The Goddess of Stones
Not so long ago, I found myself waiting for a phone call. It’s weird, I know, to be waiting for a phone call in 2019. This isn’t the eighties when people were literally tethered to their phone by a cord. We’ve got so many ways to track a person down now. Text and email and chat and slack and social media. It’s ridiculous—on so many levels—to wait around for some guy to call you.
And yet. There I was.
This particular guy was not a romantic interest. He was a professional one, a VP of Marketing at an up and coming company, and had offered me a job as creative director. Actually, his exact words were, “I’m building a team of mavericks and creatives, and I want you to lead them.”
As the cherry on top of that delightful scenario, this creative director job was in another country. A fact that I was really excited about. I mean, a job offer that comes with all-expenses-paid relocation and a work permit is the stuff of dreams. The Hubs and I have talked about becoming ex-pats for years, but could never find the right door to open.
So this guy and I had been talking regularly and my husband and I were making plans, and we’d told our daughter to get ready to say goodbye to her friends and her school, and things were moving right along. And then, right when it was time for some important paperwork, Mister Vice President just straight up ghosts me. Hardcore. Doesn’t respond to texts or emails or voicemail. Just, nothing. I had to stalk him on Instagram just to make sure he hadn’t skied into a tree and died.
Spoiler: He wasn’t dead, he was just a douchebag. All of the sudden it seemed everything he had promised was falling apart, and along with it all my hopes for an international future for myself and my family.
I began to lose sleep over it. I was incredibly anxious. One morning at 3 am I found myself frantically trying to get Magic8Ball.com to predict my future. As I said, I was desperate.
When I confessed this particular bit of crazy to one of my best friends, she told me to go get my Tarot cards read. I had never done it before, but I was at my wit’s end. “It’s not going to predict your future,” she warned me, “but it will give you a new perspective on your situation.”
So I booked an appointment with a lovely young witch on Valencia Street in San Francisco. And that’s where I met the Goddess of Stones. In the Wanderer’s Tarot deck, she depicts a woman who is fully embracing her power. She is doing what she loves and has no problem standing up and speaking for herself.
This card usually represents how you are being embodied in your work or how you show up in the world. For me, it was a call to stand up for myself and speak the truth. “You have more power than you know,” were the exact words that were said in that moment.
Those words were like a stone dropped in a pond. The ripples kept spreading and spreading as I thought about it for the next few weeks.
First I thought about this career opportunity and how when guy had come to me and said, “You’re the one I want to lead this team,” my first thought had been “Who, me? Are you sure?”
Even though I had all the skill necessary to take a leap in my career, I didn’t move. I didn’t even think about budging until I go the invitation. And then I realized that I have done that at every stage of my career, always waiting for someone else to tell me when to jump.
As the ripples spread wider and I began to examine my history in earnest, I realized that this was a pattern in my life. Nearly every major decision was one that I waited to make until someone in a position of power, usually a man, gave me permission to do it. Even if it was my idea first. Even if it was something I really wanted to do. I wouldn’t make it real, I wouldn’t act on it, until someone else gave me permission.
This realization kind of blew my mind and I thought, if I am a forty-mumble year old woman, outspoken politically, a feminist, a writer, by all accounts a strong person, successful in my career telling CEOS and such how their brand voice should work, and I have been unconsciously waiting for permission, how many other people out there are also repressing their own potential, their own power, their own voice, because they are waiting for someone to give them permission to speak?
So I’m not waiting any more for anybody’s by your leave.
I’m giving myself permission. To speak. To move. To lead. To do whatever the hell is in my heart.
And this is what’s in my heart right now—the goddess of stones, standing on top of these rocks she’s toppled, feeling her power and letting it show.
Over the next couple of months, I’m going to be speaking at some conferences and leading some workshops that are all about finding your voice and making it heard.
I’m in the thick of creation right now, overwhelmed by ideas. But as things become clear I’ll post more here. This blog is one more place for me to use my voice.
I’m tired of raising my hand. I’m ready to speak.