The Forgotten… Women in “Power”

All too often you see the books about the “Overworked Woman”… the woman overwhelmed and stressed because she is balancing life as a mom, a wife and a professional. Far too often we neglect to recognize the single women in positions of “power” that may not have children, or a husband, or a significant other… and it is seemingly believed that we are the ones that have it easier because we have “less” on our plates. As a female Athletic Director, I’m often hinted at, as to how much easier it must be for me not to have to worry about how many hours I work since I don’t have a family at home… As if a family is the only thing that defines a woman.

I am a woman in a position of power. I am a woman with needs. I would love to have someone to come home to in the evenings. Someone to briefly talk to about my day… but then someone to remind me that work isn’t all there is to life… Someone that reminds me I AM a priority… regardless of how others treat me or what others expect of me.

When they tell you to make sure you’re putting your oxygen mask on first… Single women, they’re talking to us too! We are just as important. Our lives have just as much value. We bring just as much, if not more, to the table. A husband does not define you. CHILDREN do not define you. Owning a house does NOT define you. Society’s definition of a woman’s role is just as skewed now as it was 50 years ago. So WE need to remember to remind one another that we are just as valuable. That we bring just as much to the table, if not more. And while no, we may not NEED a significant other, it’s nice to know that someone out there values you too.

It starts with me. I need to remind myself that I AM a priority. I DESERVE to focus on myself. I have EARNED that level of respect. I am my toughest critic. I must also be my balance.

37 Years & My Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I always had this image of what my life would look like when I got older, as I imagine most of us do when we’re growing up. The life I envisioned, what I had hoped it would be and couldn’t wait to experience; It wasn’t a dream too big. It wasn’t at all unrealistic. I wanted the house with the big open backyard, BBQs with neighbors and friends, nights next to a fire under the stars, game nights. I wanted movie nights and popcorn, walks through the trees. Season tickets to our favorite local team. I wanted to be well into sharing my life and experiences with someone else by my side. Someone to do life with. I didn’t necessarily have a dream of marriage… the big white dress or a wedding, though it would have been nice when I thought about it. Kids were a toss up, but I always saw myself at least having the option to decide whether or not children would be added to our life.

Here I am, steadily heading down the road 37, and I come to terms with the fact that the reality of those dreams have all but washed away. I have none of what I had envisioned, and the scary thing is… it’s all my fault. I cried in middle school. I cried in high school. I cry now as I write this. I cried because I knew back then that all of those things that I had dreamed, weren’t going to be meant for me. I could literally feel it in my soul at that time. Have you ever heard of PostSecret? If not, look it up. I learned of it at a museum I visited… and this was my PostSecret: I fear that those tears I cried growing up, and the unsettling feeling of “knowing” that plagued me, were the moments I spoke into existence that I would never be gifted those things in life; My self-fulfilling prophecy.

As I approach 37, I have no idea what’s next. I don’t know what the revised version of that dream will be. At this time, I’m unable to even envision the options. All I know is that I now have to pick up a blank canvas, because all the dreams I had for me… My time has passed. That clock expired.

When I take an honest look back over the last 20 years, I’m truly not sure where I went wrong. I can’t figure out which moment was that defining point that put the nail in the coffin on those dreams. Perhaps I’ve built my confidence on a foundation of lies and failed to notice that foundation cracking and crumbling beneath me. Perhaps it was bold faced denial. Sometimes we tell ourselves a lie so frequently, that we can no longer decipher it from the truth. Perhaps that is the lens I look through when reflecting on the past… unable to change the view from my perceived truths to the reality.

Welcome to my midlife crisis, titled “New Beginnings”.

I don’t know what’s next, or even where to start, but I know I have to change.

Unnoticeably Noticeable

I used to wonder why I would allow myself to settle for situationships that were unquestionably less than ideal. In this moment, I realize that a large piece of it can be attributed to the fact that it’s nice to know that someone is thinking of you… Even if you aren’t the only one on their mind or that they’re sending “checking in” messages to. You at least made the list of being someone they send the good morning or good night to… or whatever it may be. You know you’re a number on the list, but sometimes it’s just nice being noticed.

