“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

"Put me down as Frank, please."

As a five-year-old on the birthday party circuit, Frank was my nametag preference of choice. My naïve tomboy self thought that all I needed was a new name, and then I would finally fit in with all the boys. I'd be able to build forts and play king of the mountain, rather than be on the sidelines playing house or sitting for tea.

It's been a long time since I've asked someone to call me Frank, but until recently, I didn't give up on striving to be like all the boys. Trying to gain the respect of my male colleagues, I was hesitant to speak about my husband, the dinner parties I love to throw, or my long-term intention to have children. I thought to work successfully with the guys, I always had to be like them.

It's time to finally put my Frank mask away for good. It’s time to be Carolyn in the office. I’m going to succeed but I'll do it as myself. I won’t shy away from who I am, woman and all.

I'm going to play house and be king of the mountain.

 

— Carolyn Wintner