Lean In Or Not

I’m set to start reading the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook.

From what little I’ve heard of the concept of leaning in I don’t buy it or get it as an approach that every woman must take or needs to take.

A cubicle is a box. I worked in offices for 7 years. For a creative person, this kind of job can rob you of your soul.

Only I was young and I wanted to prove I was normal so I thought that was what a person did: worked in offices, coveted a corner office or at least to become a corporate superstar.

How easy it is to get sidetracked this way because you think it’s what you should do or that it’s the only thing you can do.

I recommend a person researches herself to see what she might like to do and what she’d be good at, regardless of whether it’s what others tell her she “should” do. Artists are routinely discouraged from going to art school and told they should take up a degree like accounting that is practical.

No. No. No. I don’t recommend you listen to anyone who tells you this. Do what the deafening voice in your head tells you is what would suit you. It’s like not following a trend and wearing an outfit that looks ridiculous on you. You don’t have to follow trends in fashion that don’t suit your body type or personality. Nor do you have to follow others into an acceptable career.

I wonder if Dita Von Teese, the burlesque artist, ever caved into the doubt and was led into a gray flannel career early in her life. She’s famous for being Dita Von Teese and doing her own thing.

It takes courage. It takes balls or breasts to live your life Left of the Dial when others tell you to Lean In to an ordinary life, the life you’re “supposed to live” as a woman: birth babies, raise a family and take yourself higher in the corporate world.

What if you want to have a magnificent life of your own choosing? What if you don’t want to have a normal life others choose for you or tell you that you have to live?

Dare. Dare to be the one and only you. Dare to do what pleases your soul first of all. If you’re “all about the money” that’s OK too. Just be yourself and you’ll be happier either way.

I will report back shortly in the Reviews section of this WordPress site on what I think of the Sheryl Sandberg book.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s