wood panelled imposter wagon

I have an opportunity to speak on a panel, but my imposter syndrome has a raging boner at the thought of it.

There’s a business event coming to Vancouver in November, and the organizers have reached out to me via some co-workers to see if our company would be interested in participating. I made the executive decision of “ya, totes”, because I love things like this: the event is aimed at girls in grades 9-11 to introduce them to women in a variety of professional careers. Technology is just one of the areas the event will cover, and will feature a panel full of women from a few local tech houses.

I told the organizers that I’d be happy to help them find a panelist or two from our Product Development department, and asked if they were looking for junior, senior, or anything in between. There are a ton of awesome women I work with, and I provided some of the areas I thought might be of interest, including my own position. I mentioned that I’d volunteer myself if they were interested, but as an industry professional (and “professional” is used so loosely it’s falling down and I have to constantly hitch it back up or my bum will show) who took a non-traditional route to get where I am today, I didn’t think I’d quality.

I’m not being all coy about this – I seriously don’t think I’m qualified to talk to anyone about how to get where I am. For starters, I don’t know where I am. My title has nothing whatsoever to do with what I do on a day-to-day basis – I don’t actually even use it, because it’s so misleading. I didn’t go to university. College, sure, but then there’s my secret shame which I think is hilarious. Also, I’m short and fat and I dress funny. I have blue hair, speak in pop culture references, and can’t go three sentences without swearing up a storm. That’s just the surface, too – as far as my job goes, I don’t think I do anything particularly special. I just .. make things go. No one needs to hear about that.

To my surprise, the organizers emailed me back and said I’d be perfect for the technology panel. Wait, what? Why?

I’m not sure what to do here. On one hand, panel! That would be neat. And even though I’m terrified of kids, it amuses me to continually organize or participate in events aimed at them. But .. what if I end up on a panel that’s all “our panelists today are Lizbeth Genius, CEO of Amazing Technology; Susan Saviour, Director of Complicated Surgery at Adorable Anime-Eyed Orphans Inc.; Chloe Super Engineer, Lead Developer of Life Changing Widgets, and this weird fat girl who fucks around with JIRA and makes sure things are spelled properly.”? My ego doesn’t need that. They’ll probably all be wearing pantsuits, and I’ll show up in a Hello Kitty dress with a lunchbox for a purse. Hell, I’d probably have the reverse intended effect: after seeing me on a panel, girls will become disillusioned with the business world and start home businesses selling canned goods, or maybe join a MLM scheme. Oh, god. I’m going to be the end of the advancement of women in technology! I can’t possibly sit on this panel! Nobody wants to sell candles and costume jewellery out of their living rooms!

While it MAY be true that my imposter syndrome needs some drugs and a nap, I still think no one would be interested in what I have to say. I’d love to be able to say that I am inspiring and professional and encouraging, but .. well, all of the above. Any idiot could do what I do.

NOW I’M SAD.

 

opposite day

My lady parts hurt, so I wore pants to work.

When I got to the office, I was greeted with the spectacular sight of my coworkers all wearing kilts.

Today is Opposite Day, and it is amazing.

everything about this is amazing

everything about this is the best ever.

secrete

Even after 15+ years of baring my breasts soul on the internet, it turns out I still have some secrets. That ain’t right, so let’s fix it.

Kimli’s Remaining Secrets

  • I don’t like bananas, because I am irrationally afraid that they are full of spiders
  • I am vain about my ankles (this may not be a secret, I think I’ve mentioned it before)
  • I will not wear clothing with the following images:
    • Elephants
    • Pigs
    • Whales
    • Hippos
    • Food of any kind
  • .. because I am afraid people will point at the fat girl wearing a picture of herself
  • More and more frequently I have been craving water and will choose it over Diet Coke
  • I used to avoid making politically-charged (even if they’re not) statements for fear of offending people, but I cannot stay silent when the world is so incredibly messed up. For what it’s worth, I believe with my very soul that #blacklivesmatter. I am an off-white ally for PoC, LGBTQ, Muslims, women, and any damn person or group struggling for the right to live a life free of fear, violence, hatred, discrimination, and misogyny.
  • Sometimes I poop
gastowns

gastowns

 

groundhog day

He didn’t see his own shadow so much as a shadowy splotch on my x-ray, indicating that my foot is still fractured. I have at least another 4 weeks in this stupid boot, then another x-ray and checkup to see if I will be free. It’s already been 9 (!) weeks since I broke my foot; what’s another 4? My only consolation is that the weather has been very dank this summer, so I’m not missing out on any prime beach time (she says, like she’d ever go to a beach in the first place because there is sand and bugs and sunshine and OTHER PEOPLE and those things are awful).

