“The history of progress for women, summed up in 11 words.” That’s how Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards described the shutdown of Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King. Now some are saying the words you see in the subject line of this email are going to help Warren for her probable 2020 run. When I read them, I hear all the things I’ve been told I couldn’t do, but did anyway, much to someone’s chagrin.
I spoke to 25 amazing women from the ONA Women’s Leadership Accelerator yesterday. The thing I said that seemed to gather the most nods? I’m terrified. All the time. The other day, I spent a whole therapy session talking about how terrified I am of some upcoming Big-capital-B changes. Will I constantly feel like I never know enough and that I am inferior?
Yes, she said. Part of leadership is getting used to the two diametrically opposed forces of constantly learning and acting so confident it appears you run the world.
So I will be terrified forever?
You’ve been terrified of every single big life change, haven’t you? And you’ve done well with each one.
But, I said, none of my success was intentional. I just landed here, and so quickly. I thought it would slowly progress. I would learn a little more about leading, move up the ladder, learn a little more, move up the ladder again.
Nope. Anyone who’s had rapid success understands this. But that success is deserved. Because with every big risk you’ve been terrified of, outwardly you handled it well.
So this is it.
So I am terrified. I was terrified to present in front of a room of 25 women, many of whom I consider friends, colleagues and inspirations. I’m terrified of what happens after you get married. I’m terrified of the next job. I’m terrified of my students realizing I’m learning along with them.
So here we are, terrified. And I guess we’ll sit with that.
Pay it forward
Last week(ish), we played a game. I asked: What’s the most useful thing in your house/office right now?
This awesome weekender backpack/messenger from eBags. Hand sanitizer that doesn’t dry out my hands. Pants from White House Black Market that don’t wrinkle and I somehow always look great in (If I were a man, or if they revived their discontinued women’s line, I’d get these Outlier pants). Blanket scarves let me stay warm without using those icky airplane blankets. A gifted eye mask that lets me sleep, no matter the place. Camper shoes that are so comfortable, I can run in their heels to a gate and not cry in pain.
Great things I’ve read lately
“Lawyers from two of the nation’s leading civil rights’ groups said Ms. Rayos might be the first undocumented immigrant to be arrested during a scheduled meeting with immigration officials since Mr. Trump took office.” (NYTimes). If you need a cry, the story of a man how fosters children he knows he’ll lose in the worst way. (LATimes)
Jobs jobs jobs
The deadline is approaching for this awesome Journalism Law School fellowship (Loyola). The team that works on content policies at Facebook is hiring in: Washington DC, Austin, Menlo Park, Singapore. This film residency at Mother Jones looks like the bomb. A social media manager job with NBC Dallas. CNN needs a Senior Editor, News and Alerting. (CNN)
I’m currently on a flight to Dallas where I’ll be teaching at SPJ’s JournCamp tomorrow. Say hello!