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Women Of The Shadows: Success And Joy From A Partner’s Support

partner's support
By Aurelie Gandilhon
Editorā€™s Note: Translated from French. French version below.

“There is always a woman behind every great manā€.
Iā€™ve often heard this phrase which Iā€™ve always felt unwelcome, inappropriate and even irritating and disrespectful for women.

Well, now I must confess to being convinced that this is in effect quite true. In the shadow of all great presidents, the most famous businessmen or the most adulated artists, there are women who raise their spirits, who provide their support in all circumstances. Their ā€œinvisible better- halvesā€ that are often at the origin of many critical decisions. Women, yes ā€“ however not only Women !! History is also conjugated in the masculine. This text is addressed to those people who offer their valiant goodness unconditionally.

Iā€™m thinking of course of my own better- half who constantly accepts the constraints of my job and the effect it has on our lives. As you must have understood, I am not a president, nor head of a multinational company yet I am a simple troubadour who travels from creation to creation and project to project all over the world. Sometimes away from any familiar nest or family for several consecutive months and often thousands of miles away from my friends.

Often confronted with emotionally intense and sometimes physically challenging moments, I come and go like a sailor out on the open sea, out to conquer new shows and creative horizons.

I go forth leaving my life in parenthesis and I firmly believe that one must have a strong person with unwavering feelings to face these situations – very often insurmountable for many others.

It is she who encourages and criticizes me providing uncensored opinion. It is still she who opens my eyes to my mistakes just as well as my success and who gives me the critical key to certain unanswered questions. Yet again, she watches me leave with a smile and a small tear and she is also the very one who recovers me when I’mĀ in pieces, often emptied after long weeks of hard work. She’s waiting for me at the airport, eager to see me pass the threshold of the terminal door.

It is she who is not shocked nor perplexed listening to my crazy ideas for I believe that hers are just as extraordinary and beautifully off the beaten path. These criticisms are constructive, insightful, sometimes out of left field; but they are always formulated with the greatest sincerity and generosity.

It’s still the woman in the shadows who cheers me up when projects and hope are scarce, when the blank page remains empty and when my mind wanders aimlessly.

She knows exactly how to find the right words to arouse my curiosity, to go beyond my limits and to break down barriers that time has built. Her strong character and personality knows how to extricate me from my comfort zone. She wrenches me from the hermetic grips of the airplanes, hotels, dark rooms, to where I am today to discover her universe to which I had been distracted or even blind. It isĀ almost that which I miss the most when Iā€™m away, and she can be moved to pick up everything and surprise me at another corner of the world to come see me and to help me.

It is the woman in the shadows who makes you grow, think and become. Become better without losing your identity. I am full of doubt often, in search of emotions and ongoing challenges.
I have found peace and listening which were lacking in my fragile balance.
I am a dreamer who has found her peaceful cloud.
Despite the turbulence, I owe a lot to the guardian angel who shares my life, my fears and my troubles.

I can now understand this phrase which seemed so disdainful to me. I wish for everyone one day to find the person who will have the courage, nerve and loving toĀ shake you up as Iā€™ve been; the woman of the shadows is like a voice in the wings whispering your lines in case you stray, never far off and always there to pick you up when things go wrong. This person is in fact your savior – the one whose existence we suspect but whom we never see.

Glory be to the Women of the Shadows.


“Il y a toujours une femme derrieĢ€re un grand homme.”
Jā€™ai souvent entendu cette phrase et je dois dire que je lā€™ai toujours trouveĢe mal venue, deĢplaceĢe,

irritante et peu respectueuse pour le genre feĢminin.

Et bien je dois avouer eĢ‚tre aujourdā€™hui convaincue que celle ci est treĢ€s bien formuleĢe.
Dans lā€™ombre des grands preĢsidents, des homme dā€™affaires les plus ceĢleĢ€bres ou artistes les plus aduleĢs, Il y a des femmes qui remontent le moral, qui apportent leur soutien dans toutes circons- tances. Les moitieĢs invisibles qui sont pourtant aĢ€ lā€™origine de bien des deĢcisions. Des femmes, pas seulement !! lā€™histoire se conjugue aussi au masculin. Ce texte sā€™adresse donc aĢ€ ces personnes qui offrent leur bien vaillance sans condition.

