The Power Woman Paradox

I woundn’t say I’m a high-powered woman. I don’t run companies or cities or even the college where I work. I’m more middle management. In practical terms, this means I hear a lot of complaints and make a lot of consequential, if not earth-shattering, decisions. Like, so many decisions. All. Day. Long.

I would also say I’m a competent, relatively independent woman. I don’t change my own oil, but wouldn’t be afraid to try if needed. I enjoy being handy and have a decent grasp of most domestic tasks. And we all know I love to ride the tractor. 

And yet.

And yet, in spite of these things, I sometimes crave being told what to do. No, that’s not right. I’d argue it is precisely because of these things, I crave someone else calling the shots. 

This isn’t a foreign concept, really. I know many women who come home from ten hours of being the boss who are crippled by the question of what to have for dinner. I know others who seek out the role of submissive in sexual relationships because it’s the one place they can cede control entirely. (And doing so is a huge turn-on.)

This week, the college where I work is closed. It’s a magical chance to get a break from the office without having to use vacation time. I always have high hopes for the week. I imagine myself in this nirvana of perfectly balanced productivity, relaxation, and fun. In reality, I often find myself restless, yet lazy–lounging on the sofa, fretting about the fact that I haven’t accomplished much of anything.  

It’s completely unstructured and, apparently, I don’t do well with that.

I took to Facebook today in search of some direction. I wanted to write 10,000 words this week and had barely scratched the surface. Friends and fellow authors jumped in with a wonderful combination of motivation/encouragement/finger wagging. It helped. Public shaming/cheering can be super helpful. I banged out 2,000 and feel like I’m back in a groove.

And yet.

And yet there’s a little part of me that wants something more. A writing dominant. That’s probably too suggestive, but you know what I mean. An external force besides my submission deadline to keep me in line. A stern voice to tell me to sit at my computer and not move until I’ve hit so many words. Someone to reward me when I’ve reached my goal. (And maybe even dole out some sort of punishment if I don’t.)

Perhaps I’ve over shared. But something tells me I’m not the only one. Being a woman in charge can be a lot of pressure. And while I’m sure some of my compatriots would be happy if someone simply decided what’s for dinner, I think  there are more than a few of us who wouldn’t say no to a nice bit of direction now and then. As far as this femme is concerned, it sounds like so much more fun than making a schedule.

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