From the age of 21, when I started working in an office, I struggled.
My endometriosis symptoms (a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body, causing large cysts, chronic pain, heavy periods, and fatigue) began when I was 11 with my first period.
It’s clear to me that my first foray into a marketing career exasperated those symptoms. The competitive environment, long hours, and the “keep pushing, keep working harder” mentality led to my first operation when I was 22.
The stress and the long hours continued. By the age of 25, I had cysts the size of tennis balls on each ovary and the endometriosis had spread to my bladder and bowel. I felt sick all the time. I felt weak—physically and mentally. I felt like a failure. Was my body trying to tell me something?
As a young girl, I’d long dreamed of a successful career in marketing. A dream that I quickly came to realise was totally out of reach. Not because I wasn’t capable, hardworking, or creative, but due to a patriarchal working system that favoured qualities that were unnatural and impossible for me to keep up with.
One thing is clear: the way we’re working isn’t working.
The system in which I and so many other sisters struggle is not nourishing us. The structured environment that has, over time, become so path-dependent doesn’t allow us to honour or nurture our femininity.
It exhausts our minds. It exhausts our bodies.
I wonder why we see so many women’s health issues. Are they recalling our attention back to our roots?