“You know, you’re a feminist.” It was not a compliment. I could tell from his tone—the same tone with which a person would say, “You’re a supporter of terrorism.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,
Podsnacks/Art of the Diet Podcast is a 100 and I'm looking up quotes about “ambition” and “woman” and found Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's quote. PS. I urge all of you, men and women, in search of something in yourselves to “google” her and listen to interviews, talks, and read her books. She's got wisdom, humor, and hard won ambitions.
Anyway, why ambition quotes for women? Because the hashtag #ambitiouswoman I created November 9 for myself. I didn't want to buy the “nasty woman” T-shirt. I wanted to redirect my energy toward expanding my world, not contracting it. I also wanted to explicitly, in a humorous but deadly serious way, combat a virulent stream I saw flowing into the election result, not all of it, but a significant part of it.
dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.“she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny”
It's a stream that I have experienced before and, surprisingly, from other women as well as men. What's up with that?? The contempt for ambitions in women is real. Ask Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. She is talking about now, not years ago: N.O.W. 2017.
So, years and years and years of it is ‘what is up' with that. Think about it. Goals to become a thinner woman are right in line with the cultural expectations. Women are “supposed” to be thin. As Lindy West says, “I'm tired of thinking of my self as a failed thin woman.”
But, are women supposed to be a presidential candidate and THE leader of the free world? If Hilary had joined WW she would have gotten some cultural love in the US (as well as snark, of course) but wanting to be President of the United States? That club is still marked “Men Only.” Please don't write me that she wasn't the “right” woman, Ok? My money is on: it's any woman at this point in time in the country of Jefferson and Lincoln.
Sometimes women themselves accept how others define them without a fight because the fight has been manipulated out of them by this patriarchal system. Sometimes, women don't see it themselves and perpetuate it. Read the WW connect posts and other groups. How many times do you hear examples of female colleagues or friends “sabotaging” a WW member's efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle. I did not experience that sabotage from my family or colleagues with respect to dieting but I did experience it with men and women when I decided to order a soda water with lemon at a bar. Alcohol was never an issue for me like food but if I was counting points, I was not into a cocktail enough to waste my points over it. My late and dearly loved brother even told me I should drink more cuz guys didn't like it if their date didn't drink. I am not making this up.
And, one time, no word of a lie, a woman in our group at a large table at a bar called down to me, “Hey! Why aren't you drinking, c'mon!” Now, she did not know me. I could have been in AA for all she knew or cared. I saw– and this was later confirmed to me–that the woman calling me out for not drinking, was a woman with a drinking problem herself. She did not like to be around folks who didn't drink, made her anxious, so tried to bully them into it. You can draw your own conclusions as to why she didn't want to be the only one with the drinking issue.
But, you'll be happy to know that the only person I can truly speak for today is myself.
So, I decided to try and be more ambitious for myself on November 9th 2016. Widen my world. Put myself out there as one of the creatives trying to cobble together a business presence. Oooo…there's a lot of us! Etsy, alone, has 1.4 million sellers! 1. 4 million ambitious creatives!
Maintaining a weight loss and acceptable scale numbers can seem like a full time job at times and yet, while an achievement, is not meaningful enough for my spirit to keep it as THE center of focus. I wanted to focus on creativity as well.
So, since the election, I've become Etsy's 1.4 million + 1 seller and also created my own online store on my site as well, gardenshop.thephotogardener.com, because they tell you not to put all your creative work on to a third party platform, you need to have a platform you control, too. I have also begun the legal process of trademarking my name “The Photo Gardener”, so I can do business across the world. I joined a course (it was not cheap and this is my retirement $$!) that helps entrepreneurs create their businesses online and potentially contract with suppliers outside the US. Suppliers that send your products to you on container ships! OMG, just the thought of it! Yep, I'm ambitious, alright.
Nakedly ambitious for the first time.
It makes me a bit giddy as well as anxious. It is not totally a comfortable state because I am literally outside my comfort zones. And, as we all know, comfort zones are what we have to have in order to achieve our weight goals. We can't be freelancing the hell out of every day or else we pay for it on the scale. We need some habits, some routines that are not jeopardized by widening our focus to other things either by choice, as my online store is, or necessity, as a medical diagnosis or family emergency is.
But, I do want to be about more than maintaining my health. It's a goal for sure. But, it's not enough right now.
JK Rowling has a quote I also like.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” — J.K. Rowling
I think I am in danger of living so cautiously that I may not live my remaining years as fully as I could if I just pushed myself a bit more.
So, I'm pushing. I pushed through to lose the weight in 2009. I have pushed through these subsequent 8 years to maintain the weight loss. And, now, I am going to “push” myself to create an online business for my creative work AND continue to maintain my weight loss.
The mug above is one I created for my store. I've just ordered a sample of it so it won't be added to the store until I have actually approved it. Sometimes the colors are beyond a manufacturer's machines so I have to wait on eyeballing it myself!
I had taken one of my sneakers and tried to “frottage” it-rubbing it with a wax pastel crayon- on to thin but sturdy Japanese paper. I tried 10 different times and 10 different pieces of expensive Japanese paper to get what I thought was a good graphic.
But, Nope, “frottaging” my sneaker did not work artistically. But, my photograph of it, did a better job. So, that's the image I've put on the mug.
Below is the entire image that will be wrapped around the mug. #ambitiouswoman will be on both the front and back! We don't have to agree on politics but I think most of know that exercise is key to our health goals. Walking certainly has become a staple of mine but before walking there was water aerobics. If I age to the point where walking is compromised I'll do chair aerobics and then do a mug with an artsy chair.
This mug and others will be part of as series I'm calling “Funny Mugs for Terrifying Times”.
But, I also made a text mug with my signature quote: “If chocolate isn't the answer, could you repeat the question?” because, well, humor and creativity go hand in hand with me and I think many of us in red and blue states can at least agree on chocolate, right?
This one IS in my store now! I'd love it if you'd consider buying one to help support this blog, my ambitions, and/or commit to an ambition of your own, beyond your health goals, and share it with me. I read all my emails. firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also love Allie Brosh's quote on motivation which I first came across after I had set a goal of not eating sugar for two days and within hours of setting the goal had inexplicably consumed several sugary things. Examples of my evil twin? Here's Allie's quote:
“For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game where I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it.”-Allie Brosh
So, happy 100th to Podsnacks/Art of the Diet and let me know what some of your non-health ambitions are. Remember to be an ambitious woman is not the same thing as wanting to be a terrorist.
Think about it. What would you be doing if you weren't worried about your health issues? Can we work on two goals at the same time?
I'll get back to ya on that!
Here's the mug on sale now in my store!