we're on. Unlike Sheryl, I'm not married and I'm childless. For other women like myself--who are possibly excused from this entire discussion since we clearly haven't yet positioned ourselves to "have it all", evidenced by our [empty] lives--the question begs itself: What the phuck else do we have to lean into? Our unborn unconceived children? The husbands we haven't yet met? Reality television? No. No. Sometimes. But mostly, we lean into our work!

Moreover, for the women with families, the ones who are serious about their professional success are inevitably doing the same. Now, I don’t begrudge those women the head pat that Sheryl's words probably offer--it is comforting when someone with the same responsibilities and problems, albeit with millions more to throw at them, addresses your issues. I'm sure it's really inspiring to hear a "you can do it" spiel from the contemporary Holy Grail of women's professional achievement herself.

But as for me, now? I love to lean, Sheryl. Leaning is, in fact, what I do best. I'm leaning in so hard that I don't have anything else to lean on. But thanks for bringing additional attention to my lean, and encouraging women who were not yet leaning in to compete with my leaning in, resulting in my having to lean even harder. How exciting for us all.

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