Are you ahead of your time?

Are we women before our time or women just in time?

My friend’s mom passed away last week after living a long, full life.  My friend’s mom was measured and fun.  Smart and compassionate.  Conscientious and adventurous.  A Chicagoan in every way.  She left an enduring legacy.

Several times during the wake and funeral, I heard people talking about my friend’s mom as a woman before her time.  I get that about her.  I get that about my friend too.  My great aunts were women before their time.  Virginia Woolf was a woman before her time.  I bet that the woman who inspired you was a woman before her time just like so many of our trailblazers.

While thinking about the legacy that my friend’s mom left for the world, I started to wonder if those women who persisted against the odds were lived at the exact right time.  My friend’s mom raised my friend who changes the world daily with her art, intellect, compassion, friendship, and humor. Virginia Woolf wrote about gender and politics that people will read for generations.  My great aunts raised me and I hope that one day I will leave a feminist legacy.

What if we are always living in the “right” time because we’re meant to shatter glass ceilings and disrupt patriarchy right now?  

What if living in our time means that we pave the way for those coming after us who will stand on our shoulders?  

What if living “ahead of our time” in this time is the way we change the world?

All the lessons I’ve learned from my life growing up in a farm town and attending a conservative church, living in the aftermath of my father’s death from gun violence, earning my Ph.D. in gender studies, and watching the patriarchy all around me everywhere I travel prepared me to coach women today.  

Do you think that you are out of place, ahead of your time, misunderstood, or out of your element?  Maybe that’s because you are the game changer.  You are the cycle breaker break in your family.  You are a walking revolution when you lean into your uniqueness with curiosity, vibrance, and pride.

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