|Christine is a mother of two, wife of one, |
volunteer for many, and co-founder of a marketing
collaborative called SparkFarm <www.thesparkfarm.com>.
By Christine Rogers, Co-Owner/PR at SparkFarm
I moved to Dallas nearly 20 years ago, as a young woman just starting her career. Dallas wouldn’t have even been on my radar had it not been for the Dallas guy I met in college who I had a hunch I’d one day marry. Seriously, how do you know if “he’s the one” when you’re 23 and living in separate cities? Someone had to move. So I did. I’m brave like that.
Or dumb; I’m not sure which. When I moved from my hometown near D.C. to this unfamiliar one, I was greeted with no friends, no family and no network. The job I came for turned out to be a low-paying, high-pressure job with VERY long hours at an advertising agency that, only because I’m very mature, shall remain nameless. I earned just enough money to cover rent, gas and a few meager groceries (LOTS of russet potatoes.) Working 8:30 am sharp to 1o pm or later most nights left no time to pick up dry cleaning, get a hair cut, exercise, or go grocery shopping – let alone build a community of friends and supporters around me. I should have felt lucky to have a professional job in this prosperous, fun city right on the cusp of momentous civic changes, but all I felt was the weight of being alone without the means or people to move out of despair and into happiness.
I know what you’re thinking: Oh you poor thing, you with all the advantages you had that most don't even dream of. And what I’m saying to you is: You’re right.
Most of us think we have it hard – too much pressure at work, too many demands on the social calendar, too many errands to run, too many soccer games, recitals and school projects. But the reality for most women is so much more complicated. Replace our worry list with something more like this: I can’t afford the medical tests I need AND still keep my two jobs (because I don’t have transportation and the doctor’s office is closed when I’m off work.) I can’t pay my utility bills AND feed my children three meals a day (what’s more important this month: daily breakfasts and lunches or running water and air conditioning or heat?) I lost my job and can’t find anywhere to live (without an address, I can’t get another job. The kids and I will need to split up among family members.)
I support women in Dallas because I know life is hard. I support women because they supported me when I was down in the dumps and I know the difference it made. I support YW because I trust them to help women who are actively trying to provide a better life for themselves and their families. No one can do this alone. No one.
PS - If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering what happened to that Dallas guy who lured me here? I’m happy to report that Tim and I have been married 17 years and are raising two healthy, happy, well-loved children. We couldn’t have done it without the support of each other and the many friends, family and understanding co-workers around us.
Show your support for women in Dallas by making a gift to YW as part of the Huffington Post's Raise for Women Challenge. Top fundraiser between now and June 6th gets an extra $25,000 for their cause!