Dank.

I did attend the “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” Lunch n’ Learn at my workplace last week. It was interesting-ish: we were sorted into groups based on the categories of the self-assessment, going where our lowest score was. My lowest score naturally came in “Look”, but went into the “Act” group. When asked why, I said that I thought the Look category was bullshit and that I had no plans to count my personal style as a workplace negative. That was fun.

I don’t know that the group exercise held much value for me, as we only had 10 minutes to discuss the common “mistakes” and suggestions for improvement among 11 people. Those who were the loudest had their topics of choice discussed, and while I’m sure I too suffer from varying degrees of wanting too much to be liked/not caring if I’m liked or not, it wasn’t my number one issue. I will likely pick up the book and read through the advice myself. To be honest, I’m not at all certain I WANT the corner office: I want to create and drive and learn and DO, not try to control it all.

A neat idea did come out of the talk, though. My co-worker Karen and I were talking after the session about the points that were discussed (we were in different groups), and our intern Kerri was drawn into the conversation. She had questions about the why of some things – why the coffee, why she shouldn’t always be the one to take notes – and something dawned on me: I learned these things after years of working in government and corporate jobs. No one ever sat me down and said “okay, here’s how to be adult woman: go”. So .. why *don’t* we? It’s so much easier to instil good habits than to try and break bad ones. I emailed a bunch of people, basically volunteering (it’s a bad habit I have) to lead a session with the new co-ops (or anyone else) each term that goes over stuff: how to be heard in meetings, how to communicate, how to make friends without becoming the team baker, what happens if you abuse Reply All, etc. Things that you aren’t specifically taught, but pick up after throwing a fit the first time you’re asked to serve coffee to all the men in the room or the 10th time you’re told to take meeting notes because you’re a girl and obviously all girls are secretaries. That sort of thing.

I don’t know if it’ll take off, but I’d love to do something like this (along with every other excellent idea I have that usually involves shaping terrifying young minds into my own image: boobs and purple hair for everyone).

JPEG image-3767ED3EE557-1

art via filter.

i made this and i'm stupidly proud of it so i'm posting it everywhere.

i made this and i’m stupidly proud of it so i’m posting it everywhere.

big ol’ titles

Buzzfeed has a lot of silly content, but I really love their Style articles in which a variety of people try out a new trend and report back on their findings. They’ve covered things like the “no makeup” look on men, multiple women styling the same skirt, one outfit on several body types, a plus-sized author wearing things she’d normally stay away from, Victoria’s Secret swimsuits on different bodies, and so many more fun, cute articles that focus on non-media-traditional body types and styles. I dig it. Whenever I come across a piece that I can actually relate to, I do a little dance and dive in.

Last week, they ran an article about bralettes, which are apparently trendy now. As someone with massive fucking titties, I automatically assumed that bralettes were just another frilly pretty thing I could never wear. Big boobs need big support, right? I haven’t been able to wear a bra without an adamantium underwire since the 5th grade. I’m not the only one who’s scoffed at the idea: two Buzzfeed writers with large breasts wore a variety of bralettes for a week, then shared their thoughts.

I’ll let you read their recap, but after I finished the article, I was curious: if THEY could wear bralettes with their large breasts, perhaps I could wear them too! Hopeful and with images of light, delicate, lacy underthings dancing in my head, I hauled out my credit card and ordered myself several different styles (including the strappy style from Torrid they tried in the article).

My order arrived yesterday, and I approached the bras with apprehension: they’re so small. How could these tiny things possibly give me enough chest support? Also, my shoulders are still sunburnt to hell, and all the straps looked to be load bearing. Getting these things on would be painful, in more ways than one. I persevered, though, then put on a dress to see what the bralette did to my boobs.

Oh dear.

This is what my boobs look like in this dress normally:

bra: cacique bold lace plunge bra

bra: cacique bold lace plunge bra

This particular dress shows a lot of boob, so I wear it often. It’s also comfortable and has pockets, so the epic cleavage is just a nice bonus.

Here’s that same dress, wearing a bralette:

FullSizeRender 8

bra: torrid strappy lace bralette

NO. NO NO NO NO NO. Maybe I’ve been wearing nothing but ridiculous plunge bras for far too long, but THIS WILL NOT DO. Instead of lovely globes of soft girl flesh, I’ve got some weird lumpy pancake thing going on here. Nothing about this is natural: when I am topless, my boobs are not sad mushy triangles. Also, there’s a nipple there. That’s weird. I never have nipples, and I don’t want to start now.

