Young Asian female looking at reflection

What It Actually Means To Be A ‘Strong Girl’ Because It’s Not All About Your Independence

A strong girl
Unsplash / Frankie Cordoba

Being a strong girl means waking up with your alarm — even when the only thing you want to do is smash snooze — and getting shit done. It means putting 100% into every little thing you do, even if you aren’t going to be rewarded for your efforts. Even if no one else is going to notice how hard you worked and give you congratulations. It means doing your best for your own benefit. Because you want to make yourself proud. Fuck what anybody else has to think.

Being a strong girl means getting over heartbreak. Climbing over career obstacles. Socializing with people you are forced to see but can barely stomach. It means creating new ways to survive the harshest things this world throws at you and never losing your handle on hope in the process.

Being a strong girl means loving yourself, or at least accepting yourself, even when the world tries to convince you to change your ways. It means saying screw you to gender roles and traditional beauty standards, because you know in your heart you are sexy as a motherfucker and can accomplish any goal you set your heart on. It means laughing at the people who doubt you, because they are going to realize how wrong they were someday soon.

Being a strong girl means trusting yourself, believing in yourself, relying on yourself. It means standing tall. It means cultivating your independence. It means feeling comfortable alone, because you don’t need another person in the room to experience happiness. Because you are more than fine on your own, you thrive on your own.

Being a strong girl means getting called a bitch because you put someone in their place instead of letting yourself get walked over. It means being called a slut because you were comfortable enough with your sexuality for casual sex, or ironically, because you were brave enough to turn someone down. It means being called degrading names on a daily basis and being called overemotional when you let the world know how pissed you are.

Being a strong girl means speaking your mind, even when you are going to be crucified for your opinion. It means standing up for what you believe in instead of choosing the quiet, comfortable path. It means knowing what you deserve and refusing to settle for less — in your relationships, in your career, in society as a whole. It means going against the grain, because you are a complicated creature who can not be defined by her gender.

Being a strong girl means waking up on the days when you feel like giving up. It means deciding you are going to keep chugging along, even when your anxiety or depression gets the best of you. It means making a decision to live, even when all you want to do is die. It means breathing. It means existing. Because this life is fucking hard, and if you are still here, if you are managing to make it through this hell, you can consider yourself a strong girl. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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