This weekend I took a chance and took some time for myself by stepping a little out of my comfort zone. I went to a personal and professional development workshop for women called “Bossed Up Bootcamp.” The bootcamp was put on by the amazing ladies at Bossedup.org. To say that I had an extraordinary time would be an understatement.
Signing up was a little intimidating. I wondered if I would be totally out of place at this event. Would everyone be younger than me and looking for advice trying to find their first job? Would everyone be older than me and have career issues and family concerns to work on that went beyond my current position in life? Working at a nonprofit and having a rather overwhelming level of debt, I was a little apprehensive since it is an expensive program, but I thought even if you just added up some of the experiences I would probably come close to breaking even. So, I signed up and showed up Friday night ready to take on whatever challenge was thrown my way.
Immediately upon entering the first night of Bootcamp I was thrilled with my decision. I walked into a room of inviting, enthusiastic and lively women. Everyone was eager to meet new people and hear how we heard about the program. As soon as my new Bootcamp buddy and I went from talking about the gender and racial dynamics in America to talking about Kanye’s love for Kanye, I knew I was going to be right in my element.
While Friday night was fun and filled with laughs, Saturday was enlightening. Without giving too much of their program away, we were asked to really take an introspective look at ourselves and focus in on what matters to us and what our ultimate goals are in different areas of our lives. The first time I stated my main goal out loud it felt a little shocking. The second time it felt a little more comfortable. By the third time I stated my goal, I OWNED it. It was a quick and shocking transformation for me yet it felt so natural because I was in an open and welcome environment. I not only felt comfortable reaching high for my dreams, I felt like I would be letting myself and my classmates down if I didn’t reach as high as I could go.
Often times people think that young women who want to work on their personal lives can’t be focused on their work. They think that women who focus on work can’t possibly have diverse interests outside of the office. A strong feminist can’t possibly enjoy gardening, baking, or knitting like those 1950s women did. Working out to feel good about yourself must mean that you put an emphasis on looks over success and intellect. But talking with everyone at Bootcamp showed me that it’s not weird to be a complex and sometimes contradicting person (if you were simply to list out my qualities and interests on paper that is).
You may be wondering if a Bossed Up Bootcamp is for you, and here is what I will say: bootcamp is for anyone who wants to give themselves the opportunity to thrive. I got quite a few “things” out of this weekend including
- a professional headshot (I really needed one and to be honest this was one of the most appealing parts of the weekend to me before I signed up)
- a clear vision of what direction I want to take my life in the next few years
- a plan to work towards both my short and long terms goals
- a workbook full of information and insight
- an amazing group of women who I know will motivate me as I watch them conquer the world
- plus a workout class and lots of yummy* healthy food all weekend!
We were a room full of women, some younger some older, from all over the country originally who were all complex vibrant and beautiful in so many different ways. Every single woman in my class inspired me in one way or another and it’s not often that we have a chance to surround ourselves with inspiring people for a whole weekend. If you have the opportunity to attend a Bossed Up Bootcamp, I really cannot recommend it enough. I know that it changed me for the better and can do the same for you.
*most of the food was healthy. at brunch on the final day I ordered crab cake benedict… not so healthy but oh so good: