In my experience, the quest toward believing in myself has been a life-long pursuit. I do believe that I have “arrived” at a place of celebration, in the presentation of The Language of Water this past weekend, and it inspires me to look back at the challenges of my journey.
When I was a little girl, the Women’s Rights movement was in full swing with bra-burning parties, and it seems somewhat violent to my young conscience which did not comprehend the implications of those actions.
Now, of course, I fully comprehend the vehemence and importance of that particular uprising.
I identified more with boys, and to some extent I still do – because they (traditionally) have the opportunities, and I wanted opportunity too. In most families that I was privy to at that time, girls were discouraged from dreaming too big, but I witnessed my grandmother changing the world, and my mother working and so I was fully supported.
However, as a trumpet player and computer expert specifically, I can assure you that the world I grew up in did not want to see women succeed. As I entered the workforce in the late 80s, it was a constant insult that men were always chosen for promotion and raises over women of equal or better skill. In the music world, it was the constant implication that if hired, sex would be expected. I could not figure out how to break the glass ceiling.
Eventually, I realized that I needed to create my own path, but somehow my passion led me straight into a trap of a hugely misogynist culture! (STILL trying to figure that one out!)
HOWEVER the pressure to submit ironically ended up as exactly the pressure I needed to evolve the hardness of a diamond – To recognize and acknowledge my prowess, experience, vision, skill and message. It is what every woman should strive for – a sense of personal accomplishment in which there is no need for praise from any outside party.
Once this stage is achieved, literally – everything is possible!
We must achieve the point at which our belief in ourselves is stronger than society’s need to dominate. That is the quest, and every woman who has achieved this stage should then lend a helping hand to others – younger or older – who are on the same path.