Over the weekend I was gifted a day off by the universe as I was attempting to squeeze too much in and once again my body said; “slow down and take care of me”. Why I have to learn this continuously is something I am working on, I promise. However, I cancelled my day and my bed was my new office and rest was my new assignment. I gave in and pulled up one of my favorite recipes for rest - Netflix. I’m really impressed with Netflix nowadays for being able to constantly rotate content as well as have new shows and movies. I mean we’ve all fallen in love with “The OA” and “Stranger Things” so the bar is set high, so when I hear the reviews of “girl boss” I was a bit bummed because I wanted it to be great. I love the Nasty Gal story and so I figured I would give it a shot since I was sequestered to my bed anyway. With 30 minute episodes, it was easy to move through the series quickly (and shamelessly) and once I was done I felt I related to the story so much. A few days before I started watching the series I felt a little down on myself for having dedicated almost 11 years to a career and to only feel like I am just starting to grow. I might be a late bloomer, or a slow bloomer, but I was starting to fall down the spiral of comparing myself to others and wondering why I wasn’t able to achieve certain goals yet. My dream vacation is still awaiting me, hello! So as I’m trying to manifest my Therapeutic Skin Coach empire I realized that the story of Sophia Amoruso really spoke to my young entrepreneurial journey. For one, we both started in 2006 and secondly we were both so young (I - 18 and she - 23). So instead of allowing myself to be swallowed by the pit of comparison and jealously what I took from the series was a few basic lessons and reminders. Here is what I learned:
1 - I use to think my age would stall my growth and opportunities so I unknowingly overcompensated with knowledge. During every work day for the first 4 or 5 years of my career I would get asked how old I was. Not only did I always lie but I would sort of get offended that someone felt the need to ask. At 19 I was 21, at 21 I was 23, at 23 I was 25…and so on and so forth. Apparently I believed that I wasn’t good at my job unless I had years behind me. I quickly surpassed all of those years and realized that one thing that has stayed consistent was my work ethic and love for the job. Why would I overcompensate for others when my age really had nothing to do with it? At different points in Girl Boss, the main character gets immediately dismissed or labelled as weak because of her gender and age. What she does is unapologetically fight back at the stereotype. The thing is that drive is ageless and yes, experience is valuable but some people just get it. Nothing I have ever worked hard for was ever just given to me and now my age is not a question anymore. Expensing that energy is not worth it. So if you’re feeling insecure about your position and how you come off whether you think you’re too old, young or inexperienced, your drive is all that counts. And if you’re in love with what you do, that’s all that will matter.
2 - I hated 90% of my bosses. There are maybe 2 bosses over the last decade of working that I can say I really liked. As people, I liked maybe 50% of them because finding someone that can elevate you instead of berate you is surprisingly uncommon. So that’s why as a newly autonomous women, I decided that my last boss (who was one of the good ones) is the final boss I will ever have. In Girl Boss, Sophia has to get medical insurance so she takes a job at an art school to help out and when she was finally able to quit she left her boss a note thanking him for being the best and last boss she ever has (if this spoils the show for you I’m sorry but I’m not intentionally giving away the plot line). Even though I felt that I always worked well in a space where I had a boss, I outgrew it because my industry was growing with me. Reinventing the wheel can’t be micromanaged unfortunately so instead of shaming myself for having bosses for so long, I’m taking in everything I learned from them. The good and the bad, because I know I will be the boss one day.
3 - My femininity is not to be tamed. Over the last decade, I have secretly cried at work, been yelled at by clients, experienced a litany of shocking experiences that I could write a comedy sketch over. But at the end of the day, I stopped being able to suppress myself to fit a mold. I have been a very empathetic and animated human my whole life and for my industry, it either works or it doesn’t. Pushing through work while I'm genuinely sick or running on empty is something I refuse to do anymore. When I was 24, I was working a double shift when all of a sudden I had felt myself go numb from the waste down. I excused myself from my facial to go to the bathroom and found that something was very wrong. Once I finished my treatment I asked if I could go home and explained, in graphic detail, what was happening. I was told I had 45 minutes to “take care of it” because my clients couldn’t be moved to other available estheticians on the schedule. Mind you I was working 12 hours that day and I just said; “okay” and found myself back at my job 45 minutes later greeting my next client with a smile. The fact that I could do this is superhuman but the fact that I had to do this was inhumane. We should never have to suppress our pain regardless of our work. Our society doesn’t treat female issues the same way unfortunately as we are taught to grin and bear it. It’s ridiculous because pain is pain, and as a service provider, my clients can tell. They know when I’m off and they don’t deserve to take on the energy I can’t help but emit. I no longer will feel sorry for my body and my empathy. I am a better person for my ability to rise above from my experiences but I promised myself that my health and wellbeing will always be my number one priority. The girl boss connection to this lesson wasn’t specified in just one scene, it just felt as a whole that Sophia was going to put herself first no matter how many times she was called a narcissist or self centered. She knew her destiny.
Now if you want to comment on the flawed feminism of this show and discuss how Sophia Amoruso is no longer the CEO of Nasty Gal, that’s fine. It’s not the point though. The point is that I took the lessons from this show and felt they were simple and subtle reminders that you can be a boss at any age. I may still feel like a girl sometimes but that doesn’t mean I have to discount myself or my business. Great things can only come to those who reach for their dreams, so whatever you want - go for it. I don’t care how big it feels, you deserve to live a life in which you have maximized your full potential without self doubt.
Thanks for reading and comment below if you have questions. xo - Hayley