MidReal Story

Dreams Beyond Tech: Emily's Coaching Journey

Scenario: a blond long haired women in a male dominated corporate tech environment, battling the rat race and dreaming to start her own coaching business. Slowly she turns from a grey-suited boring and unhappy person, into a confident, feminine and intuitive woman that is living her dream.
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a blond long haired women in a male dominated corporate tech environment, battling the rat race and dreaming to start her own coaching business. Slowly she turns from a grey-suited boring and unhappy person, into a confident, feminine and intuitive woman that is living her dream.
And in a single condescending comment, he’s made me feel like nothing.
He leans back in his chair and looks at the other managers, who all nod in agreement.
I’m the only woman in the room.
The only woman in the entire office, actually.
I can’t breathe.
I’ve spent so many hours working on this project, going over every little detail with a fine-tooth comb, and now they’re acting like I don’t know what I’m talking about.
And it’s not lost on me that I’m also the lowest-ranking employee in this meeting.
I’m a lowly analyst, and everyone else here is a senior manager or higher.
They’re acting like my work isn’t good enough.
Like I’m not good enough.
But I’m the one who has to present my findings to them, and they’re all staring at me like I’m a bug under a microscope.
I clear my throat and try to focus on the PowerPoint presentation in front of me, but my mind is blank.
As they continue to pick apart my presentation, I stare at the floor and try not to cry.
I know it won’t do me any favors if I do, and besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in this office, it’s that no one likes a woman who cries.
I’ve been working on this project for weeks, and I know it inside and out.
But now that I have to present it to this room full of men, my brain has turned to mush.
So I take a deep breath and force myself to keep it together, even as the room starts to spin around me.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I know it won’t be the last.
I can’t even remember what slide I’m on.
The silence stretches on for what feels like an eternity, and I can feel their eyes boring into me as they wait for me to speak.
But that doesn’t make it any easier.
When the meeting finally wraps up, I gather my things and leave the room without saying a word, my face burning with shame.
Finally, one of them clears his throat and says, “Emily, are you going to start your presentation anytime soon?”
I wish I could tell you this was an isolated incident, but stuff like this happens to me all the time.
Outside, I slouch against the wall and pull out my phone, my hands shaking as I try to text my boyfriend.
He’s the only person who can make me feel better when I’m having a bad day, and right now I need him more than ever.
It’s part of the reason I’ve been seeing a life coach for the past few months.
I’m trying to learn how to be more assertive and confident, and she’s been helping me figure out how to stand up for myself without being seen as a bitch.
Hey, are you busy?
I got out of my meeting early and I could really use a hug.
But it’s hard, especially when I’m in situations like this.
I work for a tech company, and even though there are plenty of women who work here, they’re all in administrative roles or HR.
His response is almost immediate, and I can hear the smile in his voice as he says, “I’ll be right there.”
I don’t have to wait long before Mark comes walking around the corner, his long legs eating up the distance between us as he pulls me into his arms and wraps me in a bear hug.
I’m the only one on the product development team, and let me tell you, it’s a boys’ club in here.
The men I work with are mostly good guys, and for the most part, they treat me well.
He smells like fresh laundry and the cologne I bought him for his birthday last year, and for a moment, everything feels okay.
“What’s wrong?”
But sometimes it’s hard not to feel like an outsider when I’m the only woman in a room full of senior managers.
I take a deep breath and remind myself that I know what I’m talking about.
he asks, pulling away so he can look at me.
He’s tall with broad shoulders and short brown hair that he always keeps neatly trimmed.
I’ve prepared for this meeting, and I know my stuff.
Even if they don’t seem to think so.
He’s also handsome with a square jaw and warm brown eyes that make me melt every time he looks at me.
“Tell me everything.”
I swallow hard and force myself to start speaking, my voice sounding small and shaky as I go through my presentation.
It’s hard to focus on what I’m saying when all my colleagues are staring at me with blank expressions on their faces.
“I don’t want to talk about it here,” I say, gesturing toward the office behind me.
“I’ll tell you later.”
They’re all at least a decade older than me, if not more, with years of experience under their belts.
And here I am, fresh out of college, trying to show them that I’m just as smart and capable as they are.
He nods, his expression serious, but then he breaks into a grin and says, “How about we go grab some lunch instead?”
“That sounds perfect.”
It’s not easy, which is why I’ve been seeing my life coach.
The silence in the room is deafening as I finish my presentation, and my heart is pounding in my chest so loudly that I can barely hear myself speak.
He takes my hand in his and leads me back to the elevators, the warmth of his skin seeping into mine and calming my nerves the way it always does.
I don’t know what I’d do without him.
But eventually I manage to get through it, and when I finally look up from my notes, none of the men are saying anything.
They’re just looking at me, waiting for something.
We’ve been dating for almost a year now—ever since we met in the breakroom—and he’s my everything.
He gets me in a way that no one else does, which is why I know he’ll understand when I tell him what happened in that meeting today.
I don’t know what they want, but I can feel the panic building in my chest as the seconds tick by and no one says anything.
Finally, one of them clears his throat again and says, “Emily, where did you get these numbers from?This can’t be right.”
