Girls Next is born from the idea that, on a daily basis, we hear innumerable stories of girls who “made it” in the eyes of society. On the opposite end, we know nothing of those who are trying, who are failing, or even those who don’t really want to succeed. However, we still want to hear all those stories of failure, or of “almost success”, because there is beauty in the ordinary, and there is inspiration even in the simplest things.

This is why we decided to go meet the “girls next door” – those everyday girls, just next to us, and we decided to give them the floor.

Women’s interviews? Why?

If the French Curiosity Club is at the genesis of “vertical” curiosity – women who speak to other groups of women – we also wanted to create a “horizontal” curiosity: making sure the diamonds of our community (you!) discover each other every month, through simple and authentic portraits.

What is ambition? What is success?

The other day my friend Camille asked me this question. She had just told me she was planning on accepting a permanent contract offer from a company that was offering her a good salary, an interesting working schedule and a nice group of co-workers.

I must say Camille left her job 3 years back to change career. She went back to school while making the choice of not giving up on her two children, but failed her diploma by one subject. One single scientific subject for a girl who chose literature for her high school diploma over 10 years prior.  “Don’t you think I’m a loser?” was what she was asking me. And was there I was, having to decide.

Was Camille a loser?

Answer A YES. Answer B NO.

Who was I to decide? More importantly which criteria was I to follow?

Camille was probably one of the best if you consider she only takes 10 minutes to reach her job when others have a one hour commute.

Was she a loser for doing her job properly and (even better than this) being offered a permanent position?

Was she a loser for registering her son for rugby classes and surprising him by visiting his training?

Was she a loser for trying to work in a new domain compared to all the others who never even tried?

Camille was not a loser. She had just made her choices, which might have changed in three days, four months, five years.

Camille was not a loser because her success only belongs to those criteria.

“I don’t have ambition because I don’t have the will to earn lot of money”.

Few days later, a friend told me this. I couldn’t believe it. This was the main reason I had asked her the question, because, to me, she had so much ambition.

“What I do, I’m only doing it to be happy. To get fulfilled.” She added as to justify her answer.

“I think ambition is a negative word. Often it means being having no boundaries to succeed”. Her answer has shaken me so much that I decided to check the dictionary for its definition. And here what I found:

Ambition: strong desire to do, possess or achieve something.”

When did ambition became such a negative word? Why, by popular belief, have words like money, power and glory come to replace this “something”? Why choose those words when so many others could have been possible?

The ambition of Girls Next is to rehabilitate this definition. To allow each one of us to create what they want of it, because in the end, everyone is free to choose her own path.

Being rich, being happy, having time, raising our children, getting and staying fit, travelling, conversing, having a house we can call home, reading extensively, having lots of friends, having watched every single American movie from the 20th Century… Let’s have the ambition that resembles us, but most importantly let’s be free of our ambition.

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We are all everyday sheroes.