To The Woman Who Is Tough, But Cares Too Much

couple, girl who cares too much, hugging couple
Allan Filipe Santos Dias

There is a fine line between tough and cold, between forgiving and weak. The world sees strength as beautiful—until it reaches a certain point. And then too much strength becomes harsh and unapproachable, not ‘right’ for a woman. But too delicate, too gentle, means she has no backbone.

How, then do we win? How do we shed the expectations, the rules, the ways the world has boxed us, told us who to be and how to love? How, then, do we stay true to the feelings on heart without lying to ourselves, without pretending or shying away or closing our mouths for fear of being ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ of something?

How do we love without fear when we’re a combination of both—caring and strong?

You are a tough woman. Tough, simply because of your female identity. Because that is the skin you were born into, the label you’ve self-proclaimed. Because of your steps, your smile, the way you hold your head embodies strength.

But tough does not mean you keep people at arm’s length. Tough does not mean you are selfish. Tough does not mean you are angry, or unwilling to let people in.

Tough is not synonymous with cold.

Because even as you are tough, you are equally as loving, equally as selfless, equally as soft.

You are a caring woman. Caring, simply because you value your relationships and the people you choose to share your heart with. Because you give freely. Because you are open and unafraid to be vulnerable and to put someone else’s needs before your own.

But caring does not mean you are foolish. Caring does mean you fall headfirst and allow others to walk all over you, or take advantage of you.

Caring is not synonymous with clueless.

Because even as you care too much, you are independent and self-reliant.

And so you are both. Living in a place of contradiction. Loving from two opposing sides of yourself. Learning how, in a world that tries to tell you the ways you should be, who you are.

And I hope you realize that you can be just as you are. You don’t have to conform, to hold back, to hide. You don’t have to push your way through, fighting just for your voice to be heard.

Who you are is valid.
The way you love is pure.

And spending any more time justifying the person you’ve always been, the way you’ve chosen to care and whether it’s too much is simply unneeded.

For you are not a mistake. Quit allowing the world to make you feel as if you are. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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