REFLECTION: The girl with the red leather jacket

Shelbie Goulding

Shelbie Goulding

The most unique item of clothing I own has to be my leather jacket. It’s not a generic biker style jacket either. It’s hot red – the color of a maraschino cherry. The fit is perfect, not too snug or too loose. Its fine stitchwork and five silver zippers give it character and elegance. All of which gives this unique jacket the ability to stand out in a crowd.

I was never the type to stand out though. I’m a member of a sorority with over 150 women in the chapter. It doesn’t sound like I could be one in a million, or at least that’s what I used to think.

This past weekend, I went to a women’s conference the Panhellenic Council sponsored. It was filled with multiple empowering sessions that ranged from topics on dressing for success to leadership exploration. The session that stood out the most to me was “Finding Your Inner Lady Boss.” It made me feel empowered and got me thinking of ways I could start motivating myself to be truly happy and, honestly, a lady boss.

But I realized, I’m already a lady boss in my own way, and I definitely have the attitude of one. I’m confident, strong, outspoken and capable of holding my own. I have spent most of my college career working towards my degree in journalism and have accomplished things I never saw myself doing, like becoming managing editor for The Burr Magazine.

And I am my own person. Compared to the women in my sorority chapter, I’m pretty positive I’m one of few journalism majors, especially one that plays a major role in student media here at Kent State. I’ve held leadership positions within my major while also working a third shift job on top of my school work and student involvement. Others call that being a workaholic, I call it someone who never stops.

I can also say I’m unique in my work ethic and personality as a whole too. However, I lack the ability to express myself and show I’m a lady boss. So, ladies and gentlemen, that’s where the jacket comes in.

After I got home from the women’s conference, the first thing I saw was my leather jacket draped over the lounging chair in my room. I wore it to a philanthropy event this past Friday and hadn’t put it away yet. I picked it up and studied it for a minute, realizing its boldness matches my lady boss attitude. I put it on and looked in the mirror, feeling empowered and as if I was wearing my unique qualities for everyone to see.

That Monday I decided to wear my bold leather jacket and attempt to express myself as a lady boss, and man did I feel good. Its color gave me the power and strength a matador would have when taking on a bull. Confidence and positivity radiated off of me the entire day. I found my empowering motive for success, and it’s a bold, miraculous cape. I knew this jacket would forever be my secret weapon as I start to become a real lady boss in the world. Every time I slip it on, I’m going to be thinking, “Try and take it bulls,” and own it with confidence.

Shelbie Goulding is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected].