From fighting limitations to creating life, women can achieve anything this world has to offer… and if it’s not there, we’ll create it for ourselves. What if you removed the barriers and bias from your life? What could you accomplish if you cured the disease of unworthiness that infects the population? If you broke the glass ceiling, how far would you elevate yourself in the universe? For years, these very questions made me feel unsettled.
I didn’t know it at the time, but each obstacle I overcame released an energy so powerful within me that it felt uncomfortable to contain. When energy builds rapidly, there is one inevitable outcome: an explosion. From supernovas to volcanic eruptions, explosions have the power to change the world and shift society. Lucky for you and me, we live in a time where women are momentous; a time where we have fight social norms and bias to enact our own Big Bang. Thanks to the team at Olay and their products, I’m empowered to share my own story of the fire within me that ignited me to start my own business.
I founded Cup of Charisma in 2014, but sometimes I can’t help but think it found me. If you told me that the blog I started in my bedroom at 2 a.m. would one day be my fulltime job, I wouldn’t have believed you. Four years later and Cup of Charisma has been featured by Houston Chronicle, Great Day Houston, Architectural Digest and other news sites I love. I couldn’t have fathomed connecting with tens of thousands of incredible readers or being asked to share my story for a brand like Olay! I couldn’t imagine it because for a period I let adversity overshadow ambition.
From doctor to Disney child actor, there wasn’t a dream job too bold for me in my childhood. Once I hit high school, I soon learned that walking in a woman’s shoes is more than just balancing in heels (especially Louboutins). Historically, women have been given the short end of the stick. While old vestiges of the Leave It to Beaver-era are evaporating with every powerful female CEO, it doesn’t change the fact that women couldn’t even get a credit card without a male cosigner until 1974. I always had a passion and drive to get what I wanted in life, but I can’t tell you plainly that I had an easy road becoming a female founder.
In my teenage years, I realized young women experience the judgment almost daily. I was sometimes placed in a box before even opening my mouth. I was first too curvy, then too skinny; too awkward, then too outgoing; too quiet, then too loquacious. Can you relate? I wanted to be my own person. I even wanted to go to prom solo with friends. I remember my mom pushing me to ask “that nice boy” to prom because it was unconventional to go alone. I wasn’t exactly Prom Queen material, but I knew she expecting me to check on a box on that societal norm. After matching my dress to his tuxedo, I didn’t realize that I would begin matching everything in my life to someone else.
From fighting limitations to creating life, women can achieve anything this world has to offer… and if it’s not there, we’ll create it for ourselves.
My first major experience with bias was feeling belittled as a woman. That prom date became a fiancé who was stifling and gaslighting me while deterring my career goals even down to the creation of my very first blog. As a student journalist, I knew I wanted to grow a writing portfolio. When I did start blogs (first a fashion blog and then a DIY blog with terribly cheesy names), I was threatened by him to shut it down because my photos were “on the internet for the world to see.” What people don’t know about strong women, is once they get an idea in their head there is no stopping them.
During those difficult years, I would think back to those questions. How would I remove this barrier in my life? How would I break the glass ceiling when I felt like people wouldn’t let me fly? When I scraped my knees on the rock bottom, I discovered fearlessness and became determined to rise above the limits someone else set for me.
Women deal with bias, and it’s only a matter of time before we break the mold others cast us in. When I pressed the detonate button to ignite a new life at 23, it created an explosion of empowerment and inspiration. Ever since facing that bias early on, I’ve grown instinctive and felt that stirring inside of me to make big life changes like moving to Houston and, eventually, leaving my stable job to pursue a career in blogging. Cup of Charisma may be turning four, but it lived within me for years until the right moment.
This isn’t a story about bad people, bad relationships or even about me. I’m just one story in a huge chronicle of women who are empowered to pursue their passion despite all odds. If you spend time focusing on the ideas beating inside your heart, what would you find?
Since starting my blog, I’ve cultivated a community of women who support one another like sisters and seek to encourage each other to grow. From fighting limitations to creating life, women can achieve anything this world has to offer… and if it’s not there, we’ll create it for ourselves. Women face bias in their workplaces, families, relationships, and friendships, but when we are ready to shatter society’s limits we can reach far past our wildest dreams and expectations.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.