Is a Man’s World Over?

InStyle (USA) - - Table For Two -

long ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­i­tics made me well suited for the chal­lenge of get­ting the first woman elected pres­i­dent. I was cer­tain that ev­ery­thing had pre­pared me for this mo­ment.

When it was clear that we had lost, I had to ac­cept that my faith in pol­i­tics was mis­placed. There are no rules in pol­i­tics.

But I am happy to have found that faith now in my­self. In­stead of work­ing in the of­fice of an­other politi­cian, I am mak­ing my own­world, and I love it. I wrote a book of ad­vice for women look­ing to lead. That is some­thing I never thought I would do.

I was able to use the book tour as a way to honor my sis­ter, Dana, who died last year. I brought my fam­ily out on the road, and we criss­crossed the coun­try rekin­dling old friend­ships. I lis­ten to the uni­verse now, and when it send­sunusual op­por­tu­ni­ties­my­way, I fol­low up on them. I am open to whims. And I have a lot more fun.

I’ve learned that the suc­cess that comes with ti­tles and money holds lit­tle value to me. All I need to feel ful­filled is to put my best ef­fort into some­thing that mat­ters. I am con­tin­u­ally try­ing to in­spire oth­ers, bridge di­vides, and ad­vo­cate on be­half of those who suf­fer in­jus­tice, in­clud­ing is­sues in­volv­ing im­mi­gra­tion. I am an ad­viser for the Emer­son Col­lec­tive, an or­ga­ni­za­tion founded by busi­ness­woman Lau­rene Pow­ell Jobs that en­gages in so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal, and ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives. That’s what suc­cess looks like to me in my world.

I don’t have any re­grets, and I am grate­ful for the skills I have honed. Since I had to work hard to fit in, I am very as­tute. I never lived my life ex­pect­ing ev­ery­thing to go my way, so I can man­age dis­ap­point­ments well. I had to be sat­is­fied with achiev­ing less than many of the men around me, al­low­ing me to ap­pre­ci­ate the value of the per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion that comes from do­ing the very best job I can do, re­gard­less of what oth­ers think.

I see now that ma­nip­u­lat­ing the power dy­namic was within my abil­ity all along. All you have to do to change your world is change the way you re­act to it. It is revolutionary. These days I stand dif­fer­ently. Taller. More as­sured. A con­fi­dent and some­times mis­chievous ex­pres­sion shows on my face. I would rec­om­mend keep­ing an eye on me. There is no telling what I will do next.

Palmieri’s book, Dear Madam Pres­i­dent: An Open Let­ter to the Women Who Will Run the World, is avail­able on Ama­zon.

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