I don’t know when it happened. Maybe it was when I decided to work in tech and stake a step away from the NYC theater scene.
In theater they always tell you to be open. To be vulnerable– to show show the truest parts of yourself so you can fully inhabit the characters you’re playing. If you’re not vulnerable, you’re fake.
… you never want to be called fake in theater.
So I did it. I opened myself. I exposed parts of myself and I naively thought that people would be careful with me. It wasn’t meant to be and parts of me were torn off. I stitched myself back together. After years of hurt, I retreated into myself. I wanted to be alone but goddess, I wanted to do more– to be more.
…am I being vague? Possibly. Am I glossing over ? Definitely. I’ve become terribly private. Keeping feelings and insecurities to myself. I’ve become very good at self analysing. Very good at telling myself I’m being silly, dramatic, and too much of something. Those sound like negatives but I’m also very good at telling myself I’m fucking awesome. Long story short: I’m private. Am I an introvert? Extrovert? I think I’m a combo. People exhaust me and people energize me.
…what’s the point of this? I don’t know.
No. I do know.
I’ve been trying to open myself up again. To put myself out there and it feels like I need to close myself off again. Or maybe I just need to only show certain parts of myself.
Either way, it doesn’t matter because I’ve learned very quickly that being a woman in tech immediately makes you vulnerable. So vulnerable that you have to be hard. So vulnerable that if you show a shred of weakness, you’ll be taken down and potentially seen as less than capable. You have to be tough. You have to work twice as hard and see other reap the benefits while you sit at your desk inhaling your lunch and others are out on the field. If you’re tough, you’re seen as a bitch. If you’re too nice, people walk all over you. If you’re quiet, no one wants to talk to you. Speak up about problems, and you’re seen as confrontational and dramatic. Too loud and you’re the “crazy chick”. Honestly, who gives a shit? Why do we, as women, need to deal with it? It’s ridiculous.
You can’t ask for help. You can’t say you’re overwhelmed. You can say “no”. It’s always “sure! No problem!” Or “sure I can handle it” or “not stressed just busy”. Always gotta be the bad bitch who can handle your shit on the outside, even though on the inside you want to scream so loud at the injustice of it all.
What do you do?
Suck it up. Put on your big girl pants and move forward. Always forward. Even though inside you’re ravaged and exhausted.
Can’t let them see it. Never let them see it.