“If you’re not swimming up stream you’re going the wrong way.”
I get it. I dig it. But I’m a teamwork girl. I work with others well. I’m a lover not a fighter so should I really be fighting my way up stream?
That was that. End of contemplation on the little fishy quote written on a blackboard.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m reading a riveting opinion on a major gender controversy in the Silicon Valley and suddenly I want to be that a little fishy in a strong stream fighting to do everything I can to go the other way. The way I see the light. The way I know to be right, morally. The one that takes balls and voice and sweat and…bravery. For myself and more importantly for someone else.
I’m speaking up. I’m pointing to the other way. Please for the love of g flip a u-ey.
The more you go with the flow, the harder it is to turn around when you realize you’re going the wrong way. The harder it is for those following you, too.
This has looked pretty differently in my life, and likely yours.
- Pass me up for the much less qualified dude when there wasn’t a single woman in your office? Boys club bullshit. Upset. But maybe he was better? Unlikely, I google stalked his mediocre creds. Roll with it…
- Overhear them talking about someone I know, love and respect? Stay silent. I shouldn’t have even heard that. Don’t want to be lumped in with her. Don’t want to be nosey. Hold my tongue. Roll with it…
- Touch my ass at a bar? Tell him it’s not OK. Quietly. With a velvet hammer voice. Don’t physically shove him even if you want to. Don’t make a scene. Roll with it…
- Watch them tell lies. Become a part of the lies. Maybe this is just optics? Part of the game? Roll with it…
- Listen to a group make some questionable jokes about The Other. Be that girl? They’ve just had too many drinks. Make an issue of it? Nah. Take an integrity hit. Roll with it…
Rolling so hard. So often. Dizzy. So many punches.
Soon you’re rolling with every punch. You’re amenable. You’re agreeable. You’re a great person to have around.
At a cost. At a major effing cost.
How long are you going to roll with the punches? How long are you going to swim with the stream? Do you even want to go where they’re going?
You might cause a scene. You might make an issue. You might have people talking about you. You may even cause people to dislike you. But you’ll have the right people. And you’ll have your integrity, your voice, and your cause. You’ll be doing it for something or someone.
Quit rolling with the punches.
You’ll know when you’re on the verge of breaking it. That white angel on your shoulder, she’ll throw up a warning when you’re tip toeing the line, in the form of a big ass pit the size of Texas in your belly. Listen to her. She’ll give you the strength to punch back to whatever comes your way.
Stop rolling. Stop flowing. Swim hard. Punch harder. It matters.