Concert Life

I originally started this post on Facebook the other day reminiscing while listening to a playlist on Elton John Pandora… As I sit here on my balcony, weather cloudy but perfect, the song in the background is “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx… I suppose also an accurate feeling in this time of social distancing and quarantine.

Anyway, sitting there listening to “Bennie and the Jets”, I couldn’t help but think about some of the best concerts I’ve been to, and those that I can’t wait to get back to. First time I saw Elton John was with my mom, 2006 or so? She had been insisting for years that I go with her, and I finally caved, though with great hesitation. That very next day I had the “Captain & the Kid” album in my possession… I LOVED his concert!

The next time I saw Elton was at Outside Lands with my brother and his then fiance, now wife! One of the best music festivals I’ve ever been to, hands down (and I have been to my fair share). The INSANE feeling of being just 40 yards from the stage at the conclusion of seeing both Sam Smith and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, there was Elton on piano, me completely sardined (no exaggeration) between thousands of people… Looking back over my shoulder in a hopeless attempt to see a familiar face as I’d lost the group I was with during the last set. All I saw was a sea of what seemed like miles of crowd behind me… What I imagine Woodstock would have looked like. To hear that mass amount of people singing to Rocket Man and Bennie & the Jets… That alone was an adrenaline rush.
Because of my mom, John Cougar Mellencamp was my first concert at maybe 6 years old? To this day I remember going into the bathroom with her at the venue (Cow Palace?? Not sure…) but I remember these teenage girls telling me how cool my mom was for taking me to my first concert so young. Because of my mom I have seen all of these as firsts (and many as multiples) Paul McCartney, Poison, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, just to name a few. Forever grateful to her for bringing music into my life in such a way!

Because of my aunts and uncle, I have seen Sammy Hagar more times than I can count, once of which I even went alone! Sammy and Tahoe have been a yearly staple with my family since I turned 21, and some of the best memories created.

Another incredibly memorable moment in music… My little cousin, Matt, absolutely loved Journey, and that little guy had my heart (his grown ass still does!). I was so excited when I was able to get tickets to Def Leppard and Journey, and even more excited to be able to take him. I, myself, was looking forward to Def Leppard, but couldn’t wait for him to see Journey. I couldn’t care either way about Journey… I knew a few songs, but nothing that had me itching to see them. I remember getting up to use the restroom before Journey opened. Afterall, I didn’t mind if I missed them opening. It was just Journey, right? Standing outside of the restroom I hear this guitar riff that sends chills down my arm as they open with the Star Spangled Banner. By the time I got back to my seat, I was beyond hooked and damn near in tears at the sound of the strings. I remember the drummer singing “Faithfully” and I just stared in awe… His voice was as smooth as glass and just beautiful. Needless to say, I have seen Journey several times since with and without Pineda.

While there are so many other moments I could share, I’ll wrap up with the first concert my dad took me to. Talk about taking one for the team!! Yep… Backstreet Boys… and we had great seats!! Now, I had never been to a boy band concert (I didn’t get to see NKOTB until I was in my 20s!) I, nor my dad or brother, had ANY idea what we were in for with the insane screaming teenyboppers. What in the actual hell?! I’m not sure how my eardrums survived, and can almost assuredly guarantee that I wasn’t able to hear much of the concert over the screaming! With that being said, I will always remember that concert and how special I felt (and how funny I found it) to be there with my dad and brother… Neither of which were elated.

During this time of sheltering in place, music has been my saving grace, but it has also caused me to reflect on all of the amazing times I’ve had with friends and family. I turn on a playlist, sit back and close my eyes… Or I get up and dance and sing like a fool… but I don’t care, because in those moments, I forget that I’m alone.

For those looking for a great read while at home, pick up Elton John’s “Me”. I am just over halfway through with the book and have had a hard time putting it down!

And as if it were meant to be… the closing song of this post, “Come Sail Away” by Styx. #CurrentMood