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Why Going It Alone is How You Should Spend Your Twenties

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Everyone says that your twenties are a time for experimentation, where it's okay to make mistakes and to live a life with as few commitments and responsibilities as possible. While people imparting this wisdom may be thinking about travel, career and family concerns, the romantic aspect is often left aside. Not to say you should spend your whole twenties being aggressively single; quite the opposite in fact. If this golden decade truly is the only window in a woman's life where change and a lack of commitment are acceptable, then this should also apply to our romantic liaisons.


More and more people are swerving relationships for more casual encounters, or simply picking friends with benefits, which is fitting in the age of uber-convenience and endless choice. Avoiding relationships and going your own way is the ideal way to make sure you get the absolute most out of a highly formative decade in your life, and here's why.

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Expelling Doubt

Our relationships, especially in our early years, often become our crutches. To live a truly fearless lifestyle and discover your potential, you need to untether yourself from other people. The future is full of limitless possibilities, and tarot readings might reveal more than what you thought was possible, and being fully independent is the best way to maximise your experiences. Going it alone allows you to remove self-doubt, as you free yourself from the weight of the expectations of others.

Limitless Freedom

Have you ever wanted to just drop everything and say, go backpacking around the world, or quit your 9-5 job to focus on what you're truly passionate about? Being able to seize the moment and overhaul your life at the drop of a hat is a lot more difficult when you're living your life according to the needs and expectations of a partner, and even though the right partner should always be supportive of your dreams, you realistically won't be able to do anything you want without considering the other person. Relationships can come later, but now is the best time to live a life of total independence and personal freedom.

Be Who You Want to Be

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This final reason goes beyond simply carving out your own career path or embarking on a life of adventure. We often mould ourselves according to our relationships, which can be a positive thing that contributes to our own growth and development. However, at such a young age you need to be able to figure out who you really are as a person, and what it really is that makes you tick. This important process is difficult to get through with a partner in your early years, so the single life really is the way to go if you want to fully realise who you are and what you're meant to be.

Our relationships are a cornerstone of our lives, and shape who we are profoundly. This is a good thing, however, a relationship before you've realised your full potential is a waste of time, which is why you should go it alone in your twenties.

Culture

Why Whiskey Should No Longer Be Categorized As “A Man’s Drink”

I walk into a room full of men and I know exactly what they're thinking: "What does she know about whisky?"


I know this because many men have asked me that same question from the moment I started my career in spirits a decade ago.

In a male-dominated industry, I realized early on that I would always have to work harder than my male counterparts to prove my credibility, ability and knowledge in order to earn the trust of leadership stakeholders, coworkers, vendors and even consumers of our products. I am no stranger to hard work and appreciate that everyone needs to prove their worth when starting any career or role. What struck me however, was how the recognition and opportunities seemed to differ between genders. Women usually had to prove themselves before they were accepted and promoted ("do the work first and earn it"), whereas men often were more easily accepted and promoted on future potential. It seemed like their credibility was automatically and immediately assumed. Regardless of the challenges and adversity I faced, my focus was on proving my worth within the industry, and I know many other women were doing the same.

Thankfully, the industry has advanced in the last few years since those first uncomfortable meetings. The rooms I walk into are no longer filled with just men, and perceptions are starting to change significantly. There are more women than ever before making, educating, selling, marketing and conceptualizing whiskies and spirits of all kinds. Times are changing for the better and it's benefitting the industry overall, which is exciting to see.

For me, starting a career in the spirits business was a happy accident. Before spirits, I had worked in the hospitality industry and on the creative agency side. That background just happened to be what a spirits company was looking for at the time and thus began my journey in the industry. I was lucky that my gender did not play a deciding role in the hiring process, as I know that might not have been the case for everyone at that time.

Now, ten plus years later, I am fortunate to work for and lead one of the most renowned and prestigious Whisky brands in the world.. What was once an accident now feels like my destiny. The talent and skill that goes into the whisky-making process is what inspired me to come back and live and breathe those brands as if they were my own. It gave me a deep understanding and appreciation of an industry that although quite large, still has an incredible amount of handmade qualities and a specific and meticulous craft I have not seen in any other industry before. Of course, my journey has not been without challenges, but those obstacles have only continued to light my passion for the industry.

The good news is, we're on the right track. When you look at how many females hold roles in the spirits industry today compared to what it looked like 15 years ago, there has been a significant increase in both the number of women working and the types of roles women are hired for. From whisky makers and distillers to brand ambassadors and brand marketers, we're seeing more women in positions of influence and more spirits companies willing to stand up and provide a platform for women to make an impact. Many would likely be surprised to learn that one of our team's Whisky Makers is a woman. They might even be more surprised to learn that women, with a heightened sense of smell compared to our male counterparts, might actually be a better fit for the role! We're nowhere near equality, but the numbers are certainly improving.

It was recently reported by the Distilled Spirits Council that women today represent a large percentage of whisky drinkers and that has helped drive U.S. sales of distilled spirits to a record high in 2017. Today, women represent about 37% of the whisky drinkers in the United States, which is a large increase compared to the 1990s when a mere 15% of whisky drinkers were women. As for what's causing this change? I believe it's a mix of the acceptance of women to hold roles within the spirits industry partnered with thoughtful programs and initiatives to engage with female consumers.

While whisky was previously known for being a man's drink, reserved for after-dinner cigars behind closed doors, it is now out in the open and accessible for women to learn about and enjoy too.

What was once subculture is now becoming the norm and women are really breaking through and grabbing coveted roles in the spirits business. That said, it's up to the industry as a whole to continue to push it forward. When you work for a company that values diversity, you're afforded the opportunity to be who you are and let that benefit your business. Working under the model that the best brand initiatives come from passionate groups of people with diverse backgrounds, we are able to offer different points of view and challenge our full team to bring their best work forward, which in turn creates better experiences for our audience. We must continue to diversify the industry and break against the status quo if we really want to continue evolving.

While we've made great strides as an industry, there is still a lot of work to be done. To make a change and finally achieve gender equality in the workplace, both men and women need to stand behind the cause as we are better collectively as a balanced industry. We have proved that we have the ability to not only meet the bar, but to also raise it - now we just need everyone else to catch up.