Siddhartha Vasey
FINALIST: Wait! I have to tie my son’s shoe!


"Who am I?" "What do I want to be when I grow up?" and "What do I truly want out of life?" are still questions that Sid asks herself every day. Even at 38, these questions plague her. She can't help comparing herself to others even though that puts undue pressure on herself. Her friends and colleagues seem to have it "all figured out". Do they really or do they struggle with the same questions she does? Sid's drive to have it all and doing it perfectly brings interesting challenges to her life that she faces head on.


Background w/Aha moment:

Sid grew up thinking that she was put on this Earth for a reason; it was finding that reason that was causing her some problems. She was not the typical little girl playing with dolls and dreaming of her wedding. Instead she was out playing soccer and pushing herself academically. She was a good left halfback and excelled at her studies, but lacked confidence in herself to make a difference, or so she thought. Sid continued to struggle with these feelings of inadequacy through college forcing her to leave a large university and enroll in a smaller school in her hometown. Here she finally started coming "out of her shell" but never fully overcame these feelings that she just wasn't good enough. Each passing year brought a little more confidence, but never the feelings of, "Yes, I'm great at this!" or "Wow, this is what I'm supposed to be doing!" In 2004, Sid found herself in an interesting situation, pregnant. As she watched the test turn positive something changed inside. She was happy, excited and scared all in one small moment. A million thoughts swam through her head including that she was single with the strong possibility that she would be a single Mother. Over the next nine months she was forced to change how she looked at herself. "I had to believe in myself like never before or my son would suffer because of it. There was no way I was going to let that happen!" In that moment, Sid had found one of the reasons she was put on this Earth, to raise a wonderful son that would share her values and ideals, that would know how to treat others and succeed in life. She began to believe that she could make a difference, even if he was just a tiny person with his whole life ahead. She could give him what he needed, all the love and guidance possible. This realization has continued to gain momentum like a freight train and hasn't stopped yet.


Professional Challenge:

Climbing the proverbial corporate ladder is something Sid knew she wanted to do. Dreams of being a CEO replaced dreams of the perfect wedding. Ever since she started working at age 15, she was always good at her job no matter what it was, striving for perfection were inherent in her nature. While completing her undergrad degree she was promoted to working in the office at a local retailer managing the cashiers. Her first job out of school she was promoted in less than a year to Training Manager in charge of training new employees. While working as a Software Tester she was quickly promoted to Manager of Development and Testing on a high profile project. It seems she was destined to make it to the top. Sid came to a crossroads in her life making her exclaim, "I want it all! But wait, I have to tie my son's shoe first." How can she continue the climb up the corporate ladder when it's no longer the number one priority in life?


Personal Challenge:

Sid has found herself in a new role, Single Working Mother. After the birth of her son, Sid's relationship took a turn for the worse. Her son's father, whom she originally believed simply to be overly critical, became verbally abusive to both herself and her son. Public humiliation was a constant in her life; beating what confidence she had gained over the years back to the ground. For two, long, grueling years she tried to make it work by changing who she was. She walked on eggshells day in and day out, trying to be perfect so not to incite his rage. She let her family and friends drift away because they didn't like being around him and she didn't want them to see her pain and humiliation. When his abuse began to target her son, she put her foot down and said, "There is no way in #@!* I'm letting my son be raised in this environment!" Breaking off the relationship with the father became a "no-brainer" and she told him to leave, a decision she has NEVER, EVER regretted. After the initial shock of getting rid of the abuser came the daily fear that he would come back and take what she valued most, her son. This fear subsided but remains in the back of her mind. It has been replaced with the realization that raising her son will be the hardest task she's ever faced followed closely by the task of rebuilding her self-worth. Every day she faces new challenges, large and small, personal and professional, welcome and not. The question of "What do I want out of life?" has become "How on Earth can I do it all?" How can Sid be a good Mother, a good Daughter, a good Friend and a good Employee? Doing something half-rate is not what she strives for. Can she do it without having to sacrifice anything?