I’ve transferred my four mailing lists (The Early Hour, annieridout.com, The Robora and Raise your SQ) over here. So if you’re receiving this, it’s because you subscribed to one of them, or directly on this platform, Substack. From now on, I’ll only be emailing from this here - talking women, writing, wellbeing, work, ‘woo’ and SQ. Personal essays, mindset exercises, SQ rituals and practices and Q&As with inspiring women. If you’re interested in that (and my writing), I hope you’ll stay.
Right, let’s talk long-term relationships, working with your romantic partner and whether feminism is doing us a disservice with the ‘have and do it all’ rhetoric.
I had a soul reading about a month ago. For those not in the know this is a pretty ‘woo’ chart in a star shape, and each point has a different pair of numbers. The numbers are determined by your name at birth. Now, I’m not going to tell you mine, because it’s completely different to my current name - first name and surname - and I like it that way. But the idea is that while your name was given to you by your parents/carers, it was actually chosen for you by something higher.
So you are given this name and the sounds vibrate a certain energy that determines your soul chart numbers. Look, I’m not going to pretend that I understand all this, because I don’t, but I’m very open-minded and I take all readings like this as an opportunity to get to know myself better. Sometimes what the SQ practitioner says will resonate, other times it won’t. Either way, it gives me space and time to think about my life - where I’ve come from; where I’m headed - which I find beneficial.
In my soul reading, I had a lot of 7:7, which indicates a metaphorical ‘mask’ I’m wearing. I was told that I need to be more trusting, less reclusive and to soften. I was also told - and this wasn’t the first time - that I’m too masculine and need to bring in more of the feminine. Hold on, I said, I’m pretty feminine. Just look at me, with my coral lipstick and neatly-brushed hair, I wanted to say. But Catherine jumped in: being feminine isn’t just about how you look, she said. Oh.
I thought about the energy I had while running my business full-time, especially when it was growing at a fast pace. Ideas would come flying out of me at an unmanageable rate; the process of scaling fired me up and money - if I’m honest - made me feel powerful.
Before I had my first baby, I was earning really good money as a copywriter but that contract was terminated when she was born and I spent four or five years building up a freelance career. It was the first I’d really experienced gender inequality in the workplace. Until then, my husband and I had felt fairly equal at work, in terms of pay and opportunities. Now, I’d become a mother and the pay gap had instantly widened.
So when I eventually launched The Robora - an online course business teaching women how to launch and grow their own online businesses - and it took off, I felt more confident, ‘successful’ and empowered than I ever had before. Having surplus money - £30,000 in savings - made me feel safe. It meant I could spend on things like clothes and holidays without thinking about it too much. And money does matter in our society. Without it, we can’t buy the basics: food, shelter, clothes to keep us warm.
But a troubling dynamic appeared between me and my husband, Rich.