Ever since I was a kid, I have loved pink. Maybe in that sense I was one of those "stereotypical" girls. But at the same time I liked technology, programming and gaming, things that stereotypically have been seen as something that's for boys. But at some point when I was growing up, pink color was seen as something that only little kids like and it wasn't appropriate for me to wear it anymore. I remember I had the most beautiful jacket that I loved a lot, but I rarely wore it because it was pink.
And this attitude towards the color pink has followed me all through my adulthood. Anything cute or feminine is seen as something that's silly, it's not to be taken seriously. However I never stopped liking pink and pastel colors and anything that's cute. But since I also like heavy metal, the color black and technology, it's just easier for me to mostly wear black and tone down my personality so I can be seen as a credible developer. And I hate it.
It has been a lifelong rollercoaster feeling like this. When I was a kid I had courage to be myself, until I was bullied enough and decided to start blending in. Later when I was a teen I decided again to just fuck it and bravely be myself again! Until when I turned 18 and I moved to a completely new city and left everything that was familiar for me behind. Luckily I slowly started to find the courage to be myself again.
I have been lucky to be working in a company where being yourself is encouraged and where the goal is that everyone feels included and appreciated. I feel valued even if I show my true personality at work. I also feel lucky to be able to have discussions about these topics with my coworkers.
When I started working at Futurice I feel I was myself. I was positive, so happy that I couldn't really keep the happiness inside of me and was expressing myself in my own unique way. I just recently talked with an ex-colleague of mine and they said something that really opened my eyes: "I can still hear you saying "that's so CUUUUUUUTE" when seeing something cute around me". And I realized I haven't been like that anymore.
We all have had a crappy year 2020 but my downward hill actually started earlier when my close relative got terminally ill. It made me think about my life a lot and I was feeling anxious and depressed for quite a long time. And I again had started blending in but this time without me even noticing it.
Now after having had time to process everything that has happened, I feel I'm ready to start stoking the fire inside me again. I'm ready to start expressing myself the way I have always been. Whenever I have had a more difficult period in my life, it takes too much courage and energy to truly be the person I am. Being visible in the internet as a woman who is a software developer and a gamer who likes cute things can sometimes be very discouraging. There's just so much harassment going around.
I've also noticed that partly I was avoiding being truly myself was because I don't like stereotypes and it felt wrong that I'm supporting this stereotype that women like pink. But guess what. It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter if I like pink or blue or black or sparkly rainbow glitter (wish that was a thing in peripherals). As long as you are not strengthening harmful stereotypes, like for example bullying boys/men/masculine people who like pink or assuming that someone likes some color because of their gender, it doesn't matter. The colors I have chosen for my setup say nothing about how good programmer I am and the clothes I decide to wear do not reflect my professionality. And I'm going to start proving that right.
If I like pink, then so be it! Since I also like black, why not just combine these two colors that I like? I'm planning on buying a new PC and it will be so pretty. Black case with pink and white cables and components having pink LED lights. My keyboard will be black with pink key caps and my headset will preferably be pink but I want to go practicality and quality first. And the setup will be SO CUUUUUUUUUTE <3