I would say I am a typical woman. I am that tired trope and worn-out stereotype of a woman who always smiles and says hi to people first, even if I am having a shit day. I am someone who will move mountains to help other people and do it all outside of office hours or say yes to projects that are not within my job description. And yet, this provides no reprieve from stress, no magical silver bullet to feel better. This does nothing to stoke my ego. It’s simply exhausting. The alternative, which is to say – telling people No has never seemed possible for me. Until a wise and beautiful owl with fluffy, spiky hair who I know very well, told me otherwise.
Here is the most fascinating part of saying no. It’s absolutely liberating and enjoyable. Saying no and ceasing to give a shit about all of the minor psychodramas going on in the workplace, saying no and not being anybody’s obedient lapdog and actually stopping giving a shit because you have other, more pressing priorities to get on with, is very liberating, freeing and empowering. Fuck being amenable and agreeable all of the time, and being the woman who will do everything at a moment’s notice. Fuck even giving a shit about any of it at all. Because a job is a job and a salary and it is not life. Health and wellbeing and personal sanity is more important than being a people-pleaser. That’s all I wanted to say. This was something I learned today.