This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StrengthHasNoGender #CollectiveBias
They were timid. They were hiding behind the door, calling out, “Who is it?” “It’s me – your pizza delivery girl!” I said cheerfully. I was 19 and barely 104 pounds. My hair was in a bouncy ponytail, and my uniform polo shirt was slightly baggy on me, with my cargo khaki pants. I was as un-intimidating as they come, or at least that’s what they thought about me.
The door widened and they looked relived. “We weren’t allowed to open the door because we thought you’d be an old man!” The little girls exclaimed. Their mother came to the door to pay me and said, “.. Tammy?” It turns out she knew me because my mom taught her children art. I could see her whole mind wrapping around the fact that I was a pizza GIRL, and I also happened to be someone she knew. I grew accustomed to the looks of surprise on people’s faces. No one expects a pizza girl!
Scarlet wears her “Girls Rule” shirt all the time, but as she explains to her little brother, “Boys rule too, but enough people say that!” My mother’s mother – my Nana – was considered a rebel for her time, because she worked, married later than the norm, and worked/traveled! Her daughter – my mom – raised five kids after the sudden death of my father. She built her own business, an art school, and is now the “cool Nana” to six grandchildren, and I’m certain there will be more in her future.
My story is still unfolding, but I think more about how it’s unfolding now that I have two littles watching me. When they were younger, I served on the Board of Directors for MotherWoman – a local, spreading organization devoted to postpartum support and empowering women. These days I’m a working mom of two – with a photography business and a social media business.
Getting here was a journey, and I imagine my journey is young. I always aimed to make something of myself and to learn a good work ethic, but I never did it in what I called “normal” or straightforward ways. My first job once involved caring for several kids, with the baby strapped “safely” into a swing, when an adult bear wandered into the yard! I was 17. Then, it was pizza delivery in an almost all-male workforce. They looked up in surprise when I started, though they were expecting me.
After pizza delivery, I did school photography. A lot of the young women were photo assistants or groomers for the children, but I went in and tackled being a class photographer. I had to carry hundreds of pounds of equipment daily, at 5:00am call times, and I may have ruined my left knee for life. I’m still glad I did it. I won’t say it was without challenge, but it was all part of the path I took to get to where I am now. After a 4-5 year stint in corporate America and temping, I took up heavy lifting at another 5:00am shift in a grocery store. That was followed by Innkeeping a 20 room urban bed & breakfast.
Everything always led me back here to blogging and photography. Now I’m a double business owner. If you had told me I would be a writer AND photographer ten years ago, I’d be so relieved and I’d snap my fingers and say, “YES! There really is nothing else in the long run, is there?” However, if you told me I’d be a double business owner, I’d look at you like you were crazy. I still feel surprised because I thought it would be my husband. I didn’t know I’d learn about self-control, hiring and firing, balance, and being a full-time working mom to two children – with extra efforts to exercise, eat well, be around the kids full time, keep on top of chores, etc. I’m the default parent AND I work full time. I can’t imagine another way, though.
While we all still love Eric Solie, the original Brawny® man, they’re showing that girls are here to stay by having him step aside to give spotlight to strong, resilient women. Brawny is celebrating women who have inspired us to STAY GIANT®.
Why Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus? They offer more sheets on every roll (vs. national leading brand comparable roll and sheet size) and they help you clean up whatever life throws down! This amazing The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign is highlighting the inspirational stories of everyday women in cities across America. These women have been breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries, and they have been empowering others. This is about breaking gender stereotypes, and not just about physical strength! Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day. Did you celebrate?