When you compare the present day to x amount of years ago, nowadays there are definitely more opportunities open to women. I can't imagine living in my Great Grandma's era where women didn't have the right to vote, had no career prospects other than "housewife", couldn't wear trousers, and had to keep legs covered up at all times. Despite there being so much change already, there's still a long way to go. We are still a voice waiting to be heard. Whether in the work place, blogosphere or society in general. As a woman, it's safe to say we expect to be treated fairly, and to be shown the same level of respect as men. But life doesn't always work out that way.
The two things that have helped me grow over the years have been my professional life and my love life. Both of which have felt like good ideas at the time, but have resulted in disappointment, feeling let down, and months wasted. A classic case of me ignoring my gut feelings. If it doesn't feel right - be it work or a budding romance - GET OUT.
How have I changed as a woman? I am a lot more confident now. I know my rights and what I deserve. I refuse to be ashamed of what I rightfully deserve - whether it be a promotion at work or having a caring, loving guy in my life. For the longest time I didn't feel worthy of a pay rise at work. I just did what I had to do because it was "part of the job". Then my eyes were opened. I realised that no one else was putting in the hours that I did. The early mornings, the late finishes and lunch breaks cut short, barely getting up from my desk all day long - even for toilet breaks. Terrible. I was working damn hard and getting nothing in return. After many years of loyal service, I decided to speak up and ask for the pay rise I was more than entitled to. And I got it. It wasn't an amazing pay jump, but it was something. And it was something that I may never have experienced if I hadn't had the courage to speak up.
My ex place of work continued to treat its staff questionably, so I knew I had to get out. But just like a doomed relationship, it was hard to get out. Having not had an interview for years, I had no idea what to wear. I've never been the girliest of girls, but for me, feeling feminine is all about feeling comfortable in my own skin. And a big part of that is how I present myself. A well fitting dress, the perfect pair of shoes and a spritz of invigorating perfume like Thierry Mugler's Angel really awakens my senses and changes the way I carry myself. And it must have showed, because I was offered the job straight away. With a 50% pay rise and the opportunity to leave a company that never gave me enough credit, my metamorphosis was under way. A metamorphosis that affected me both inside and out. Nowadays I am a lot more confident in my appearance and in myself, and I am the happiest I have been in a long time.
It really goes to show how something as little as a splash of perfume can transform you. That shy wallflower can now walk with her head held high, with a knowing smile and a new found confidence. But it can also transfer you to a different time and place. The sweet notes of fruit, honey and vanilla, reminding me of balmy summer nights in his arms. Or else helping me reminisce about the good old days of my childhood. The perfect scent is invigorating, giving me an appetite for life, telling me go out there and seize the day. Carpe Diem indeed... Say yes to life. The world is your oyster. Live for every moment.
I am now a stronger woman. A woman that has taken control of her own life. But at the same time, a free spirit - someone who is playful and doesn't take life too seriously. Which is exactly what I think an Angel woman evokes. In my own personal metamorphosis I have become a version of myself that I never thought was possible. Strong, independent women continue to inspire me. Women that can speak up for themselves, whose actions aren't dictated by men, and carve their own path without following anyone else.
So my message to all women out there: don't let anyone put you down and make you feel inferior. No matter if in a work capacity, or romantically. Surround yourself with the people you love. Know who you can trust. And walk away from people and situations that bring you nothing but negativity. You deserve so much more.
What changes in your life have made you a stronger person?
** This post is in collaboration with Thierry Mugler for their new #BewareOfAngels campaign. Although gifted an Angel gift set, all words and opinions are my own. To find out more about the campaign, check out their Twitter / Instagram / Facebook **