The first pic you see of me here is from November 2018, roughly 3 weeks after having brain surgery. It all started one morning in January of 2018. I flew from LA to San Jose en route to Santa Cruz for several meetings I had set for the day. I was driving on Highway 17 heading to Santa Cruz from the San Jose Airport. I was on the freeway for all of 20 minutes, and out of nowhere a car comes out from a residential area to the right of me, attempting to make a left turn onto the freeway where there was a concrete median divider — making it impossible to turn left. The car stops literally in the middle of the highway — in my lane! I was going over 60 mph. Beginning to slam on breaks, I attempted to jump in the right lane but there were cars coming, so I couldn't make it. At that moment I clenched hard because I knew I was gonna have to hit this car!
Amidst a global pandemic and growing research which suggests women are severely affected by COVID-19, it's an opportunity to make big strides in our effort to address larger societal issues such as equality and justice, reproductive rights, poverty and domestic issues like financial abuse, as well as income security and retirement. It is estimated that 46% of women are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" about their ability to live comfortably after retirement, compared to only 31% of men who feel that way.
I was stuck, stuck in my routine of working in nightlife and daydreaming about the life I really wanted. Coat check wasn't easy, in fact, it was hard and emotionally draining, but I could count on making money and so I stayed. Then one night, after a particularly hard day at work, I called a family meeting with my mother and sister and said it was time we took control of our lives.
You may recognize Judge, Tanya Acker, from her political and legal commentary on different networks and shows like Good Morning America, The Talk, Wendy Williams, CNN Reports or The Insider. Acker is more than an experienced commentator. She is also a Judge on the fifth season of Emmy nominated CBS show, Hot Bench.
The day I started writing this essay, I got in a spat with my husband while I was baking brownies with the kids. He didn't understand why I had doubled the recipe. Despite the fact that I announced this fact multiple times, because I wanted to make them thick like I did as a child. As soon as I poured the batter into the pan, he came in and said, "Oooh, that's going to be so thick! Shouldn't we split the batter into two pans?" I saw red; I lashed out on him telling him how dare he question my nostalgia brownies and why not just say, "Thank you for doing this with the kids and I can't wait to eat them"? He looked at me like I was crazy.
I have a confession: I've never really enjoyed working for other people. Why? Well, for starters, I'm selfish. If there's a final bite of shared dessert on the plate, I'll eat it. If I go even one day without hitting the gym, I'm resentful. Once the coffee is made, I pour myself a cup of coffee before I offer it to my husband. I hoard time the way others hoard possessions. I'm selfish with my thoughts. I like to be alone. Sometimes, I stick my daughter in front of a cartoon just so I can hear myself think.
Dr. Claudia Consolati is Assistant Professor of Film, Gender, and Sexuality and the founder of The Women Speak Up Project, a platform to help visionary women entrepreneurs overcome their fear of being seen & heard so that they can grow their business and income. She believes that finding your voice is the #1 business asset for women with big dreams and want to make a big impact in the world. She's regularly invited to speak at prestigious universities across the US and Canada.