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On being a turtle that thought she was a lioness

Cat
Updated on ・3 min read

Greetings,

First and foremost, disclaimer, this is not about productivity, or being slow, or anything of that sort, this is mostly a mesh of thoughts about how working in a tech driven environment can somehow change you, and sometimes not for the best.
Not really sure this is even the right place for it, but since this is the one I have chosen to document my voyage and #100daysofcode has been both a technical and otherwise self-learning journey, I decided to do it.

The other day, someone I like and admire, let me know that if I was animal I would be a turtle.
At first I was like, but then
I used to think of myself as a lioness, or at least a wild cat, never as a turtle, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood, that from the outside(of my own head, I guess), I'm nowadays more similar to the last.
Don't take me wrong, turtles are all around a reliable, lastly and strong. I take my time, follow my own path, I survive bigger stronger "animals", and I'm capable of handling a lot of pressure where it comes to the workplace, I'm not afraid to speak my mind, nor do I run from challenges. But I definitely have chosen to keep myself closed off, to hide from spotlight and hide from anything that differentiates me or gets attention to myself and my work at this point.

Was I always like that?
Of course not, I was afraid at the beginning, but I got comfortable enough to expose myself, to get out there and pursue what I think was right, in my awkward, not so organized way, but still doing it. I was being brave and I was learning and growing up a lot in a small amount of time until it stopped being fun.
I guess when you grow a bit too bright there is always someone who will start get uncomfortable, and I started to not be able to deal with the constant situations that eventually lead me to be a different person.
I don't think it's important to focus too much on what happened, but how the reactions of people around, people that I previous admired, and that I considered my mentors, shaped me to be what I am now.

My office, as many tech companies, is full of men, experienced power-hungry man. And now you go, oh here she goes with the story that there is no equality in the workplace.
The truth is that while working in tech, you will know amazing guys, that treat you like an equal, and have no problem with your sexual organs, guys who clearly couldn't care less if you were a woman or a pineapple and then you will meet those guys, men that at the beginning seem like the other group I previously talked, but that patronize everything to do as you say, as "Look at her so cute and unstable, must be her hormones!". The problem is when this last kind of man, is in a place that spoils your experience.

You get so used to see someone around you, which is a guy doing something and being patted on the back and congratulated for being a strong man, and saying it like it is, and when you do something similar, being called out on being immature, bossy or hysterical. At a certain point, you end up, doubting yourself, doubting you were ever right and shutting up. Dimming your light, so that it does not hurt the eyes of others.

You seclude yourself in your shell and stop sharing that you care, that you wish things were different because people don't ear you anyway, not really. They dismiss you and you let them. Is this right? Of course not, but in this situation you have two options, you either focus on the remaining of the things you are getting from your workplace(which are good and satisfying) and don't give them the importance they want to have, waiting out on some change and disconnect, which was what I've done or you go and find yourself a place where things are different/better, which is something I see myself doing in the future.

turtle
One thing is for sure, I'm way to feral(proudly) to ever be a domesticated anything.

Best Regards
Cat

Discussion (2)

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char_bone profile image
Charlotte

This made me feel really sad to read. I can completely understand after spending 11 years in a male dominated industry, but please, please get out of that toxic workplace. You should never feel like you have to hold back because of your gender <3

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skelcat profile image
Cat Author

At this point I think I am more numb that sad, but yes, I'm working on the things I need to be able to do it someday.

Thank you for the support.