Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lean In (...and thinking, "Should I be doing that?")

"Lean In*: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg
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The whole time I was reading it, I wondered if feminism should be my cause.  I’m for equality, right?

I so admire people like Sheryl Sandberg, who have figured out what they’re fighting for.  She would be the first to tell you that it took her many years to come to this fight, but wow – to believe something so strongly and be so brave and speak up about it and gain traction after you’ve spoken up about it – how cool.

I’ve often wondered whether I’ll ever believe in something so strongly and so worth fighting for that I’ll do it.  Embrace the vulnerability that comes with expressing beliefs others may not hold.  I wonder why, up to this point in my life, it hasn’t happened yet.  I’ve wanted it to happen: I’d love to be your die-hard vegan or expressive feminist or teacher reform champion.  And here I am!  Former Teach For America corps- and staff member!  Former Vagina Monologue actress!  Current “Lean In” reader! 

But here’s the scary admission: My passion for these causes has never emerged.

I like the causes, and believe in them strongly enough to take action.  But in truth, I am always left with an undeniable feeling of fraud.  Like others are doing xyz because they really care, and I’m doing it because I want to care – there’s a difference.

So I leave this post, internally conflicted at best, wondering whether I'll ever feel right and strong about my cause in this world.  And in the meantime, I will be practicing Deepak Chopra's mindful waiting, which sits at the intersection between making things happen and being patient, ears and eyes open. 

*”Lean In” is a self-described feminist manifesto written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO.

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