Ladies! Don’t Be Afraid!

There’s no reason you shouldn’t do what you want to do.

The tweet that prompted this post.

Yesterday, one of my Twitter friends shared a tweet that contained a list of the “Top 10 things British women would love to do but are too scared.” The heading at the top of the list asked if readers had done any of them.

I looked at the list and realized I’d done seven of them.

Which ones? Let’s go down the list:

  • Ask for a pay raise. Although I haven’t had an “employer” for more than 20 years, I have asked clients for increases in the rates they pay me — most recently just last week. I honestly can’t remember if I asked my last employers for a raise; in most cases the raises and promotions came automatically and I didn’t need to ask.
  • Travel or holiday alone. I do this all the time — and have been doing it since I began driving in the late 1970s. Hell, I remember taking a train to Canada by myself with just $20 in my pocket when I was 20. One of my Top 10 vacations, in fact, was the “midlife crisis road trip” I took in 2005. I spent 19 days cruising around Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho in my little convertible with no destination or reservations. I had a blast!
  • Get a tattoo. I have two of them on my right ankle. I got them in the 1990s, before everyone and their kid was getting them.
  • Have a bikini wax. Check. ‘Nuff said.
  • Short Hair
    My hair was actually growing out in this photo from 2012.

    Get your hair cut very short. The first time was in the early 1980s when I got a perm cut out down in Greenwich Village in New York City. That was quite a shock to most folks. After that, I wore my hair short much of the time, getting a few super short haircuts in summer months. My hair is shoulder length now for the first time in more than 30 years. I still haven’t decided if I like it this way.

  • Ask someone out on a date. Still doing that once in a while. Sometimes I’m disappointed, sometimes I’m not.
  • Quit your job. Not only did I quit my job way back in 1990, but I quit it to start a freelance career. That takes courage. But sometimes you need to cut ties to move forward — a tip for any kind of relationship, including employment.

What about the other three? Let’s take a look:

  • Sing in public/karaoke. I’ve never actually seen live karaoke and haven’t had the opportunity to do it. Not sure if I would, though. Is it cowardice? Probably some version of it. No one likes to look like a fool in public.
  • Do a naked photo shoot. It isn’t fear that stops me from doing this. It’s common sense. Women who have naked photos of themselves — or near-naked photos of themselves — out there are just asking for trouble. Do you really want photos of you like that circulating around? My advice, ladies, is to keep your clothes on when a camera is present. Those pictures can and will come back to haunt you. (Ask my wasband’s girlfriend about the ones she sent him that I got my hands on. I’m still wondering whether the playing cards were a hit with his poker friends. My friends sure got a kick out of them.)
  • Have cosmetic surgery. Again, it isn’t fear that holds me back from this one. For years it was the simple fact that I didn’t think I needed any. But as I age and gravity begins to take hold, I’m reconsidering it. It’s on my list but at a low priority. Need to get settled into my home first.

Now I’m not sure if British women — the group supposedly polled for the list — are more cowardly (for lack of a better term) than American women. I suspect they might be. I’m also not sure about the age of the women polled and would have to think that very old and very young women would be more cowardly than those of young enough to be “modern” and old enough to have conquered most of our fears.

But now it’s your turn. How many of these things have you done? What’s memorable about any of them?

And if you haven’t done something you really want to do, why not? Tell us what it is so we can talk you into it. Never let your gender hold you back!

4 thoughts on “Ladies! Don’t Be Afraid!

  1. I have yet to get a tattoo or do a naked photo shoot, but frankly, Maria, reading your post has inspired me to put them on my bucket list. I remember how inspired I felt after watching the Calendar Girls movie. I can only imagine what a challenge it would be for any photographer to shoot a flattering nude portrait of me at this stage in life. :-)

    • All the more reason to skip the nude photo! It’s one thing to have a nude/semi-nude photo of you following you around your whole life, but when that photo isn’t flattering, it’s even worse!

      As for the tattoo, they’re so commonplace these days that everyone seems to have one. My advice: pick a simple design you like and put it in a place that can be easily hidden. Remember “bold will hold” and small is beautiful. My ex-niece put an eye with a tear on her chest when she turned 18; if she doesn’t regret that now, she likely will sometime in the future. Although I love my first tattoo, I’m less happy with the second — and I have both for life. Lesson learned!

What do you think?