You Don’t Always Have To Prove Your Intelligence To Be A ‘Smart Girl’

Shutterstock / Kitja-Kitja
Shutterstock / Kitja-Kitja

I’ve always been the woman who cared a lot about being smart. I’ve never wanted to be, as Ronda Rousey would say, a “do nothing bitch.” I wanted to be the woman who commands attention, who can outsmart a man I admire, who can be a boss-ass lady that defies every stereotype of the classic feminine woman that I am at my core. I’ve never wanted to be just a pretty face. I worked incredibly hard in high school (even while being the ultimate rebel child), finished at the top, went traveling on my own, and then started my commerce degree. I love telling people this. I love disproving every expectation that they have of me, and proving that you can love to wear heels and makeup, while also loving and valuing hard work.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with these qualities. Getting a commerce degree might be the smartest thing I do. But here is where the problem lies:

I hate studying commerce.

Hate it. Even though I am good at it and find it interesting at times, I find the whole industry soul-sucking and have no desire to EVER work in finance. When people ask me what I plan to do after, I tend to shrug my shoulders and say something along the lines of “I have a lot of plans.” Which I do…although none of them involve my commerce degree.

When I take the time to think about it, I think that I get so caught up in wanting to be an intelligent and successful woman that I forget about the things I actually enjoy. I’m not sure if this all is a byproduct of modern day feminism or if I just really like defying expectations, but I’ve always felt the need to prove myself as a woman who can compete with a man in his knowledge of Economics. It’s almost as if I just want the degree to say I have it so that nobody can question my intellect. Maybe I’m just too much of a self critic, but I’ve always felt that if I wasn’t working in a technical profession, that I was obviously stupid and incapable and that no worthy man would take me seriously as an adult.

In the process of becoming a “do something bitch” (stole it, sorry Ronda), I feel that I have ignored the parts of myself that make me a passionate person and that have made me fall in love with the world.

I love art. Love it. I love painting, writing, creating, exploring, traveling, inspiring people, health, yoga, helping people, sharing stories…the list goes on and on. I’ve always tried to explain to people that I tend to love entrepreneurial men because they are almost ALWAYS unendingly passionate about what they do. I love the way their eyes light up and their jawline hardens when discussing their career, and the vigor they put into every second of their life. THAT love is attractive to me. That is the love I want to cultivate in my life.

When I think of doing my commerce work, I feel my creativity get sucked out through my nostrils. I feel drained, bored, and hopeless. On the other hand, when I start to write, when I share stories, take photos, paint, it’s almost as if I come back in touch with myself. My heart starts to race with excitement and I feel hypersensitive to the energy of the world. I can barely force myself to do six hours a day of my schoolwork but when I start writing and working on my website I get lost in time and have to FORCE myself to go to bed. That is love.

I want to write a book one day. I want to share stories from the world.I want to bring my life to a point where I can inspire people, where I can teach people, and most importantly where I can change people’s lives every day. I want success more than anything. I want to be top of my field, but I no longer think I need to work in finance to do so.

In the process of trying to be the smartest girl, I learned to let it go and ultimately, am happier for it.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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