While discussing some difficult issues a couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend said, “You’re such an optimist.” My anxiety would beg to differ.

I don’t consider myself to be an optimist, so that statement from the man I’ve been living with for the past 21 years threw me for a loopty-loop. He knows me pretty well. Sometimes he knows what I’m thinking before I do, but optimism ain’t my strong suit. So it made me think. Why would he think that? About me?

The discussion we were having was about a job he didn’t think he was qualified to apply for because he didn’t meet 1 or 2 of the 6 criteria listed. My response was, “Don’t let that stop you.” And that got me labeled an optimist. But, IMHO, that doesn’t make me an optimist. It makes me a typical woman.

For over 40 years I’ve heard  “You can’t…” “You shouldn’t…” “Women don’t…” or worse “Girls can’t…” I just never let that stop me. I am in a technical field, where many of my peers are men. Things get mansplained to me a lot, even though I have 26 years of experience. I used to let it get to me, but it’s far more productive (and satisfying) to ignore it, plow ahead, and prove them all wrong.

You know what else I don’t let stop me? Failure. Not every decision you make is going to be a winner. Sometimes you have to fall on your face…hard. But learn from that shit. And try not to make the same mistake twice.

We have come a long way, baby. And there is still plenty of road ahead of us and plenty of glass ceilings above us. But don’t let that stop you!

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