One of  the lads?

Throughout my life I’ve always been the rough and tumble kinda girl. Brought up on outdoor pursuits with mud, water and sticks as playthings. Yeah… much as I hate the term… “a tomboy”.

I fit in so well as “one of the lads” and am luck enough to have been accepted on an equal footing with “the guys”. I’ve never been into the girly stuff like make up and pretty clothes: this set me apart growing up especially with going to a girl’s school. Maybe I’m lazy but it all seemed like too much effort especially when I’m not pretty or popular!

I’ve always followed my dreams and tried things out. A pathway which keeps leading back to the great outdoors. I’m a fully qualified bushcraft instructor and I love it. I trained in a group where there were just two girls and 14 guys.

As usual I got on like a house on fire with the lads and warmed to the open and raw honesty. Everything is out there at face value. Just how I like it.

And now I work with two of the guys. At work we get stuff done because we speak out about our thoughts and wishes. Don’t get me wrong… we have filters but it’s open, fun, raw and quite a bit cheeky. I love the camaraderie.

But…

Sadly there is a but…

I’m not one of the lads.  

I’m a girl and have to deal with “girly things”.

I envy the ability to just be. Not on a rollercoaster cycle of ever changing emotions. No bleeding from intimate parts. No insanely crippling cramps that stops work and play. No fears over what pregnancy will do to the body.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t actually want to be a boy. But I am hugely jealous of them being able to just be.

Whenever we are arranging camps, expeditions and trips there is always the worry and in my head the frantic calculating over where I will be in my cycle and what it means for logistics.

I worry that if I get it wrong I’ll be a burden not an asset. That I won’t be able to lead because I’m doubled over in pain. Or that I might be crouching down to demonstrate a carving technique, spotting a deer track or harvesting materials… and sense that horrid squishy feeling that means I better sort myself out now or there will soon be mess on show!

But there is no now, no facilities, no leaving the group I’m in charge of, no nipping behind a tree… and it sets me on edge. I find myself more and more turning down opportunities that “one of the lads” would jump at in an instance.

And now…

Now we want children…

So here is a new dilemma…

I’d love to be signing up to go on the next international expeditions as an assistant leader. But… there is just so much to think about. The next Arctic exped is going in February. I could be 8 months pregnant by then. Maybe. So I won’t sign up to even be considered… and then again I could still be trying to conceive and have missed out for nothing! Peru has Zika virus so would be a dangerous place to go while pregnant. But I want to go help with the amazing archaeological dig in the desert and drive Landrovers through the sand!

There are some big camps coming up… but what if they fall exactly during my small fertile window? That’s another month of potential gone. I don’t want to miss any time at all. Especially now I’ve experienced miscarriage and know how difficult it can be to get to hold your healthy baby in your arms. So I won’t sign up to lead it.

And so my confidence drops as my skills are eroded by the passing of time. I become more and more “just an office girl” and I lose. I lose my sense of belonging as “one of the lads”. I lose my skills. I lose my connection with nature. I lose the opportunities to see the world. I lose the chance to do great things. I lose myself.

There are ladies out there who do all the stuff I dreamt about. But I don’t know how they do it. I’ve not been lucky enough to come into contact with amazing Outdoorswomen who could have pointed me in the right direct of how to cope. I feel pathetic and stupid.

And now… I’m on the brink of being sidelined. By myself. I’m taking away my own dreams.

I’m no longer “one of the lads”.

I don’t have a group of girly friends. I don’t know how to do “girl”.

I don’t fit in anywhere and it’s killing me.

 
I’ve debated long and hard about whether to post this story. But this is me… and I am open and raw… so here it is!

I mean no offence to anyone who does “girly”. It’s just not my thing: probably because I never experienced it or got accepted by the girls. I guess I’ve always been the outcast and I found my niche with the lads. 

Rhyming with Wine
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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Winnettes says:

    Wow! I wish I could find the words to respond. I hope I don’t come across wrong. I do girly but I never used it… The joys of two of the girliest daughters to grace this land has done that to me. This is a dilemma… You obviously do want children… To have experienced a miscarriage is so hard. I will say this… Children change everything. Even the things you think they can’t. Your marriage/relationship changes. Your ability to work changes. Your priorities change. It isn’t that you won’t ever be able to do all those things in the future if you want to but none of us really know what the future holds. Even just 8 months down the line. I can not imagine my life without my children (although I wrote a post a few weeks ago about ‘what if we didn’t have them’) they are 100% the best thing ever did. But they have come at a cost of things I wanted to do. You need to work out what you really want to do. What is right for you? Not what society says you should be doing. Listen to your heart or your gut or whatever you want to call your instincts to help you decide which direction you want to take your life right now. I hope all of this is ok to say? This is an amazingly open post and you are very brave to have published it. #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      I think that this is exactly what I was saying. I cannot continue to be one of lads because I have to change. But if it was my husband with my job then he could just carry on as normal. I’m jealous. And lost. Because without it all I am already nothing and that’s before children who might not come along anyway. It’s not a good day today in my brain. I just can’t figure out what I can do never mind what I want to do. My heart has gone awol and dreams shattered and today I can’t get any of the pieces to fit. Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m going to come back and digest it some more on another day. I love it when people say what they are thinking because it really helps. Thank you x o x o x

      Like

  2. First of all may I say how in awe I am of your skills! I would love to be involved in bushcraft and the expeditions do sound incredible. I absolutely see where you are coming from though. It’s true that we become mothers from the second we try to conceive and our own lives change exponentially. Would it be something you could come back to in later years if you did decide to pass up on the current opportunities? I think Kirsty has it spot on in her comment above. I think you have to go with what your heart is telling you on this one. Stunning, honest and thought provoking piece xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Perhaps I could return but I doubt I would have the same opportunities. But who knows? We want children and that’s up to me to take the fall. It’s a different chapter for sure. I originally wanted to be a mum and a housewife many moons ago. Then I was convinced to pursue a career. And now I have to give up all I have invested in. And also dive into the massive unknown. My heart has been crying out for a long time but head and subdued emotions have won up until now. I hope I get a second chance at some point in the future once we’ve had a little one🤞🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing such an open and honest post with us over on the #DreamTeam. It’s such a tricky one isn’t it. You can’t lose the essence of you, yet, having children and the lead up to it does seem to change things quite a bit. Like Dawn says, I wonder if you can pick up your passions at a later date. Is it something that you can jump back into at some point? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Maybe I could, but more likely than not a young lad with plenty of promise will get the opportunities ahead of me. It’s just how the industry works. Men are less complicated than ladies when it comes to expeditions. Wish it was not so. We will see.

      Liked by 1 person

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