Je pense eĢvidement aĢ€ ma moitieĢ qui accepte aĢ€ chaque instant les contraintes de mon meĢtier. Je ne suis pas preĢsidente, vous lā€™aurez compris, ni chef dā€™une multinationale, je suis une simple trouba- dour saltimbanque qui voyage de creĢation en creĢation. Parfois loin de ma famille pendant plusieurs mois conseĢcutifs, loin de mon nid douillet, aĢ€ plusieurs milliers de kilomeĢ€tres de mes amis.

Souvent confronteĢe aĢ€ des moments eĢmotionnellement intenses, physiquement difficiles, Je vais et viens tel un marin au long cour aĢ€ la conqueĢ‚te des nouveaux spectacles.

Je mā€™absente en laissant ma vie entre parentheĢ€se et croyez bien quā€™il faut avoir une personne solide aux sentiments ineĢ- branlables pour affronter ces situations treĢ€s souvent impossibles aĢ€ surmonter pour beaucoup dā€™autres.

Cā€™est elle qui mā€™encourage, cā€™est elle qui me critique et qui me donne son avis sans deĢtour. Cā€™est encore elle qui mā€™ouvre les yeux sur mes erreurs ou mes succeĢ€s, cā€™est elle qui me donne la clef de certaines questions qui ne trouvaient pas reĢponses.
A nouveau, cā€™est elle qui me voit partir avec le sourire et une petite larme, cā€™est elle qui me reĢcu- peĢ€re en morceaux, aĢ€ bout de force apreĢ€s les longues semaines de travail acharneĢ. Elle mā€™attends aĢ€ lā€™aeĢroport, impatiente de me voir passer la porte du terminal.

Cā€™est elle qui nā€™est pas choqueĢe aĢ€ lā€™eĢcoute de mes ideĢes farfelues, je crois bien que les siennes le sont tout autant dā€™ailleurs. Ces critiques sont constructives, perspicaces, parfois aĢ€ coĢ‚teĢ de la plaque mais elles sont toujours formuleĢes avec la plus grande sinceĢriteĢ.

Cā€™est encore la femme de lā€™ombre qui me remonte le moral quand les projets se font rares, quand la page blanche reste blanche et quand mon esprit divague aĢ€ des envies dā€™ailleurs.

Elle sait trouver les mots pour eĢveiller ma curiositeĢ, deĢpasser mes limites, abroger les frontieĢ€res que le temps aĢ€ baĢ‚- tie. Elle et son caracteĢ€re bien trempeĢ savent mā€˜extirper de ma zone de confort.
Moi qui ne voyez que par les avions, les hoĢ‚tels, les salles obscures, me voilaĢ€ aujourdā€™hui deĢcouvrir son univers auquel jā€™eĢtais hermeĢtique, voilaĢ€ meĢ‚me que cela me manque quand je suis loin. Elle, meĢ‚me, se surpasse et se surprend aĢ€ me rejoindre au bout du monde pour mā€™assister.

Cā€™est bien la femme de lā€™ombre qui vous fait grandir, reĢfleĢchir et devenir. Devenir meilleur sans changer votre identiteĢ. Moi qui suis pleine de doutes, en recherche dā€™eĢmotions et de deĢfis perma- nents, jā€™ai trouveĢ le calme et lā€™eĢcoute qui manquait aĢ€ mon eĢquilibre fragile.

Je suis une reĢ‚veuse qui a trouveĢ son nuage de paix. MalgreĢ les secousses, je dois beaucoup aĢ€ lā€™ange gardien qui partage ma vie, mes peurs et mes emmerdes.

Je comprends mieux aĢ€ preĢsent cette phrase qui me semblait si deĢdaigneuse. Je vous souhaite un jour de trouver la personne qui aura le culot de vous bousculer comme je le suis; La femme de lā€™ombre est comme le souffleur au theĢaĢ‚tre, il nā€™est jamais loin et vous rattrape quand les choses deĢ- rapent. il est votre sauveur, celui que lā€™on soupcĢ§onne mais que lā€™on ne voit jamais.

Gloire aux femmes de lā€™ombre.

Also by Aurelie:

Props: I Dream Of The Perfect Workshop

Apps Set The Tone Of How We Work Today

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