Do I feel safe? I’m asking this question more now, and I’m re-evaluating the things I do, the people I hang out with, the spaces I’m in. I’m asking if I feel fully affirmed in my identity when I’m in a space — because I want to be able to fully bring myself to any space.
In the past, I’d pushed down more and more of who I am, or said less of the things or had less confidence to speak up in certain situations. So, to feel safe, I really feel like I have to not only be myself, but also be affirmed in being myself.
I’m asking who I really care about: Who are the people who really make me feel important or who empower me?
I’m getting clear about who those people are, and then being really intentional. Sometimes we set up a recurring time every week to do something. Even in my one-on-ones at work, I take time at the beginning of the meeting to check and ask how they’re doing. If they’re not doing OK or if I’m not doing OK, we’re not going to be fully focused or fully present. Sometimes we need to drop the agenda and just check in with one another and catch up. It’s about really being honest with who I want to be intentional within this season.
If I’m being productive but it doesn’t have a positive impact on myself or other people, then it really feels like it’s vanity.
I’m prioritizing people, and people includes myself too. I have a rule now where I’m not scheduling anything on Fridays. Fridays are for me. Saturdays are for friends, and Sundays are my Sabbath, and I schedule accordingly. On Friday night, if I want to take a bath, if I want to binge-watch 90-Day Fiance, I can do all of those things.
My definition of productivity has changed so much. I care much less about being productive — if I’m being productive but it doesn’t have a positive impact on myself or other people, then it really feels like it’s vanity.
I grew up dancing. In my five- or 10-minute breaks between meetings, I do mini dance parties. It’s been a fun opportunity to find new music and to move. I feel better because I’m moving, and it gets me into more of a creative space. I live by myself, so I don’t have a fear of anyone seeing me.
I’ve also been able to meet with people and do some socially distant photo shoots — both in front of and behind the lens. It’s been good to be creative again.
I’ve also ventured into hosting virtual speed dating sessions. I have a secret dream of being Patti Stanger, being a Millionaire Matchmaker without the millions. I’ve been coordinating one-hour sessions and helping people meet. I think it’s a hard time to try to date, and I want to try to make it a little more fun. So that’s been a little fun creative side project for me.
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