Around this time two years ago, my apartment sprung a major leak. There was water everywhere, the ceiling had caved in, and I had family coming to stay with me for a few weeks. On top of all this I had a business to run, clients to serve, and commitments to keep. The business wasn’t going to run itself. To say life felt chaotic at the time is an understatement. I remember feeling like I had 8 arms and each arm was full with something majorly important that I could not dare let drop. It felt like if I let one thing drop, everything would come crashing down. You could imagine the tense amount of pressure and the toll this took on my wellbeing.
But what was even more troubling was no matter how stressed out and overwhelmed I felt, not once did I reach out to ask for help. I was in a relationship at the time and on numerous occasions could have turned to him and said “Honey, I need your help” but somehow in the moment I was convinced that I had to bear this burden alone. I even on occasion gave my partner the side eye when he did not willingly offer to help me without me having to ask. My resentment grew.
Ultimately, I not so gracefully pushed through the chaos to get things somewhat under control again but it was only a matter of time before the next fire came and I had to put it out. All of a sudden, this had become my life.
I come from a long line of hardworking women; women with a fierce commitment to being independent. There are generations of women in my family who at moments faced incredible challenges but persevered through it on their own. Thinking about it makes me so proud to come from this line of women who were strong in mind, body, and spirit no matter what adversity they encountered. Now, as a single woman who runs her own business while living and working in New York City, I have on more than one occasion lauded myself as fiercely independent. This is something I am extremely proud of and will continue to honor in myself as I think we all should. In the famous words of Beyonce, “we're smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bear the children. Then get back to business.” However, it is the same strength that we hold as modern day women of the world that is the very thing that also gets in our way. We don’t ask for help easily. When we are juggling the demands of life and work, we push our way through on our own. Even when we are working hard to build our dreams and aspiring to the next level, we often hold onto this it’s me against the world complex.
Why do we do this as women? Why do we feel we have to fight our own fires alone?
Just because we can handle it on our own doesn’t mean we have to.
While there is no limit to the magnitude and power of what we women can achieve and create in the world, we don’t have to do it alone. I have personally witnessed the magic that happens when we form together as a collective sisterhood and get.shit.done. And what happens as a result of this, which is the most priceless piece, is the sheer calm and relief you feel when you see the army of your support network that will undeniably have your back.
Life on it’s own and building your dreams is tough enough. Call on your community. You don’t have to do it alone.