In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to share the following essay on the impact that women have made in my life. I hope you enjoy:
It seems that my life is dominated by women.
As a young boy, I felt that girls were nasty. I wanted no part of them or their cooties. By the time puberty hit, they were all I could think of. Aside from a couple of church and schoolyard crushes, I never fancied myself as much of a lady’s man during my adolescence.
When I got to college I found myself becoming more drawn to women, but not in the typical way you would think. As I progressed through this crucial period of my life I began to realize that a lot of my really close friends were of the female variety. I met so many notable women in college, including my wife, who continue to play a major role in my life to this day.
Without question, there is no personal area that women have made more of an impact in than my work life. I’ve spent the last decade working in predominately female environments.
During the five years I worked at a grocery store (which really meant doing everything in the store minus cashiering), I was often the only male bagger on the front end with a majority crew of female cashiers. This job was a defining moment as it really broke me out of my reserved, quiet shell. I met many of my future best friends at this job and still keep in touch with them regularly.
I currently work as the receptionist in an office where the number of women is more than double that of men. These women range in age from their late twenties through early fifties. This job is different from any I’ve ever held in that I’m a man working in a field that is traditionally dominated by women in an office that is filled with them. In some ways it’s a unique play on the usual gender roles in the workplace. I’m the one watering plants, sorting mail, making copies, answering phones, ordering supplies, and making sure that everything in the office is taken care of.
Although I maintain a good relationship with my male coworkers, I don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time with them as I do my female counterparts since they’re constantly on the go. I’m around the women from the moment I arrive until my departure. And is there never a dull moment with this crew.
One of the things I enjoy about working with women is that they aren’t afraid to express their feelings and are willing to offer an open ear whenever I have something to discuss. If they remotely sense that something is wrong with me they’ll stop to ask the reason why. On the flipside, they all have unique personalities which means that I must know how to properly deal with them at all times. They keep me on my toes.
I’m no women’s studies expert, but a key to successful communication with any woman is to listen and treat them with respect (throwing in the occasional compliment never hurts).
While I have great appreciation for women I do need to forge some stronger relationships with the men folk. But that’s another story for another day.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today if not for the lessons I’ve learned from all the powerful women that have shaped my life. From my wife to my mother and sister to in-laws to church members and coworkers, I’ve come to discover a lot about myself through them.
For as long as I live, I’ll be indebted to each of these special ladies. I dare not list all their names, because they are far too numerous, but I think about them daily and if any of them are reading this then they know exactly who they are.
Thank you all.