I think I have been surprising people since the beginning (Right, Mom?!) It is a tough thing, to always be a surprise. Being the oldest in my family, and the first grandkid probably means that they were throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what stuck. I am often the tallest person, or the only woman in the room, or the one who knows a weird fact. On this day – International Woman’s Day – it gives me pause. Some folks are surprised when I show to up to do the quote, and show up to drag the branches. I have spent most of my working life in “traditionally male dominated” industries. I was a pizza delivery driver, a truck driver, a carpenter, and now I mostly talk about trees and plan jobs, but sometimes the crew lets me use a chainsaw.
I grew up on a farm. The animals were not a big draw for me, but I loved driving the bale truck or the tractor. In my family, you were expected to do your part in the house and outside. There was not of this pink job/blue job thing. My dad can bake cookies and my mom can rebuild diesel engines. I grew up thinking that the most important things were capacity and competence. The real world has laughed at my nativity from time to time, it is certain. But why shouldn’t you know how to make supper AND check the oil on your vehicle? Run a chainsaw and comfort a child? Build a house and make a pie?
Owning my own business with my partner/husband/father of my child insulates me from some of the challenges that woman face in the world and in business. I am not immune however. The world feels like it is changing, and I am glad to be a part of it. Here is to a world where anyone – ANYONE – regardless of gender, can make choices. Choices about what their favourite dinosaur and colour are (hadrosaur and green), can play with trucks, dolls, and chainsaws and know how to bake a cake.
I dedicate today to my kiddo – me and a bunch of folks are trying to build a future for you to live in. The work may not be done, but we are trying.