The other bralettes were just as bad. They feel okay on, the lack of steel scaffolding is nice, and they’re pretty. That’s where the good times end: on my body, they’re *awful*. I would never wear them in public for fear everyone is staring at the depressed lumps in my clothes. I shared the above pictures with friends, who all agreed with my original assessment and horror: NO. Not ever.

It’s not a total loss, though – I liked the strap detailing. I would totally wear the strappy bralette over my normal bras, and rock me some space hooker boobs.

I’m sad. I tried some boob science, and my findings were not what I hoped. It’s clear that certain types of large boobs can successfully pull off the bralette and look adorable while doing so, but apparently there’s a line somewhere in the sand: big boobs, yes. Ridiculous huge enormous boobs, lol no. These are not for you. Move along. There’s far too much to see here, and none of it is good.

IMG_7954

i’ll always have the space hookers

who run the world

GIRLS (as long as we’re dressed appropriately)

Tomorrow at work I’m attending a Lunch n’ Learn for women in the workplace, based on the book “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office“. It’s about the “unconscious mistakes” women make at work that sabotage our careers, which, okay. I get it. There are many women for whom this stuff isn’t second nature. There are women who are shy and unassuming yet still smart and ambitious and want that corner office. There are women who are actively denied raises and promotions because they are women, and that really sucks and must be changed. Millions of young women are entering the workforce, and a lot of the advice in this book are things you pick up after being in the workforce for a few years or more.

But.

The book was first released in 2004. In the grand scheme of someone’s career, 12 years is a very large chunk of time. What may have been seen as a corporate mistake in 2004 is a non-issue today, or at the very least seen through a very different lens. I’m sure that a lot of this book is still valid for “traditional” careers and positions, but as someone who works in tech and has been lucky enough to work with some awesome people who saw past my uterus, a lot of the advice given is baffling. There’s a self assessment worksheet we were asked to do, and some of the questions are making me downright angry:

  • 19. I’ve selected a hairstyle that is appropriate for my age and position.
  • 26. I take care to wear accessories that complement my clothing.
  • 40. I don’t apply lipstick or comb my hair in public.

Why. Why are these things. If someone writes a book for men and how to get ahead, are these questions included? Are ANY questions included beyond “Are you male?” “Are you white?” “Are you rich?” “Here’s your key to the executive bathroom!”

The book probably wasn’t written for women who work in tech, or in any industry where hair and accessories don’t matter. I know not everything can apply to my specific situation. It’s still off-putting, though – and I say this as someone who is actively trying for a promotion to Senior Wizard (my current title is simply “Wizard”, because I’m not the only one who has trouble defining what it is I do). I went about the inquiry in a way that the book doesn’t seem to cover: instead of coyly changing my behaviours to indicate to people that I am ready for more responsibility, I went to my boss and said “yo, promote me”. We had a meeting, talked it out, and now I have a list of direct actions I can take to get that promotion. And not a single item on that list includes “wear appropriate clothing” (thank god), “don’t put on lipstick at your desk”, or “girl you cannot pull off that necklace with that neckline, you are a walking DO NOT right now”.

I’m still attending the session because I’m sure there will be some good information, but I’m also curious to see if those specific things are talked about as valid or dismissed outright (or mentioned at all).

business.

what’s up with that thang?

Here I go, here I go, here I go again –

Girls, what’s my weakness?

UV Rays.

Yesterday was the first fully glorious day in Actual Summer. The sun was shining, birds were singing, bees were trying to have sex with them (as is my understanding) .. so we went on a boat. We’ve rented wee speed boats in Horseshoe Bay multiple times before, and it’s always an amazing way to spend a few hours. We packed up snacks and drinks and Shan and took off on our usual route, stopping to say hello to seals and dream about living on a tiny island.

It was wonderful.

Less wonderful is how I managed to completely forget that a) the sun is hot and b) there was sunscreen in the snack bag that I really ought to have used. I burned my exposed parts to a deep, crispy red, and they all hurt like hell. According to the internet, I now have seven kinds of skin cancer caused by Sun Poisoning, all of which can be exacerbated by every single medication I’m on. I didn’t know that! Was I supposed to know that? Goddamnit, I don’t have time for this! I’m already broken!

This is why I can’t have nice things, like skin.

sure was pretty, though

sure was pretty out, though

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,416 other followers