Today’s lesson – I’m not for everyone and everyone is not for me.
I got some feedback today through a third party from someone who had hired me for a small project last summer.
She told this contact that it was unprofessional that I dressed too casually for a zoom training (a t-shirt and my hair in a ponytail), that I sounded like a valley girl (or whatever that means) and that my two dogs should not have been running around in the background of the zoom. (Um okay. This was the height of the pandemic and I work from home!)
She told this person not to recommend me to others – not based on my skills but because of these “unprofessional” characteristics.
Of course these are all her opinions and her opinion does not make them reality but here’s the thing – she didn’t question my abilities, my skills or my presentation – she criticized me because I am different than her.
Different isn’t necessarily bad. Different is just different. What’s “normal” to me isn’t normal to you. I am not for everyone and you won’t be either.
Her criticism was based on her ideals of how I should have been acting or looking through her perspective.
I dated someone who tried to change me into his ideal of what he wanted – someone who conformed to what he thought was “proper.” It didn’t work. I am sometimes loud and like to be the center of attention. Sometimes I say the wrong things. He wanted a proper woman who stood by his side at social events and always acted “classy.” He found someone much better suited for him and much more vanilla. I’ll never be vanilla. And neither should you.
You should never have to change yourself to be with someone. Or to fit in.
Pictured with me here are my two puppies with whom I work from home every day. I wouldn’t change it for the world. If you see them in the background of my zoom, don’t judge me. Instead chuckle. I hope they put a smile on your face.
If I sound like a valley girl (or whatever that means), don’t think that my words are less powerful.
And if my hair doesn’t look so great one day and I put it in a ponytail, don’t judge me for it.
If I decide not to wear a suit jacket while working from my living room, cut me some slack. Most of my pre-pandemic work clothes don’t fit, and I’m not sure the legal industry needs to still be so buttoned up anymore.
Instead judge me based on the strength and body of my work.
The rest is just noise.
(Also let’s give each other more grace and kindness. This has been a very stressful year and a half for everyone.)