(This is about something that happened on March 8, 2017 – International Women’s Day)
I’m feeling optimistic, fortunate, and even empowered (I normally hate that word, but today is International Women’s Day!). I’ve flown to my quarterly meeting and I’m standing at the front of a conference room, running through financial projections for the quarter, my audience all male and I the lone female. This feels fitting on International Women’s Day. It’s my meeting and I’m making things happen.
But that’s not all that’s happening.
Naturally, my period starts, unexpectedly. Did I mention I’m wearing my gorgeous silk winter white pants? Yep.
I’m a planner. I know my calendar and my cycle. And this was unplanned.
What to do? My mind raced. If I sit for too much longer I’ll have a sexy stain on the back of my pants, and if I stand for too long, I’ll have a sexy stain on my crotch. Win-Win! Thankfully I was able to stand quickly and for the first time in my presenting career, I did not use my hands when I spoke. They were in the “fig-leaf” position, while my internal monologue was disaster planning.
“Ok girl, hour long presentation, it feels like it started pretty heavy, best guess is that something will be visible in about 60 mins, which puts us at lunch, I wonder if I can tie my blazer around my waist and not have anyone think it’s weird, maybe I can pop into the ladies room before we go to lunch, oh wait it’s a unisex bathroom and they don’t offer tampons, I’ll just shove toilet paper in my underwear to buy some time until I can get to a CVS…”
Who among us hasn’t been in a situation like this? I related my story to all my female friends and everyone had a story to share.
I finally made it to the airport that evening and found a CVS and changed my clothes. Reflecting on my day, I thought about how none of the dozen men I presented to had any idea how frantic I was internally or what I was going through. I made it through an hour long presentation, 20 minutes of Q&A, and they all bought in to my vision.
And I did it all while hemorrhaging.
This is the perfect story for International Women’s Day. We lady-folk deal with major issues our male counterparts don’t have to. (don’t even try to equate high-school erections with bleeding through a white suit in front of upper management). Women have to consider stuff like this, every day, along with wage gaps, rape, unconscious bias, sexism, misogyny, the list goes on. But we still GSD.
Ever question your abilities or confidence? Stop it right now. My new mantra?
Anything you can do, I can do bleeding.
Journey On, Janes