On not having to choose
“It was just this place of newness…” Mindy Abovitz of Tom Tom Magazine says, trailing off as she justified her actions as a young woman who wanted to have a female-focused drum magazine. She talks about the blind confidence it takes to accomplish your dreams as a young woman, a swelling confidence— the knowing what you want, the endless to-do’s, and then doing everything it takes to execute it, and then the let-downs, the feeling bad about your heroes not admiring your work, the wanting to quit but you keep going anyway.
I feel challenged and combative when I think about how I should be laying the roadwork for what I want to accomplish. I know the moves and how the women I look up to have done it before me. They always say the same thing, something like “Bitches get shit done,” or “Females are strong as hell” or maybe these are all just Tina Fey’s refrains, but either way, I never find exactly what I need to hear. It can’t be all toughness all the time, right?
What I loved about Mindy was the way she approached her goals with tenderness and vivacity. I think often times women can only be Strong or Determined or Funny but they cannot be all of these things, so when Mindy talked about wanting to quit working on Tom Tom because it wasn’t going the way she had diligently mapped out in her head, I was like Oh, god. I can feel all of these things at once! I don’t have to choose.