Today, I resigned from my position as Vice President with a company I love and a career I have spent over a decade pouring my heart into. A decision that did not come lightly, but did come with a lot of clarity.
As the mother of two young children, one of the things I teach my kids on a daily basis is that girls can do anything boys can do – insert my 5-year old son’s favorite tag line – “except pee on a tree.” Side note: remind me to tell you about the time I asked him this question while having cocktails with girlfriends on the deck. Expecting his typical response, he confidently blurted out without missing a beat, “Free ball it.” Technically, he was right…it was just not quite the answer I was looking for. Proud mom moment.
I still remember the day my grandmother brought me outside and lifted the hood of her car and proceeded to change the oil. I was around 15 years old at the time. I watched and listened intently, not having a clue why this was happening. When she finished, she gently let down the hood, turned to me and said, “Let this be a lesson that you can do anything. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something simply because you are a girl.” This was the woman who influenced nearly every aspect of my upbringing.
I look back on several very distinct times in my life when I have wept with such pain that it rocked me to the very core. The day I learned that she and my grandfather were killed in a car accident was one of them.
November 8th, 2016 was another.
As we all sat anxiously anticipating the proverbial crashing of the glass ceiling, the narrative quickly changed and the reality that sexism, racism, and intolerance still exist prevailed. It was a moment in time we would have to sit with our children and explain the following day, while fighting back our own tears. As a woman who was raised to be strong and who is raising a daughter to be the same, trying to make sense of it for her and our son was agonizing. We asked ourselves, how do we want to raise our children, what values do we want to instill in them, how can we teach them to be better than this? We have asked ourselves this question every day since the election.
We realized the answer was less about us and more about doing the right thing.
My resignation marks the beginning of our journey back to Australia, where my husband (yes, my immigrant husband who we joke married me and got me knocked up twice, just for good measure, simply to get a green card) was raised. We will leave behind a lifetime of memories, my family, our dearest friends, a piece of our hearts.
I will always stand up for what is right and sometimes doing the right thing means moving halfway across the world and affecting change where we can – in the lives of our children. And while this decision is about creating the best life for our children, the election was the catalyst that made it a reality.
And so it begins, as we pack up the life we have built here. We say goodbye to everything we have held near and dear for decades. We close the door on this chapter and set out to write a new one. One that is full of unknowns but is sure to bring adventure, challenges, laughter, tears, and everything in between.
And of course, don’t forget:
Start the Day with Coffee. End the Day with Wine. (Life is what happens in between).