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I’m postponing my annual, first post of the year as my resolutions, because I’m still working out what they should be, if they should be, and trying to write them so they make sense to anyone who’s not me. That post should come Wednesday; I hope to have it resolved by then. (See what I did there? Ah puns…)

Anyway, the thing I want to write about is a little bit of self care I did last night and it’s really making my day. If you know me IRL, or read this blog, one of the most interesting things (I think) about me is the time in my 20’s when I worked as a professional brewer at our local craft brewery and restaurant. It’s interesting on many levels, because so few women are in the field originally created by women, and I’m proud to be part of that tradition. Though the professional work was difficult, and ultimately not for me in the long term, I took many life lessons and experiences with me when I left.

That said, I was having a conversation with a friend at work, someone I’ve known a fair amount of time, at least two years. This person was going on and on about these police officers, all women, who had failed their annual competency test and were suing their police department to keep the job. Knowing nothing about the specific lawsuit or circumstances, I took a neutral position, noting that it’s not fair to ask for special treatment, but also unfair for them to be singled out as women as well. Not that I could really get a word in, as my friend was ranting and not really listening.

After about an hour (yes this call went on for a while), I finally had to get their attention because I just couldn’t hear about “these crazy feminists” one more minute. I asked the friend if they remembered what job I held before this one. To my astonishment, the friend stopped, and literally could not recall. I realized in the pause that my friend either didn’t know or didn’t care to remember, which is fine, but still hurtful. So I finished the argument with this:

“Before I worked here, I worked as a professional brewer. There was no accommodation provided for me because I was female. I could lift the things I had to lift or I couldn’t do my job. I had to prove myself just like everyone else. So if you’re lumping me in with women who don’t do this, please stop. If your argument is that a job is a job, regardless of how hard, then I actually agree with you.”

Then, silence.

Then, “Oh…”

Then, I suddenly realized I could end the conversation there, and I did. I also realized that this person is probably not the friend I had thought they were. And that made me sad.

So, over the weekend, I found my old brewery staff shirt, which I no longer wear. I bought small square frame and cut out the logo and put it on my desk. I wanted to remind myself that the awesome things I’ve done in my life don’t matter to anyone else. The things that I’ve done, because I wanted to, because they were hard, because I could do it if I fucking tried, and because I was successful, matter because they define my awesomeness.

Friends come and go. Experiences teach us to be better than the sum of our parts. They show us that we are good enough, we were always good enough, and that if we stopped looking to others for external validation, we could see the truth that was there all along. And that’s something worth remembering.