March is Women’s History Month. On Sunday, March 8th women all over the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The theme for the day is #EachforEqual. This means that we are all responsible for our thoughts and actions – all day, every day. Each one of us can come together to help create a gender-equal world absent of stereotypes, biases, and perceptions of one another. I believe the only way to do this, would be to learn a little more about each other through outlets like interviews.
Today’s women’s day feature is Ashleigh Owens of My Happy Journeigh (MHJ). MHJ is a safe place where Ashleigh shares her journey throughout the years struggling with depression, anxiety, insecurity, and trying to find her way to “happy”. It is a collection of personal thoughts, lessons learned, and life epiphanies that have guided her to the mentally healthy place where she is now.
International Women’s Day Interview:
What is your special skill?
My special skill is being able to live an authentic life and share it with the world transparently–the good and the bad.
What age group are you in?
Ashleigh is between the ages of 25 and 29.
What is your favorite thing about being a woman?
Identified as a woman. The beauty of femininity . We have room to express ourselves sensitively, sensually, and softly without worrying about how the outside world will view us.
Do you have any personal or professional insecurities that you think is from being a woman? Why?
I work in a male-dominated field. I’m always cognizant of the firmness of my handshakes, the consistency of my eye-contact, and the confidence in my tone. Especially when interacting with male leadership. In a business setting we’re taught as women that in order to be taken seriously, we need to be more assertive – but not too assertive, less emotional, and operate with the same audacity as men in the workforce.
Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change? Why?
That we are overly-emotional. While some of us are definitely more emotional than others, I think because it is safer for women to show their sensitive side, we’re often categorized by it.
What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Continuing to push past gender-roles and living their lives the way they want to.
Is there a woman who inspires you? Why?
My great-aunt. She accomplished so much in her lifetime and has always been one of the greatest sources of encouragement for me. Even if I don’t always life her delivery, I know her heart.
Where is the furthest place you have traveled to? Why did you go there?
Martinique – I did not want to be in town for the last inauguration so a few people from the travel group that I am a part of planned a group trip to go during the weekend.
What thing in your life has brought or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment? If you could go back as far as you could, what time would you go to and what would you change?
The community of people that I’ve been able to inspire through sharing my mental and physical health journeys. When people tell me that my words have changed, or even saved, their lives I am genuinely fulfilled. I think I’d go back to the beginning of college knowing what I know about life now and the treatment that is available to me.
I thank Ashleigh for participating in this International Women’s Day interview series. It is a pleasure getting to know her through these few questions. I forget how I found Ms. Ashleigh, but so glad her deep and emotional writing is in my inbox, her tweets are on my feed and her yellow brightens up my scroll on Instagram.