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Really hope no one in my professional life ever gets a hold on this blog now…

What apostasy! Not having an overwhelming desire to make it to the top, or rather, questioning whether it’s worth it to get there. Maybe that’s a sign I don’t really want it, I just feel like I should.

Sheryl Sandberg, I appreciate all you have done to raise work-life balance issues for both men and women and the fact that you leave Facebook at 5:30pm. In fact, I love Facebook, and most particularly, I love your “elevator moment,” article on LinkedIn, where you told me not to do the same corporate drone thing and not to go crazy that I could be successful without dying inside. Sheryl Sandburg, I appreciate very much your poignant commencement address, the fact that you’ve decided to re-raise the feminist flag, and that you’re just plain better than Marissa Mayer, who got appointed as a pregnant CEO of a multi billion dollar tech company but wouldn’t let people work from home. Harsh.

Point being, Sheryl Sandberg, i don’t think that I need to find meaning and ambition in the business world. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be a leader, or wanting to be rich. I’m not afraid of the sacrifices I would have to make as a woman, and the fact that having a child whichever it could be sliced and diced, would be a huge drain on my career. yes, I’m sad that I live in a world that thinks that way and doesn’t really support families and men or women who are not fully dedicated to their work. I am, in fact, 1000% dedicated to my work, but it extends far behind the confines of a box shaped office.

Dearest Sheryl Sandberg, I know that your mission is far behind your office space, open or not. I know that you are trying to inspire a generation of women to aspire further, gain equity with men, and make working life better for all. I know you’re trying to pass along the nifty advice gained from a successful career and you only want to help me. I know women like me are your target audience, and that if enough bright young women decided to take on that particular challenge, it would eventually go away.

But Sheryl Sandberg, I don’t want to be a CEO. In fact, I don’t even think I like business, much as I would probably be good at it. I just want to make enough money that I can comfortably afford piano lessons, yoga, private schools for my children potential, and long vacations. it would be nice to make more though, I’m not saying no to money. But Sheryl, i just don’t like sitting in the same room everyday, waiting for my turn to speak, and doing boring things.

When I think of things that scare me shitless but I want to do it anyway, climbing the corporate ladder is not one of them. It just seems boring.

I want to say I’m sorry to the feminist generations before me who gave me this opportunity to thumb my nose at conventional definitions of ambition and success because I actually could ascend to the highest levels. I appreciate the fact that even know you are trying to reclaim leadership and I wish you’d done your work so Hillary Clinton could be our president now.

Sheryl Sandberg, I just don’t want my children to be raised by a nanny. Even though a lot of childcare is gross and boring and dumb, and maybe I could be a good parent anyway, I don’t want to work 150 hour weeks. No matter how much money I make.

The truth is that I’m working even now, writing my blog, giving the occassional penny to a beggar on the subway…

I guess what it comes down to is I believe Audre Lorde, “You can’t bring down the master’s house using the master’s tools.”

Sure, sometimes thoose tools help, but if anything only because they show you the weaknesses of the system you want to question. Gandhi was trained as a lawyer, but it was his sense of justice and not his junior partnership in a global law firm that changed the world, and I would suspect, led to his personal fulfillment.

Sheryl Sandberg, I hope this process of disillusionment will lead me somewhere. I’m in business school now and supposed to be the next generation of Corporate America or something like that. I’m supposed to at least save the world while making upper middle class money. I’m supposed to suck it up and work the way up the ladder so I can change the world when I get there, to prove that I can “do it” when one day I disparage wealth and power like a Stoic philosophy, or Taleb of Black Swan and Antifragile fame.

I’m still trying to figure out what I want, Sheryl Sandberg, or rather, trying not to be in denial about what I want. I’d rather lean in to myself, and I hope you’ll respect that choice too.

Because that’s what it’s about right? Not just going up the corporate escalator in a business suit, but thinking about life with a chai tea wearing a sweatshirt and trying to get through the management accounting homework? Sheryl, i just want to lean in to the still small voice, which is where you got all your power anyway.

I want to be Virginia Woolf, I want to inspire you to be Sheryl Sandberg, I want to write your book without doing your job. I want people to listen to me because I’ve taken advantage of a room of my own to think about stuff in, not necessarily an office with a view.

Please support me, in looking within, and not opting out but looking upwards for purpose and meaning. My career is not my Holy Grail. If it’s yours, more power to you, but it’s not mine. Neither is having a husband or children and being a wife and mother alone- you’re right that I shouldn’t let men define me, or my relationships.

Sheryl, I just wish more people would think about stuff, and we could all be happy, and free.

Are you free Sheryl Sandberg? If you hadn’t Leaned In, would you still be ok? If your book didn’t sell and your company tanked, would it be alright? Would you change your philosophy? Sheryl, i respect you very much as a woman and a business leader, and I appreciate all the helpful advice, and I am so grateful for all your kind thoughts, but Sheryl-

No thanks.

I’m going to jump in.

To love, to relationships, to yoga, to music, to books, to marriage, to children (someday), to writing (poetry, essays, nonfiction…) , to speaking, to believing in God and in myself too, to FRANCE, and really…

to life.

Leaning in, it’s just not my life. I will use your hints gladly, as they suit my higher purposes, but no, my career is not going to be the most important thing in my life. I will be successful anyway as I choose, but I’m going to make sure it’s more about love than leaning. I don’t want my career to take over my life.

Ok Sheryl, I’ve rambled on in most un-corporate fashion, and spelled your name wrong more times than not.

Thank you Sheryl, for showing me what I don’t want to do, and helping me believe that I CAN do whatever I choose.

 

 

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