Today, I did the unthinkable in corporate America.
I cried… at work.
It was a simple phone call that left me feeling attacked. I did just fine on the line, sucked up the strike, humbly apologized, gulped back my sensitivities, quietly ended the call. Annnd… cue the emotional waterfall.
Guys, I’m not a regular closed-door crier. Yes, at home I watch Parenthood and shed a few. (Okay, a lot. Who doesn’t?) But at work? No. First time in years. Years!
Let’s just say I spent my lunch break re-doing my eye makeup. Lovely.
And then I went from feeling sad to feeling quite mad. Pissed, actually.
Why do the mean ones always get ahead? I’m not talking about the determined, focused, wave-makers in the world who are sometimes labeled as “bitches” for being bold and direct and making good stuff happen. I’m a big fan of the hustlers, the challengers, the movers-and-shakers. It’s the attackers who irk me. The ones who forget about people and care only about their agendas. The ones who do not think about how their actions will create negative ripples across the lives of others.
I’m the mom of two sweet and innocent girls. So often, I think about how the voice I use will stick with them for life. In the future, I want them to be soft. I want them to have hearts that feel deeply and arms that hug tightly and lives that give generously.
Yet, I also want them to succeed.
The tears slowly fall again. This time, not for my crushed moment, but for their futures. It’s a hard world out there.
I’m torn between how to make them soft and tough at the same time. I want them to show love to others, while loving themselves enough to set boundaries. After all, if you live to please others, everybody will love you… except yourself.
It’s a tricky balance.
Cinderella summed it up in a few words: Have courage, and be kind. My prayer for my girls (and myself and every other woman out there) is to exude confidence and sprinkle kindness, leaving the world a little better than we found it. After all, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.