Do You, Boo (and do you, fabulously)

Technically, I am back to work and done with my weeklong birthday celebration. I treated myself to a salt cave detox and massage. I had an hourlong facial and did a little light shopping. I had 4 days in Mrytle Beach and came back to dinner and brunch with friends. Now I’m back but I needed some time to transition fully back into the grind of work, podcasting, exercising, dieting …

So this week, I rehashed one of my first episodes, before I had a cohost, and while I was still finding my Fun. Feisty. Fabulous! voice. Yet, Do You, Boo is one of my favorite episodes. Doing you is all about finding your voice, following your intuition and living your life your way and on your own terms.

I think this is the perfect concept for 40+ women. We know who we are, we have a ton of life experiences behind us. We’ve had successes. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve fallen down and gotten back up. Along the way, we learned what mattered to us, what we wanted and what we could do without.

I can give you two examples, one personal and the other professional. I was a late bloomer as far as ‘boys’ were concerned. I had my first kiss at 17. When I really started dating, I was navigating the world of boys to men on my own. I didn’t have my mom and talking to my dad about guys was just weird (I mean, he did almost shoot my prom date). For my 20s, I dated pretty much any guy who was interested in dating me, lack of self-esteem and assertiveness proved a deadly combination.

Luckily, I was never in a physically or sexually abuse, but I did go through my share of emotional abuse. I was a late bloomer, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 17. Navigating boys without your mother is confusing and frustrating. Low self-esteem and a lack of assertiveness let me to date all the wrong guys. I was expected to go out of my way to bend over backwards and go out of a way for him but I was to expect nothing in return.

Slowly, I found my voice. By my thirties, I realized that I didn’t have to settle for a piece of man. I started speaking up for myself and protecting my heart instead of giving it away to any man that showed a slight interest. Then one day, I took a long look in the mirror and realized that I wasn’t half bad. In fact, I was pretty darn cute.

Now, I don’t have any problem telling someone I’m not interested or that what they are giving isn’t enough or what I am looking for. I can clearly state my needs and desires and leave if they aren’t being met.

Career wise, it was a lack of assertiveness and add to that a great amount of passivity. I waited for bosses and others to notice the great work I was doing. I thought that I would automatically be rewarded with a decent salary, bonuses and raises. The few times weekend or late work was required, I was the go to. And why not. It’s not like I was going to say no.

As a freelance writer, I was grossly undercharging and agreeing to complete tons of work on an abbreviated time line. One night, a work night no less, I was up trying to meet yet another impossible deadline. It was after two o’clock in the morning when it occurred to me. I’m probably the only one up and working at this moment. My boss wasn’t. My co-workers weren’t. The client I was working for certainly wasn’t. And when I turned in some great work, making the impossible deadline possible, I would be paid a ridiculously small amount.

The client was happy. I wasn’t. I explained the difficulty of meeting the deadline and that if this service was needed again, I would have to double the rate (higher rate) I would be charging. With that lesson learned, “Beep! Beep!” I started tooting my horn, and I haven’t stopped.

Whether it is the clothes you wear, the shoes (sorry, I don’t do heels), the food you eat, the work you do, where you decide to live or how you decided to raise your children, the moral of the story is simple, do you, boo. And do you fabulously!

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