Some people are great at starting things. Some excel at generating momentum. Then others thrive in BAU and steadying a ship. There are ideas people. There are details people. Some folks are logical, some people are magical contagious champions or cheerleaders. It’s all important and impactful stuff!
Aside from these various types of helpful humans, there’s unfortunately also a category of people who apparently prefer taking credit for things they did not do. They also deny responsibility for their mistakes, and generally exist to annoy and confound people who are earnestly trying to get through life with some level of purpose and poise.
After helping to found four businesses; organizing literally thousands of events & activities; starting charities, groups, and digital communities; I’ve been pretty public about getting burned out and bullied. But in all honesty, I don’t think I would have been half as exhausted if it wasn’t for the shit kicking I’ve taken from the aforementioned category of people. They are out there and that’s really boring and annoys me.
I’ve lost count of how many things I’ve instigated or created that have either fizzled out or been hijacked by losers who have never had an original idea themselves, but rather prefer to scavenge other people’s work.
After grieving about it all for a bit, today I can honestly say I give none fucks. Did once. They’re gone. It is much better being fuckless in these matters. Let others take credit for things they didn’t do. Let opportunists feast on scraps from your table. Allow these folk to have a fleeting moment or throw their weight around and act like Mayor Shit of Turd Town riding on the tails of other people’s ideas, efforts and resources. Fuck it. Doesn’t even actually matter.
So here’s the thing. After years of being in 100% survival mode and pushing a lot of shit uphill, I made a conscious decision to step away from the incessant hamster wheel of that worldly rigmarole, and guess what, I now actually get to relax most of the time and live an incredibly blessed existence.
My second husband and I spend most days as blissed out newlyweds. The company we have started together is going from strength to strength and operates at a very sustainable pace. Our friends are incredible and supportive, despite many (perhaps most) of them having to shovel plenty of their own proverbial uphill. Our kids get along and are thriving despite their own unique challenges and trials. The cat is an asshole but he’s our precious three legged jerk. Wouldn’t trade any of these things.
So… I am currently knocking on the door of my mid 40’s and finding myself – to coin a new phrase – “Founder-tigued”. What does that mean?
I recently made a new friend at a hen’s night, also a founder and fierce goddess, and she said something I can’t stop thinking about. We discussed how both her and I had spent decades filling our snoots with booze to battle our social anxiety and imposter syndrome. As a result, she no longer drinks and I have been incredibly good at not drinking or drinking not too much for about four years now – even moderation in moderation say I!
I’m not going to lie, both my new friend and I have had some pretty solid success with our first businesses, so the first night we met our chats covered how interestingly both our (in my case ex) halves get the vast majority of the credit for the success of these businesses that we had co-founded. It’s just the way it is. It’s unfair, unreasonable, uncool and unfun. We also discussed mansplaining and being treated like an idiot because we are women – but that’s a rave for another time!
The most profound moment of many profound moments speaking to my new friend was when I confided that I had been more hurt, disappointed, betrayed and confounded by cruel and manipulative women pretending to be my friends, than I ever was by useless misogynistic male bullies. I also pointed out that despite that, I am utterly and honestly buoyed by the magic of women and the support and Love I have known since finding my “no” and protecting my boundaries.
Women are powerful. The women I know, Love, trust and rely on are powerful and together we can get through and create any damn thing that needs managing or manifesting. Facts.
I suggested to her that we ought to consider some sort of plan to champion and support women. No idea what it would look like, mentorship, investment, encouragement… but I felt we could do something cool.
The next time we hung out was at our mutual friends’ perfect wedding. Here is what she told me between sipping coke zero and chatting about children and travel:
“I thought about what you said, and we should champion and support women together and I realized, I am just too tired. Done, I am done. So let’s hang out and not do that instead.”
That. Was. So. Helpful.
Here’s the thing, we both still have a lot left in the tank. We are magical middle-aged goddesses with big brains full of strategy and experience that could be put to all kinds of good use.
But we’ve both also spent years working our asses off while being variously shat on from all kinds of different heights and directions.
I like my new friend. I am impressed by what she has done and who she is at this point when I have been lucky enough to meet her. She’s got plenty going on and heaps of adventures all over the planet to look forward to this year, as do I.
But right now, what I mostly want out of life is to expressly not found/start any or many new things because I am foundertigued.
And what that means is that I instead choose to have a handful of people close to me and a short beautiful list of things I am doing and am passionate about and can make a world of difference to. That’s not to say I won’t pop back up at some point; an older, wiser, stronger more powerful version of the hurricane I once was. I guess we shall see.
Thanks for reading.