How will I use my talent?
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
It's been one week since I heard the news that RBG passed away. It's one of those moments for me that I will never forget where I was, what I was doing, and how devastated I was to hear that she was gone. We were driving home from dinner and I had the radio on NPR. I turn on the car in the middle of a segment and hear Nina Totenburg talking about RBG and something she says makes me think she may have died, but it's not 100% clear. I continue to listen and for what felt like hours she continued to share stories of her, but I still wasn't sure. It was the most surreal few minutes. I couldn't find any words and everyone kept saying, "Are you ok?", "What's happening?".
Finally, it became clear that she had passed and tears started to stream down my face. I honestly didn't begin to get it together until the next morning. My boys didn't know what to say, but once we got home, I received at least 3 random hugs from each of them before the night was over. They are teenage boys so that's basically like a solid year's worth of freely given hugs for them.
I imagine that she has been mourned all week by millions of women from all over the world. We owe her so much and we were counting on her to hold it all together until things start looking up .You still cannot log into your social media without seeing numerous quotes or lists of wins for women from her body of work.
This one has always been the one that resonated the most with me.
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made."
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
While this will continue to be a core belief of mine and one of my favorite mugs, I have to admit there is another RBG quote that I can't get out of my mind.
"I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability."
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
What a simple, yet noble goal? It's such a profoundly basic statement of what we should all be striving to do each day. Tonight, I can't stop thinking about what I can do with my talent to honor her memory. I don't have it all figured out yet, but I know this much.
If my talent leads to any bit of power in this world, I will leverage it to empower other women.
I realize that my measure of success is not only about my wins, but gaining enough influence to shine a light on other women who are doing amazing work. I would rather look around and see a whole crew of women succeeding and doing great things, than find myself in a very lofty position. I mean, both would be cool, but I don't want the big role without helping others along the way.
When you find your passion(talent), lean in like you have never leaned in before.
It has taken me awhile to find my true passion, but the fire it lit under me is like nothing I have ever experienced. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian at 5 years of age, but then I left practice 8 years ago to work in industry. After a few years of adjusting to leading in the corporate environment, I realized how much I loved leadership. This love of leadership led me to a position on the board of The Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative, where I finally got it. This is my passion!
I needed to become a veterinarian to be part of this profession that lacks diversity and has had a massive influx of women who face barriers to equal pay and opportunity, so that I could find my true talent and lean in with everything I've got to make things more equitable, inclusive, and diverse in the profession.
When I disagree or see an injustice, I will say so with confidence. I have been silent or tempered my opinion for the comfort of others too many times and I don't want to do it anymore. Ruth wouldn't want it that way.
RIP Notorious RBG