“You know you can talk to me about anything,” he says as we step onto the elevator and the doors slide closed behind us.
“I know,” I say, leaning into him as we start moving up to the next floor.
My face flushes red, and I can feel a bead of sweat trickling down my back as he goes through my report and picks it apart in front of everyone.
Of course he’d be the one to do it.
“And I will.But not here.”
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He always is.
He doesn’t like women very much, which is obvious by the way he talks to me like I’m an idiot every chance he gets.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath, willing myself to relax as I try to push the memory of that horrible meeting to the back of my mind for now.
But even though it feels like he’s doing everything he can to undermine my work, I refuse to let him rattle me.
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“Can I tell you something?”
I ask as we walk out of the office a few minutes later, my stomach twisting with nerves all over again at the thought of what I’m about to say.
“Of course,” he says, taking my hand in his as he leads me out to the parking garage.
“Is everything okay?”
“I just…I don’t know what to do about this guy at work.”
“The senior manager you were telling me about?”
I nod, my throat going dry as I think about Mr.I swear that man has it out for me, but Mark doesn’t need to know that part.
It’ll only make him worry more than he already is, and I don’t want that.
“So, what does he do?”
“He made a comment about how I was young enough to be his daughter, and then he said he didn’t have time to listen to me talk in circles for hours on end.”
Mark’s eyes widen with surprise, but then he frowns, his brows drawing together as he says, “Wait, did you tell your boss?”
“I wanted to,” I say, sighing in frustration.
“But he told me it wasn’t a big deal and that I just needed to suck it up and work with the guy.” I shake my head and roll my eyes.
“That’s what he always says, though, so I don’t know why I expected anything different.”
Mark looks like he’s about to explode, but somehow, he manages to keep his cool as he says, “You know what?
I bet that manager has a crush on you, and he’s just too embarrassed to admit it.”
I can’t help but laugh at that, even though I know it’s not true.
That guy is horrible with all women, and he’s been like this ever since he started working here.
Besides, if what my coworker told me about his last job is true, he got fired for being a sexual predator, so I think it’s safe to say he’s not interested in dating me.
“Trust me,” I say when I finally stop laughing.
“It’s not a crush.”
“Well, if you’re sure.”
“I am,” I say with a roll of my eyes.
“He’s just an asshole.”
Mark grins and squeezes my hand tighter as we walk out into the parking garage.
“I can’t argue with you there.”
We make our way down the stairs and across the street to a little café we both like—the one where we had our first date—and Mark buys me a latte while we wait in line to order.
He also orders a sandwich for himself and some soup for us to share before we sit down at one of the tables in the corner.
We both know this is going to take a while, but neither of us seems to mind.
I take a sip of my latte and close my eyes, savoring the taste as Mark takes my free hand in his and says, “You know, you could always quit and go work somewhere else.”
I open my eyes and look at him, my heart sinking at the sadness in his voice as he says, “There are other companies that would kill to have you.”
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But then I take a closer look at him and realize he’s right.
There are so many other companies in Silicon Valley that would be lucky to have my expertise, and even though I’ve never been good at giving up, I could do it if I had to.
The thought of leaving is tempting at first, but then I quickly push it away as I shake my head and force a smile.
He smiles back at me as he leans in close enough to brush a piece of hair out of my face.
“You know you don’t have to stay there if you don’t want to,” he whispers, his warm breath teasing my skin.
“You have nothing to prove to anyone.”
I close my eyes at the feel of his lips against my cheek as he kisses me softly, and then I lean into him, resting my head against his chest as he wraps me in his strong arms.
“You’re so good to me,” I whisper as a few tears slip down my cheeks.
Mark’s arms tighten around me for just a second before he leans back to look at me, his dark blue eyes scanning my face for a moment before he gently wipes away my tears.
“I care about you,” he says when he’s finished, that worried look in his eyes again.
“I hate seeing you upset, Em.
You don’t deserve this.”
I know Mark is right.
I don’t deserve to be treated like this by my coworkers every single day just because I’m the only woman in a company full of men, but I also know that I can handle it.
I’ve handled it for this long already, so what’s a little more?
But then I remember the look Mark is giving me as he waits for my response.
How much he cares about me.
How much he believes in me.
And I know that I don’t need to put up with this anymore.
Not if I don’t want to.
“You’re right,” I say at last as I take his hand in mine and give it a reassuring squeeze.
“I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.”
The worried look in his eyes fades away as his lips curl into a smile.
“That’s my girl,” he whispers before leaning in to give me another soft kiss.
His lips are so warm against mine that I can’t resist kissing him back.
Just like I can’t resist the way his arms feel wrapped around me or the way his strong hands feel against my skin as they slowly slide down my back to rest on my hips.
Or the way his eyes captivate me as I look into them for just a moment before our mouths meet again in another soft kiss.
A spark of desire ignites in the pit of my stomach at the feel of Mark’s lips against mine once more, but then the 4:00 alarm on his phone goes off, reminding us that it’s time to go pick up our daughter from daycare.
The reminder makes me groan in frustration as I pull back from Mark a few minutes later.
“Do we have to?”
“We should be here instead,” Mark says with a sigh as he looks around the café.
“Just the two of us.”
Just the two of us.
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