Today is International Woman’s Day. A celebration that I am proud to be part of. I like being a woman. As hard as it’s been making my way in a world that has always been male dominated I wouldn’t want to give up my femininity for anything. I like having a “softer side” while still being able to command a boardroom full of men and not only hold their attention but show that I have the confidence and intelligence to compete with anyone who stands in my way. I like the fact that I gave birth to a beautiful daughter; nursed her, and was still able to run a successful company. While writing this I can hear that song in my head …
I can bring home the bacon
Fry it up in a pan
And never never let you forget you’re a man
Cause I’m a woman
W-O-M-A-N….I’ll say it again!
In other words, women can do it all. We can be warriors and still be soft and sexy.
This year, being a woman has been a bit more difficult for me. This whole breast cancer journey has really tested my “girl power”. Losing my breasts to cancer has challenged how I feel about myself. Am I still a good representation of what a “woman” is or should be? Am I still “feminine”? Am I still attractive? And with all that, my confidence has been rocked to the core. I have experienced more physical pain then I ever thought imaginable. And struggled with more emotional pain than I ever bargained for. There have been times during this journey where I wasn’t sure if I could push through the pain. I’ve had to dig deep to find strength to get through it all. I’ve made it through two surgeries now and have two more to go. The worst is behind me, but the journey is far from over. And the road is still very rocky!
Today I had to do a presentation. I was excited, yet nervous. I struggle with being the centre of attention where before my mastectomy I loved it. Getting dressed is a challenge because nothing fits. Or at least doesn’t fit like it used to. I still have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. I don’t recognize my reflection. It’s a distorted version of what “Patti” used to be. And I haven’t been able to really accept it and I certainly don’t like it! But it is what it is and eventually I will stop being shocked at my appearance and will learn to live with what I am….’cause this is it folks. It ain’t going to get any better.
Being a woman has its challenges. We have to work harder than men to be recognized in the workplace. We have to work harder on our appearance in order to be accepted in a world that worships pictures of women who have been photoshopped and airbrushed to look like mannequins. We have to be perfect wives and mothers but still kick ass in the boardroom. We have to do and be good at everything. We have to be WARRIORS!
Today I celebrate International Woman’s Day. I am proud to be a woman, even if I am struggling with it right now. Ladies, we need to encourage, support and help each other. We need to look at each other and accept each other. I am preaching this message in hopes that my inner self will listen; as I need to learn how to accept myself, celebrate my achievements and be proud of what I have overcome. I am a strong woman. I am a proud woman. I am a WARRIOR!
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.