I have experienced life for 28 years.
While I would like to discount the first 13 (who am I kidding, the first
18 21 25), I have come to realize that all 28 years have been crucial for me to just be me. I would not be every iota of who I am (physically, emotionally, and otherwise) if it had not been for all experiences during those 28 years. These experiences range from good to great to mediocre to bad to worse, and all over again.
Despite my tomboy childhood or my awkward teenage years or however much I wanted to avoid being girly, I have come to truly and wholly embrace being a woman.
And, every aspect of a woman – the vulnerabilities, the innumerable strengths, the ability to multi-task, the ability to plan 5 steps ahead for all different possibilities, the power of the self, and the power of the collective group of women.
As a woman, I have come to realize certain truths/beliefs that have sustained me and kept me sane.
1. Realize. Sometimes I think that I have been living so much for the future (school preparation, job preparation, marriage preparation, etc.), that I have lost sight of the present. I get moments to myself but I fill it with TV, internet, iPhone and anything that will get me plugged into someone else’s life or another story apart from my own. Recently, I committed myself to an imaginary bubble for 10 minutes a day to think about nothing. I lay in bed or I sit on my couch with nothing around. No TV, no Binks, no Wall-E, no iPhone. Just me. It’s not easy – believe me. To be alone with myself and my thoughts is an anxiety-ridden activity that I’m working on. I have so much pent up thoughts/emotions/feelings/memories that I have put aside f0r so long, that going back is a hard and worthwhile journey.
2. Your Body is a Wonderland. I think John Mayer is a douche, but he makes a point. Aside from the mental/emotional, just physically, I had to really make decisions to take care of my physical self. When I was younger, I ate and drank without any concern for its effects on my body – short or long term. Nowadays, I strive to be informed of what goes in and how it will effect what’s on the outside. Food is nutrition and our bodies are temples. Fill it with the best on a regular basis, and allow yourself to sin once in a while. Just know the difference between the two.
3. Beautiful/I’m Not Your Average Girl. Throughout the 28 years, I have been bombarded by what the media has told me is pretty. And over the years, pretty has gotten to be less womanly and more stickly. The ideas of what is beautiful, as punched in our faces by different sources, has caused a serious body-image problem amongst women. To this day, when I look in the mirror, I will always point out faults before I can find the things I like – if I even get to that part. How sad is it that we, as women, have to force ourselves to say something nice because the world is always ready to point out “what needs fixing” before pointing to what’s “perfect, just the way you are.” My daily battle is to not judge myself to a made-up standard of pounds of makeup and airbrushing. Imma do me.
4. Stronger Than Yesterday/Fighter/Survivor/I Will Survive. Shit happens. All the time. And, then it happens more. And, we have to roll with the dirty punches. To be a victim to my past is an easier road to take than to make a conscious decision to rise above the shit. It’s easy to wallow in pity or self-hate for things that have happened to you and/or things that you have done that you wish you had not. I dare you to let it go. Just for one day at the least. And, then the next. Because tomorrow is a different day. Embrace it. Embrace forgiveness (for yourself and others), and push forward. One day – after many tomorrows, you will have put away the resentment, guilt, anxiety and pain, and be stronger for it.
5. You’ve Got A Friend In Me/No More Drama. It took me 28 years (a full 28 year) to realize that I do not need to be friends with everyone. I have only recently realized that knowing someone for the majority of your life does not allow someone a tenured relationship with you. I have confused quantity of years with quality of friendship so much that I had filled my life with people who I have held onto just for holding on sake. I was surrounding myself with individuals who I may have had a long history with, but who were only there for the good times and the same old same old – not for the bad times and changing times. You change. They change. Sometimes, you don’t change together. And, that’s okay.
6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun/You Gotta Be/Just A Girl/Express Yourself. As an attorney/business owner, it’s not easy to be a woman. I have to be more aggressive and hardworking as the average male just to be offered a seat at the table. And, I know it’s not just my profession. The problem really comes in when I find myself carrying these traits outside the office – unemotive, impatient, harsh, judgmental, and cynical. Somewhere along the line, it seems to inbred in me that I should be that way. As if being a woman is not good enough to succeed. I don’t agree. And, I do not allow myself to fall into the mumbo jumbo. To counterbalance my work-time, in my personal time, I allow myself to be free to go hog wild with the girl-ness. I spend countless hours grooming, researching the beauty & fashion trends, cooking, talking about cooking, writing about food, watching whatever I want regardless of the fact that I build a nest in the living room for hours on end, surrounded by cookies and magazines. Do I think that the above-listed items are the only things that make up a woman? No. But, if I do not relish and nourish the person I am through things I miss and love, then I won’t be whole and happy. So, do whatever you need to do to embrace the woman in you – whether it’s sports, shopping, cooking, photography, TV watching, building something, etc – do it often. And, apologize to no one.
7. Independent Woman/Miss Independent. I love being married and I love my Binks. But, unlike many people I run across, I do not think marriage is the answer to everything. I know many friends that got married felt relief because they “finally did it,” or that they were in a situation where they “didn’t have to worry about things” anymore. It’s easy to rely on the other person for everything. But, that’s not the role of a partner. A partner is just that – a teammate, a complement to you – an equally giving/contributing partner. When I got into a relationship with Binks and eventually married him, I didn’t think he was the cure to all my problems or the motivation for any change in my life. I do that for me. I am the motivation for myself, and am the problem and the cure for myself. No matter how long you are in a relationship with someone, the longest relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.
8. I See God In You. The biggest reason for the problems and divide amongst us is the notion of “Us vs. Them.” There is no such thing. We are all members of this Earth, and we are all connected. We were all once babies, we will all leave this world, and the cycle continues and centuries pass. During that time period, you will run into less-than-a-drop- in-the-bucket of all the people and inhabitants of this world. Be good to them. Be kind to your neighbors (without borders). Be kind to your land. Be kind to animals. Be kind to natures. Be kind to those that others have turned their back on. Be kind to those who do not have anyone. Regardless of your religion, background, culture and beliefs, we are all the same and are worthy to be loved.
In the end, I offer you this: respect yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Pent up frustrations/anger/self-hate is destructive. A happy person will exude happiness. A loved person will love others.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Find out what it means to you.
What are your favorite songs about women? Written by women? Give me some motivating and uplifting song suggestions!